If you’ve never heard of the Lytro, don’t fret because neither had I. I won’t go into specifics as I recommend you check out their website to get all the technical details of the camera itself but to briefly summarize the product, the Lytro basically allows you to freeze a moment in time and be able to view everything that frame has to offer. Unlike a conventional camera that only allows you to view whatever you are focused on, the Lytro captures an entire light field of information. It’s hard to explain in words what this does so instead, I recommend you check out the Lytro website and visit their gallery here to get a feel for what the camera can do.

As you can see, the Lytro is able to focus on any portion of the image as if you had taken multiple images of it, but in actually, you have only taken 1 picture. It’s pretty amazing what it does. It does all this without the use of auto-focus which also means that you’ll be able to snap images almost instantly without having to worry about whether or not the subject is focused or not. The images are saved in a proprietary format however that allows you to focus the images after the fact. Using special software, you’ll be able to upload these images to your favorite social networks as well as export them to a more friendly jpeg format if need be.

The Lytro is available to preorder right now on their site for $399 or $499 depending on the amount of storage space you opt for. If you’re in the market for a new camera and want something very different from what you currently have, I highly suggest you check out the Lytro.

[via Lytro]