The Next RAW?

When I first heard about RAW digital capture, the claims seemed astronomical. You could shoot pictures and then adjust the exposure after the picture was made? That seemed preposterous. And now it seems like an integral part of my daily workflow. Well hopefully the same will hold true for this fancy new technology from a company called Lytro. It allows photographers to take pictures now and then focus later. That’s right, shoot first, then focus after the picture is made. According to this New York Times story the technology is legit, and involves using microlenses to capture images at multiple angles and, presumably, multiple focal points. The potential impact is, quite obviously, huge. What if one day in the future you can adjust, along with exposure and white balance, focus after capture? The company has plans for a consumer-level point-and-shoot, which they’re working to get into production right now. One benefit that hadn’t occurred to me but which seems really great? Because the camera doesn’t need to autofocus there’s no shutter lag, so you miss fewer moments. That alone is huge. I can’t wait to see how—if and when—this pans out.

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