Lytro Light Field 8 GB
CCD sensor; 8x optical zoom starting at 43mm; 1.5-inch touchscreen LCD; Lithium-ion battery
Lytro took the photography world by storm with the announcement of its Light Field cameras that, with the help of a new light capturing process, can actually be refocused after an image has been taken. The image is made with all the necessary software to change focus just by clicking, so anyone can share the images and have their friends interact with them. There are, however, some unfortunate compromises that Lytro has made that prevent us from recommending the camera. While the Lytro's odd shape is not in itself a bad thing, the lack of external controls forces the user to rely solely on the very poor resolution touchscreen for almost all operations. And, while the ability to refocus images sounds enticing, the Lytro's small sensor really doesn't yield the shallow depth of field that would make this worthwhile. The resulting images are also only 1080 pixels on each side, a far cry from the high megapixel counts consumers are used to. If the Lytros were priced lower then they might be fun to purchase and experiment with. As they currently stand at $400 and $500, however, the negatives outweigh the positives.
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