Skip to navigation
Latest News

Lytro unveils its next light-field camera: the $1,599 Illum

  • Lytro Illum
  • Lytro Illum
  • Lytro Illum
  • Lytro Illum

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 22 Apr 2014 at 13:05

Lytro has unveiled the follow-up to its first light-field camera, the professional-grade Illum for a whopping $1,599 (£950)

Light-field, or plenoptic, cameras do as the name suggests: they capture the entire light field. That lets you adjust the focus point or change perspective after the fact, and allows for creation of 3D images.

The Lytro arrived in 2012 as the first consumer light-field camera. As intriguing as the initial device was - our review called it "a thrilling development" - one of the complaints about the first model was the cost, with the starting price of $399 considered too much for a niche item that wouldn't replace a standard camera.

Rather than address that with a budget consumer edition, Lytro has come up with the Illum, targeted at "artistic amateurs" and "experienced professionals".

Lytro Illum

As for specifications, it has a 40-megaray light-field sensor, versus the 11 megarays in the consumer Lytro, and the same 8x optical zoom and fixed f/2 aperture as its sibling. It offers a shutter speed of up to 1/4,000s, sports "extreme close-focus" macro capability, and has a "smartphone-class" touchscreen.

Lytro Illum

The Illum is much larger than the original Lytro, weighing 940g versus the first camera's 215g.

It also comes with new software, but the Illum is also compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. "After image capture, the innovative software platform empowers photographers to adjust aspects of images that were previously fixed, such as focus, tilt, perspective shift and depth of field, which allows the photographer to create images that will resonate for the viewer not just in one dimension, but in every dimension," the company said.

The Lytro Illum ships in July; if you pre-order before 15 July, Lytro will shave $100 off the price, throw in a two-year warranty and add you to its "inner circle" of early adopters, with extra support, access to developers and entry into a photo contest.

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

Interesting, but...

Nokia, htc, Google and co. are now offering this in software / software assisted hardware with a normal camera sensor (and in the case of the htc a depth analyser). If they can do that on a smartphone, there shouldn't be any reason not to do it on a PC in post - assuming you have a sufficient DoF to begin with.

It will be interesting to see whether the Lytro can justify its price.

By big_D on 22 Apr 2014

@big_D

read the engadget review... lytro is a fundametally different approach. the smartphone method to achieve those effects are fudges using normal tech. lytro manipulates data at a much lower level.

By wyson on 22 Apr 2014

@big_D

read the engadget review... lytro is a fundametally different approach. the smartphone method to achieve those effects are fudges using normal tech. lytro manipulates data at a much lower level.

By wyson on 22 Apr 2014

Lens is 30-250mm (35mm equivalent). Sensor is 1". Resolution is stated to be 5MP but appears to use some kind of interpolation (2.5MP native?). Image quality is questionable, the samples don't appear to be full size and still look a little squiffy round the edges. The hot shoe is a useful addition and worthy of note.

By Mark_Thompson on 22 Apr 2014

@wyson

I know how Lytro works, my point was that a lot of smartphones are doing similar things in software now, so I think the market is even more niche than it was before - at least for the non enthusiast.

By big_D on 23 Apr 2014

@big_D

The Lytro is very much aimed at the enthusiast. Unfortunately it'll need much better image quality and a higher resolution (it's not really the 5MP they state) before it becomes attractive to people other than early adopters

By Mark_Thompson on 24 Apr 2014

@big_D

You very obviousuly DO NOT know how the Lytro works. The sensor grab in their devices are completely different to smartphones or any other camera sensor. You cannot manipulate tilt or perspective shift in any other camera AFTER the shot has been taken not mind a phone. Comment when you actually know what you are talking about.

By twatkiller on 24 Apr 2014

@big_D

You very obviousuly DO NOT know how the Lytro works. The sensor grab in their devices are completely different to smartphones or any other camera sensor. You cannot manipulate tilt or perspective shift in any other camera AFTER the shot has been taken not mind a phone. Comment when you actually know what you are talking about.

By twatkiller on 24 Apr 2014

@big_D

With normal camera sensors and lenses the focal point is fixed at the time the shot takes place. Desktop software has existed for some time that can effectively make complex selections around objects in a scene and then gradually blur backgrounds to produce a high Bokeh effect that would normally only be possible with expensive lenses, but even then the effect takes a lot of time to perfect and is never perfect, the recent camera phones try to automate this process with pretty poor results! Ideally on a traditional camera/phone you'd need to shoot with a very high aperture to initially get the whole scene in focus before using software to blur out the bits out don't want, the high aperture in turn drastically reduces the amount of light coming through the lense so to compensate you'd need to decrease the shutter speed meaning more motion blur, or increase the ISO meaning more noise in the photo, bother often undesirable effects. Lightfield sensors on the other hand don't set a focal point at capture time, the whole scene can effectively be in focus with an F2 aperture compared with a traditional camera where at F2 almost everything would be blurred apart from the specific focal point.

By Samo42 on 24 Apr 2014

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

advertisement

Most Commented News Stories
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest ReviewsSubscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.