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

22 Apr 2014

Light-field camera firm unveils professional grade model, the Lytro Illum

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.

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