10 Must-have Gadgets for the 2012 Holiday Season

Lytro Light Field Camera
With the tube-shaped Lytro, innocent bystanders may not even notice you've got a camera on hand. Photo courtesy of Lytro

Here's a great gift choice for the shutterbug who has (almost) everything. The Lytro is the first consumer camera that records a light field rather than a picture. That means the user can adjust the focus by tapping the touchscreen after taking the shot. Once the photo is downloaded onto a computer, clicking on it will change the focus.

This is a camera gift that's unique from the get-go. You might not even guess it's a camera: The aluminum housing looks like a long square tube. The zoom and shutter release are built into the silicone grip at the rear, and no focus means no delay once the button is pushed. A touch screen at the end serves as view finder and allows you to change the focus after the shot is recorded. It also gives access to settings and controls [source: Lyrtro].

The camera shoots in two modes. Regular mode allows a wide range of refocusing options from about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) to infinity. Creative mode narrows the focal range and gives the resulting photo higher resolution. It also lets the user get closer to the subject, making it great for macro shots and portraits.

Another great feature of the Lytro is the ability to share. The user can post photos to his or her page on the Lytro Web site as well as to Facebook and Twitter. The really cool thing is that once the person shares, friends can have fun by tapping on the pictures to refocus them -- in effect creating their own photos. The innovative Lytro sells for $399 to $499, depending on internal storage capacity.