Lytro cameraA camera touted as marking the most significant shift in photography since the digital revolution will be available from early 2012, its maker, Lytro, has announced.

?Unlike conventional cameras, the Lytro light field camera captures all the rays of light in a scene, providing new capabilities never before possible, such as the ability to focus a picture after it?s taken,? said a spokesman for Lytro Inc, a US-based firm that has been working on the technology for five years.

Makers of the Light Field Camera claim it will be the only consumer camera that allows people to ?instantly capture a scene just as they see it by recording a fundamentally richer set of data than ever before?.

The camera contains a ?light field engine? designed to allow users to refocus pictures in camera.

‘To record the light field inside the camera, digital light field photography uses a microlens array in front of the photosensor,’ states the firm on its website.

‘Each microlens covers a small array of photosensor pixels.

‘The microlens separates the light that strikes it into a tiny image on this array, forming a miniature picture of the incident lighting. This samples the light field inside the camera in single photographic exposure.’

There will be 8GB and 16GB versions, priced $399 and $499 respectively.

The cameras will feature an 8x optical zoom, f/2 lens and 3.3cm LCD touchscreen that can be used to set exposure.

The spec-sheet suggests they will come with an ?11 Megarays’ [ ’11-million light rays’] sensor.

It is not clear what pixel resolution this equates to.

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