cameras getting cleverer?

The Economist seems to think so. Although it might have been dazzled by the technology. The most amateur of photographer […]

The Economist seems to think so. Although it might have been dazzled by the technology.

The most amateur of photographer recognizes that regardless of substrate – film or sensor – no amount of chemical or digital post-processing will rescue a poorly executed capture. Until Lytro however, no-one has had the conceit to suggest that every image you take is a ‘keeper’. The technology is backed by some considerable expertise, there’s no doubting that but the company’s founder Mark Levoy seems to be essentially arguing that any old point and click using his device will somehow ‘clone’ the scene for later ‘photographing’ back at the desktop. Only a vanishingly small fraction of the data in the original (real life) scene will exist. When looked at from an artistic standpoint this is slightly cynical. The technology that purports to offer greater control disregards the obvious that there is no substitute for final image quality than taking full advantage of the infinitely resolvable original scene. Lytro is arguing that the compositional element of photography is superfluous. Indeed that photography is not an art. The high-clarity, low resolution somewhat clinical shots at the product website are what you might expect. This is a shiny, instant, work-light gimmick, perfectly positioned for the iPhone generation.

I’ve reserved mine.

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