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Fad or future?

I’m not sure why i’ve never blogged about Lytro before because the company has been on my radar from some months now and what they’re doing in the world of photography could be huge. Perhaps it was that until last week they were only promising magic – now they’re offering it up for sale. Take a look at the Lytro Light Field Camera.

Lytro camera

Odd-looking, no? And quite expensive too at $399 for a camera with only 2 buttons and a fixed 8GB capacity. So what’s the big deal? Well, this thing captures images that can be re-focused later. Yes, later. Afterwards. AFTER THE FACT. You just take photos and adjust the focus to your heart’s content when you’ve downloaded them to a computer. It’s quite incredible stuff. Go and take a look at the examples in Lytro’s gallery. And if you want to try and understand how this thing works then check out their explanation here.

This tech could be future of photography. Or it could just be another passing fad. I can’t wait to see some real-world reviews and find out which it might be…

Celebrating Steve.

Apple has posted a video of their event at the Cupertino headquarters for staff to mark the passing of Steve Jobs and celebrate his life and work. Visit to watch the video stream.

If you don’t fancy watching the whole 80-or-so minutes of footage then might i suggest you at least watch Jonny Ive’s speech at about the 47 minute mark. It’s lovely – equally amusing and touching.

Oh, and one interesting thing i noticed: Not a single person reads their speech from an iPad. It’s an all paper affair. How curious.

iPhone 4S reviews.

The first reviews of the iPhone 4S (by those people Apple deemed worthy enough to have early access to the device) have gone online today. They are, unsurprisingly, very positive.

For a fairly quick, straight-forward review head over to Daring Fireball, where Gruber focuses mainly on the updated camera and on Siri…

iOS is explicit and visual. Everything you can do in iOS is something you can see and touch on screen. The limits are visible and obvious. Siri, on the other hand, feels limitless. It’s fuzzy, and fuzzy on purpose. There’s no way to tell what will work and what won’t. You must explore. I found it extremely fun to explore Siri — primarily because so many of the things I tried actually worked. It’s a completely different interface for interacting with your iPhone. You’re not driving or commanding the existing iPhone interface with commands. There is no syntax to memorize. You’re just, well, talking to your iPhone.

Meanwhile, Stephen Fry offers a short review of the 4S and iOS 5 on his blog.

Siri, the high quality and ultra-fast camera, 30 fps 1080p HD video, globally available voice recognition and the introduction of two antennae (the phone seamlessly switches between whichever is getting the strongest signal) are features that make the 4S irresistible; what is more, the unchanged form means that a whole new range of covers and accessories won’t be required.

If you are tired of the upgrade race or feel you can’t justify the expense, you at least have the knowledge that iOS 5 will transform your existing iPhone enthrallingly.

If you fancy a slightly more detailed look at the new iPhone, you could do worse than try the review at This Is My Next. Joshua Topolsky is marginally less glowing than other reviewers and highlights a couple of things i was not aware of, including this titbit about the new iCloud Photo Stream…

There’s one other issue with Photo Stream that I find a little disconcerting. Once your pics have uploaded to Photo Stream, you have no way to delete individual photos. You can delete all of your photos and turn off the service (thus allowing you to delete on your devices), but you can’t choose single files to delete by hand. The moment you finish taking photos, they’re upped to iCloud where they basically cannot be manipulated. It’s actually a bit upsetting — it feels like you don’t have full control over your content.

Finally, for a truly in-depth review, visit Macworld where Jason Snell will tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the iPhone 4S. The review also includes a great video of Siri in action, which may be of interest even if the rest of the review proves too much for you.