Light field technology makes it possible to capture 4D light field information of any scene, bringing in more powerful data for images than what the traditional cameras offer. When the traditional cameras could offer just the plain image detail, but not the high end or the 3D details as light field photography based cameras does. The later will take up the details of light travelling in every direction through each point in space, and that makes it possible to define a scene to its fullest in multidimensional.
The take here is, when the traditional camera captures a scene by making use of just a lens, the light field camera does this making use of many; and that’s how the high end details are added. Basically any light field photography enabled camera holds one main lens and then an array of microlenses to its back and an image sensor falling back to this array. Now the whole arrangement needs for it an image crunching engine to finally make a usable 3D image to the captured scene. The good news that this awesome imaging technology is not anymore the lab only available thing. It’s available, compact and highly portable as lightfield plenoptic cameras now.
Light field 3D cameras are available from 2010 on, Raytrix (Germany) came up first with models with resolutions from 1MP for industrial and scientific applications. Another one is Lytro, by Ren NG, the light field camera he developed when he was a student at Stanford University, where the very first light fields were captured 15 years back.
Raytrix R11 3D camera comes with an array of 20,000 micro lenses, priced at about USD 25,000, this model got you a 2.7 MP still images and 30 fps video. For image crunching, the camera need to be connected to a high end graphic processor (Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 or higher) installed computer via a Gigabit Ethernet cable. The Lytro models are compact and low priced, coming with 8x optical zoom, constant f/2 lens. Featuring Lytro Light Field Sensor and the built in Lytro Light Field Engine 1.0 for processing captured light fields for interactive pictures with a light field resolution of 11 Megarays. Available in three flavors, Red Hot, Graphite and Electric Blue, built in storage(8GB-16GB) with a starting price tag of 399 USD.