Lytro’s “focus later” camera coming to Australia

The world of photography is set to change, with Lytro announcing that its groundbreaking light field camera will arrive in October, affording Australians the opportunity to take images without the burden of worrying if their images are out of focus again.

Previewed last year and awarded a 2012 CES Innovation Award, the Lytro camera uses a new type of sensor that can take in light rays, not just grabbing a two dimensional image, but almost taking one in three dimensions and allowing you to focus later.

“With light field technology there is a huge opportunity for creativity in photography that hasn’t been available in the past,” said Dr. Ren Ng, PhD, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Lytro, and an Australian to boot.

“We have seen amazing, creative and interactive pictures from camera owners and I’m looking forward to the Lytro camera being available in Australia.”

The camera is very different from anything you’ve seen prior, designed in a long rectangular prism, almost like a giant tube of lipstick.

Inside is the advanced sensor that allows the camera to do this awesome re-focus thing, coupled with a long lens capable of 8x optical – roughly equivalent to 35-280mm on a 35mm camera – with f/2.0 through the barrel, with a small LCD for controlling the Lytro sitting on the back.

“The Lytro camera’s sleek design was created with simplicity in mind,” said Dan Miall, co-founder of Lytro’s exclusive distributor in Australia, Blonde Robot. “With no unnecessary modes or dials, the camera features just two buttons – power and shutter – and has an intuitive glass touchscreen that lets pictures be viewed and refocused directly on the camera.”

You can use the Lytro to take pictures that can be refocused later on – try the one above, shot by Lytro’s founder – uploading them to Windows or Mac OS X computers and showing them online, whether using Lytro’s free image service or on Facebook.

Web browsers can see them natively, with the Flash-based computer browsers supported, as well as the Flash-less HTML5 browsers running on smartphones and tablets.

The technology is easily one of the most exciting for the photography world, and Australia is one of the first locations outside America to be receiving it, joining Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Australians won’t find it online at Lytro, mind you, with the following stores grabbing it on October 10 for $499 for the 8GB version (350 pictures) or $599 for the 16GB (750 pictures):

  • Bentleys Camera House: Indooroopilly (QLD), Robina (QLD), Carindale (QLD)
  • Camera Electronic: Perth (WA) Croydon Camera House – Croydon (VIC)
  • Diamonds: Adelaide (SA)
  • Digital Camera Warehouse: Brisbane (QLD), Sydney (NSW), Melbourne (VIC) Michaels – Melbourne CBD (VIC)
  • Myer: Brisbane CBD (QLD), Sydney CBD (NSW), Canberra (ACT), Tasmania (TAS), Chadstone (VIC)
  • The New Camera House: Lismore (NSW)
  • Paxtons: Sydney CBD (NSW), Bondi Junction (NSW), Parramatta (NSW), Chatswood (NSW)