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Let there be Lytro
The 16GB Lytro camera is red hot. Supplied picture

Lytro is the first consumer camera that allows you to change the focus of your image after you've taken the photo.

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And it's not just a bit of fancy software trickery. While conventional cameras only capture the colour and intensity of light, the Lytro camera captures a "light-field", recording colour and intensity and the direction of light from a scene.

The technology isn't new - light-field or plenoptic cameras have been used in industry for a while but the Lytro is the first that puts it in the palm of your hand.

There's no delay when taking a photo, no waiting for an auto-focus system. The camera is always ready to shoot.

Choosing your focus after you've taken the photo is not only meant for the photographer. The Lytro camera has been designed with a huge emphasis on photo sharing.

The idea is that you can go out with the Lytro camera and capture images which you can then let your friends and family play with through Facebook and other online sharing services.

After the photographer has taken a photo with the Lytro, the point of focus can be changed. Is the ice-cream more important or should the model's face be the point of focus - and therefore in focus? Supplied pictures

This then gives what the Lytro company calls "living pictures", an experience where people interact with photos rather than just look at them.

The technology within the Lytro camera is not only limited to a focus point change.

I have witnessed an early version of software that allows you to constantly alter the perspective of your photo simulating a truer 3-D version of a scene. This and other ideas such as focus stacking, 3-D video, wi-fi and Bluetooth have been mentioned as future possibilities.

This should not deter you from getting one of the Lytro cameras now, as all future updates will be retro-actively applied to all the photos previously taken with the Lytro camera.

The Lytro camera comes in two models. There is an 8Gb version (holds approximately 350 light field pictures) which comes in electric blue and graphite colours and sells for $499 and a 16Gb version (holds approximately 750 light field pictures) in red hot ($599).

Tech specs

Lens: 8x optical zoom constant f2.0 maximum aperture
Shutter speeds: 1/8s-1/250s
ISO range: 80-3200
Battery life: Up to six hours of continuous shooting.