• 06.05.12

A Light-Field Camera Tutorial From Lytro Director Of Photography Eric Cheng

The best way to understand what makes the Lytro camera a leap forward in photography is to see how it works.


Digital cameras have fallen victim to a common problem in our gadget-obsessed era: They are in a pitched battle over a megapixel here and a millimeter there, but none are changing the way we think about photography. Except Lytro

Eric Cheng






Lytro is a leap forward in photography. While other cameras focus on only one object at a time, the Lytro doesn’t focus at all. Instead, it captures as much light as possible so that you can focus the image later, by manipulating the digital image on your computer.

In this video, Lytro’s director of photography, Eric Cheng, shows how the “consumer light-field camera” works, and offers tips for getting great images from the device. Cheng was a software engineer who quit to follow his passion for diving and photography before joining Lytro, where his role is to “make this new technology around photography understandable to normal people.” He also got peed on by a tarantula during our shoot–let’s see Google’s HR department top that.

Lytro doesn’t replace other forms of digital photography, says Cheng. But it offers certain features you don’t get from other cameras. And it’s a lot more fun than squeezing one more megapixel out of your next photo.

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About the author

I'm the executive editor of Fast Company and Co.Design.