I've been playing around with the Lytro 8GB ($399.99) camera for a day and have found it to be extremely fun, within limits and all it still stirs up the wonder of Photography and makes you want to carry it everywhere you go. A full breakdown of what a Lytro camera is about can be found here and the science behind it's extremely impressive as well, it basically lets you re-focus on any section within a photo after the fact that it has been taken due to how it captures light. First thing I did today was take it to the backyard for a few morning snaps and wanted to share them so you can get an idea and play around with the technology. The great thing about the Lytro camera system is that it lets the viewer change the focus of an image after the person takes it, you can see things in a different light (no pun intended) and offers a cool option readily available. While the image quality suffers a bit especially in low light circumstances, it still can take pictures that you are willing to share and the cool factor alone is worth sharing so imagine when you get to playing around with it.
The ease and quickness that it can snap an image is fantastic but it can present an issue to control setting freaks, you cannot deviate from the f/2 aperture and have no multiple exposure focus points (understandable) besides that one you focus on. As mentioned before the image quality is ok regardless of how cool "11 Megarays" sound as far as specs, keep in mind this is new technology that's not supposed to replace DLSR's but more of an experiment in light as it captures it in multiple dimensions and not just 2D. This is geared more towards people who like to explore different ways to take photos and the fun involved along the way seems to be plenty. I wish the lcd was at a higher resolution because I sometimes had a hard time knowing for sure if the shot was in focus and reminded me of a kid's first digital cam but overall was ok for viewing. Also the lens magnetic snap cover is a pretty good idea on paper but in execution you can easily end up losing the cover. The zoom controls were well placed as a slider on the top of the camera and all you had to do was slide your finger from left to right to use to 8x optical zoom in creative mode.
The camera feels extremely solid and uses the minimalistic approach in controls and UI, making it an extremely easy camera to handle and use. It has enough weight that it has good heft to it and is made of silicon rubber and anodized aluminum, easy to grasp and simple enough that you can snap away with just one hand but better if two. You can easily toss this in your jacket or bag as it doesn't add too much bulk, I wouldn't however recommend pocketing it in your jeans or shirt. Is it worth the price tag and will it replace your point and shoot? The price is a bit high but keep in mind the amazing tech that's in the butter stick sized camera, I would recommend this to people who love photography or like having fun playing with new toys. It will not replace your point and shoot as that's not it's purpose, but will provide much fun when hanging out, experimenting or taking it for a photo walk. For examples of the tech see images see below and remember to focus on different parts of the images by clicking on them.
The Lytro camera is technology and science constructed into a great piece full of fun.