If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I’ve played with shadows since they first appeared (though hidden away) in the debug menu. And now they’re here in the mainstream viewer, after a year or more. And though running with shadows enabled is guaranteed to warm up your graphics card, they’re worth it. There’s also a feature to imitate ‘depth of field’ – the behaviour that means that the thing you’re looking at is in focus, but things further away (nearer or more distant) are blurred.
Personally, I don’t think depth of field adds a lot – certainly not in comparison to shadows. And my suspicion is that DoF requires a bit more graphics card grunt than shadows… it definitely makes my card struggle.
Anyway – if you want to play, the settings are in the new Linden Labs viewer, in ‘preferences’ dialog, on the graphics tab. You’ll notice, I think, that if you enable shadows you’ll lose antialiasing, so you may notice some jaggies. But it’s still worth it.