Two years ago Lytro introduced a camera that promised to change photography forever using a light-field sensor to let shooters take a picture and then change the focus afterwards. Its first camera was little more than a webcam in a baton but today the company is doing things over with a higher-resolution camera in a much more familiar hybrid-styled body.
Meet the Illum–it’s Lytro’s monstrously large new camera aimed at creative pioneers. It’s equipped with a new “40 megaray” that does more than shoot square photos. On paper the Illum is a big step up from the original Lytro camera’s 11-megaray images, however, the Illum still only manages to eke out a four-megapixel shot once all the focus points are flattened out.
Lytro has also improved the optics by giving the Illum an 8x optical zoom range lens with a constant f2.0 aperture. The lens is integrated with the camera and features a strange tire tread pattern but it provides a wide focal length range going from an equivalent 30mm to 250mm. Another bit of unique (or weird) design is the angled 4-inch back LCD that slopes down. Luckily the screen it comes attached to an articulating arm so the camera is good for more than shooting photos below eye-level.
On top of all the new body, Lytro says it has revamped its Light Field Engine to a 2.0 spec. The new engine help users compose their photos by display a visual representation of the focus range right alongside the regular histogram. The Illum also has a form of focus peaking that highlights objects in focus with green outlines.
The camera is a beast and it comes with an equally large $1,599 price tag. Early adopters will be able to pick up the camera starting July 2014 for a special introductory price of $1,499. We’ll have to get this camera in for ourselves to try before we can say this camera is the real deal. Until then check past the break for more images and specs on the Lytro Illum.
- Custom designed 40-megaray light field sensor
- 8x optical zoom lens, 30-250mm equivalent, f/2.0
- 1/4000s high-speed shutter
- 0cm extreme close up macro feature
- Articulating touch screen
- Interactive depth feedback display
- 3D photo shooting
- Flash hot-shoe