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先拍摄,后对焦:Lytro相机颠覆传统摄影

JP Mangalindan 2011年10月24日

位于山景城的新创企业Ltyro发布了一款革命性相机。

    新创企业Lytro的发明对全世界学艺不精的摄影师来说就宛如上帝的恩赐一般。位于山景城的Lytro近日发布了一系列“光场”照相机,相比于传统相机,前者在每张照片里能捕捉到更多色彩、光强和光线。Lytro早在今年初就揭晓了这款相机,并在之前6月份的科技头脑风暴大会(Brainstorm Tech)上做了演示。这种相机不仅能拍摄出更加栩栩如生的照片,而且更为重要的是,它允许用户在拍摄结束后对照片焦距进行调整。

    Lytro计划在明年初发布三款光场相机,起步价为399美元。其中两款颜色分别为“电子蓝”和“石墨黑”、内置8GB存储器,能存储350张照片;另一款颜色为“火热红”,拥有16GB存储空间,能存储750张照片,售价为499美元。Lytro公司的网站现在已经开始接受预订。

    光场相机看起来与普通傻瓜相机差别极大。它是一个狭长的矩形,长度为4.4英寸,底面积是1.6平方英寸。矩形一边是一组镜头,另一边则是一个液晶触摸屏。沿着外壳,分布着电源键、拍摄键、USB接口,以及一组极其灵敏的滑动装置,能够移动F2镜头和实现8倍变焦。重量仅为7.5盎司,非常轻盈,和Nook Touch电子书的重量差不多。

    用户能在Mac上使用专用软件编辑照片(明年晚些时候Lytro会发布PC版的软件),还能在Facebook上分享这些照片,用户的好友可以放缩、及对照片进行重新定焦。如果Lytro真能一举成功,它可能将彻底改变专业乃至业余摄像师的生活。公司创始人吴仁(音译——译注)称:“人们可以先拍照后思考。以后就可以用全新的方式拍摄和编辑照片。”

    换句话说,用户不必再操心如何对相片进行恰到好处的对焦,只需尽情拍摄,然后在后续编辑过程中进行定焦即可。吴仁表示,光场相机极为强大:用户能在几天、几个月、甚至几年后重新回看和定焦照片。对于大众用户,这意味着他们不用再烦恼如何拍摄“完美的照片”。对于专业人员,则可在后续工作中重新回看照片,对焦距进行细微调整。

    实际使用效果究竟如何?笔者亲手体验了一下Lytro的光场相机,结果当场就震惊了。光从外型看,这个圆筒型的家伙就和其它相机大为不同。铝合金和硅胶树脂打造的外壳手感非常舒服,物理按键和触摸屏非常友好,极其容易使用。吴仁极大地改进了相机的瞬间快门能力,实际使用中,拍照后几乎没有延时。就照片本身而言,重新定焦非常容易,至少在Lytro光场相机的触摸屏上的表现是如此。

    过去一年,Lytro公司引起了极大关注。现在,一款革命性的新设备似乎终于要面世了,看来大家对Lytro的关注确实有道理。

    更新:回答一位读者的疑问,Lytro光场相机也能拍摄3D照片。吴仁称,明年初相机正式开始销售之后,Lytro将会在软件更新中实现3D拍照功能。

    译者:项航

    It could be a godsend for awful photographers around the world. Mountain View-based startup Lytro, which launched earlier this year and demoed at Brainstorm Tech last July, just unveiled a line of "light field" cameras that capture more color, intensity and light per shot than traditional cameras. That makes for more vibrant photos, but most importantly, it allows users to change the focus within an image after it's been taken.

    The Lytro will ship early next year in three models starting at $399. The electric blue and graphite models will include 8 gigabytes of integrated storage and hold up to 350 images; the $499 "red hot" version will offer 16 gigabytes and hold up to 750 images. They're available for preorder now on the company's web site.

    The device looks nothing like a traditional point-and-shoot. Instead, its elongated, rectangular shape is 4.4 inches long and 1.6 inches square. The lens sits at one end while, and at the other, there is an LCD touch-screen display. Power and shutter buttons, a USB port, and a touch-sensitive strip to move the F2 lens through its 8X zoom range are arranged along the sides. And at 7.5 ounces, it's also pretty light, roughly the same weight as a Nook Touch.

    Users can edit photos via proprietary software on a Mac (a PC version will come later next year) and can share them on Facebook, where friends can interact with them by zooming in and refocusing. If the Lytro takes off, it could change the way professional photographers and even casual photo users take pictures. "It lets people shoot first and think later," says company founder Ren Ng. "Now you can take a picture and compose it in a new way."

    In other words, instead of worrying about getting the focus on a subject just right, users can snap away and focus on the image during the editing process. According to Ng, that makes the device extremely powerful: people can revisit and refocus an image, days, months, even years later. For mainstream users, that means not having to worry as much about taking "the perfect shot." Professionals, meanwhile, can revisit photos and tweak the focus during the course of the work.

    So what's it actually like to use? I came away mostly impressed from our hands-on with Lytro's camera. That cylinder-like shape certainly makes a statement and differentiates it from many other point and shooters already out there. The combination of cool aluminum and silicone is pleasant to hold, and navigating around the combination of physical buttons and touchscreen is pretty easy. Ng was also quick to push the instant shutter ability, and indeed, there was little lag between shots. As for the photos of themselves, refocusing, at least through the Lytro's touchscreen, was a breeze.

    Lytro has been the subject of intense speculation over the past year. Today, with a seemingly revolutionary new device, it showed that attention was not unwarranted.

    Update: To answer one reader's question: yes, the Lytro camera takes 3-D images. According to Ng, that feature will come via software update soon after the camera ships early next year.

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