Lens flair: how Lytro’s light-field cams work
Lytro cameras don’t capture multiple images, but data about where light is travelling from. They have an extra microlens at the focal plane of the main lens, situated slightly in front of the sensor, which scatters all incoming light, recording the direction from which each ray comes, its intensity and colour.
The light-field tech then uses this info and some tough maths to calculate where the light would have been if you were focusing on a different object, so you can then refocus after the photo’s been taken.
While this new technology certainly gives you more options in post-editing, it doesn’t take the skill out of photography entirely. Basic settings, such as ISO and shutter speed, still have a bearing on snaps, as does ambient light and the movement of what you’re shooting. So the Illum may be able to buff your pics nicely, but it can’t superimpose Ken Duncan behind the controls just yet.