Hands on with the Lytro, a camera that takes ‘living pictures’

Flashback to 2011. I SO wanted a Lytro if not for the novelty, at least my photos won’t be blurry again. It’s hard to explain in words why one would want this camera — more so trying to elaborate its unique feature: being able to define different focal points. Since the Lytro comes with a fixed f/2.0 lens, focal points define the depth of field. Whatev. Just … look at the photo above and use your mouse to click on its different elements:

Click on the green writing on the window. Amazing!

Now click on the raindrops. Spectacular!

Now click on the homes in the background. Sensational!

Now, click and hold the image and drag your mouse around. Awe-inspiring!

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In the flesh, the Lytro is roughly the size of a slice of frozen brazo de mercedes and due to its unique lens construction, becomes quite handy when taking photos with one hand. The Lytro is hailed for its minimalist construction: a touch screen LCD display complements the two hardware buttons for taking photos and for turning the device on and off. Atop the LCD is the hidden touch-sensitive zoom mechanism that allows for 8x optical zoom. Yes, you heard it right — even though the screen’s quality isn’t built to preview high resolutions, the lens pushes for 8x so you may see some discrepancy in quality between the viewfinder and the actual image. The actual image on the computer will look better.

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Because of its unique photo characteristics, you can’t just view Lytro-shot photos on your desktop. The camera comes with an installer for Windows and Mac which drops the app to your desktop. From there, you can upload your photos to Lytro’s Online Gallery. If you don’t have a desktop, this is where it gets funky. You can pair the Lytro via WiFi to your iOS or Android device to view the photos (and depth of field effects) in real time as they are shot. From there, you can upload the photos directly to the online gallery.

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What about sharing photos? Since the camera’s features are hailed from the exclusive gallery, you can embed these photos to your website (like YouTube) and pseudo-share them on Twitter and Facebook.

Here are more photo samples taken at The Ruins in Bacolod and at Magnum Opus Fine Coffees in BF Homes.

The 8GB Lytro model comes with a USB charger, a cleaning cloth and a magnetic lens cap. A full charge will last you about a day or two depending on how many photos you take.

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In the Philippines, the Lytro is being officially distributed by Moduvi and sold through the Mobile1 Online store for PHP 29,900.00

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