Autofocus speed is key when you’re trying to take photos of things in motion, like a sporting event, wildlife or candid photos which is why sometimes camera users from both the point-and-shoot and DSLR camera spectrum find themselves frustrated and disappointed by photos that turn out to be blurry and out-of-focus, leaving them with only a memory of what just happened. The Lytro is a camera that seeks to change all of that and the way we take photos.

The Lytro light field camera is developed by a Stanford Ph.D student by the name of Ren Ng who may be about to turn the camera market onto its head. Basically how the Lytro camera works is instead of capturing just one photo from one angle or from one lighting effect or one focus plane, it instead captures everything at all once into one photo. At which one the photo can later be manipulated by changing the focus from foreground to background and vice versa on the fly, allowing photographers to create that “bokeh” effect in different ways on a single photo without requiring extensive knowledge of Photoshop.

Basically this allows photographers to really capture those moments and worry about the details later, rather than spending 15-20 minutes fiddling around with various knobs and buttons and doing mental calculations. Not sure how technical photographers will feel about this. Better yet camera companies will definitely not be pleased about this. With $50 million in funding backing Ren Ng, he’s hoping the camera will be able to make an appearance by the end of 2011 with a price range of, according to Ren Ng himself, anywhere between $1 and less than $10,000. We’re hoping he’s joking about the $10,000.

Check out the Lytro photo gallery where you can view some sample images taken and click on pretty much anywhere in the photo to focus on that point.

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