This article was first published on: Apr 23, 2014.
Photography has been a constant art form, but it hasn’t seen many groundbreaking changes recently. While camera sensors and DSLRs are improving, and features like WiFi are being added, the essence remains the same. We’re still taking flat 2D pictures. But that’s about to change with the introduction of Lytro Illum.
The Lytro Illum is a revolutionary light-field camera that builds upon its predecessor. It retains the unique feature of allowing you to refocus pictures after they’re taken, but enhances almost every other aspect.
Turn Your iPhone Into a 3D Camera Using Poppy
The world of 3D technology is experiencing a resurgence, from awe-inspiring 3D street art to groundbreaking 3D printing... Read more
What Is a Light-Field Camera?
Light-field cameras use a grid of tiny microlenses to capture light in four dimensions. This means they record not just the color and brightness of light, but also its direction.
This concept isn’t new; it was first suggested by inventor Gabriel Lippmann in 1908. However, the technology to make it practical has only recently been developed by Lytro’s founder Ren Ng and his team at Stanford University.
And that’s where Lytro Illum comes in.
A Fresh Approach to Photography
The Lytro Illum is designed for professionals and serious hobbyists. It features a custom 40 Megaray sensor that captures four times more data than its older version. Coupled with powerful software, this allows you to refocus your images after you’ve taken them.
Wondering what this means in practice? Check out these examples to see the capabilities of the Lytro Illum and light-field technology:
Impressive, right? Let’s delve into the device’s hardware.
The Hardware Details
The Illum’s interface is clean and straightforward, featuring only a shutter button and a special Lytro Button on the top. Other controls like exposure lock and autofocus are also present, managed via a 4-inch touchscreen that’s angled for easier use.
The camera also sports a versatile 35-250mm zoom lens with a constant f/2.0 aperture and macro capabilities. It’s lightweight, weighing just half a pound.
Here’s a look at the microlens array in Lytro’s earlier Light Field Camera:
The Illum also includes standard connectivity options like a hot shoe for flash, a remote shutter port, a tripod mount, and an SD card slot.
Additionally, Lytro offers a set of desktop tools that let you not only refocus but also animate your images for various platforms, including 3D.
The Lytro Illum is now available for pre-order at a special price of $1,499, requiring a $250 deposit. Currently, pre-orders are open for the USA, Canada, EU countries, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia.