So, does it work? Yeah, sure, I guess. It has a tiny little sensor, so like any small sensor camera, pretty much everything is in focus pretty much all of the time anyway. If you actually want to see the power of refocusing at work, you essentially need to compose your shot with that in mind. You need to put a humming bird feeder a few inches from the lens, with San Francisco Bay at infinity in the background. Lytro talks about how this camera eliminates the need to worry about focus. But of course you want to take advantage of the cool thing that your camera can do, so you end up thinking more about focus when shooting with this camera, rather than less. It would be a different matter if shooting with the Lytro were like shooting with a 50mm f/1.2 on your Canon 5D Mark III, where your shot of that beautiful woman can be ruined because you focused on the tip of her nose, rather than her eye. Besides the fact that the Lytro can’t achieve a depth of field that shallow, it doesn’t have sufficient resolution to reveal missed focus that subtle. That’s not soft focus you’re seeing, that’s the maximum resolving power of the 1 megapixel image.
I had an inkling about this but it’s wrong to write anything about it without a test camera and images to proof the theory on my Lytro piece. I have never read anything from ‘Ben’ before, but this Lytro review piece is just great.