The Lytro digital camera introduces a Shack-Hartmann configuration into a digital SLR camera. Why? For “lightfield” (wavefront) imaging, allowing for depth information in the captured data. While this kind of thing has long been used for scientific instruments, in particular for laser beam measurements, the Lytro camera brings this capability (and the not insignificant post-processing know-how and hardware required) to photography in the visible. For rather more detailed information, check out the PhD thesis of Ren Ng, the founder of Lytro.
Here’s a demo image of our VIRP chamber, note that mousing around the image and clicking allows one to change the focus of the image, and the imaging plane. Mouse wheel to zoom. It’s going to be an excellent tool for scientific imaging!
* Banner image from Lytro.com.