Imaging developer Lytro garnered lots of attention for its innovative light field photography which captures “the color, intensity and direction of every light ray flowing into the camera,” as the company puts it, “a massive amount of visual information that allows photographers to recreate sights and scenes on a truly experiential canvas.”
However, the first small camera, aimed at the mass market and priced at $399 in 2012, failed to gain popular acceptance as most decided they did not need a camera that delivered photos with less resolution than most phones, even if those photos could be refocused from foreground to background after capture.
Recently, post-capture refocus has been offered by other companies, including a free update last week from Google for its Android camera software. So clearly Lytro needed to market something else…
That something else turns out to be Illum, a “professional-grade” camera the company claims will “redefine the way we portray the world around us” and “give photographers a new medium capable of capturing visual experiences in their purest form — not as a static cross-section of reality, but an authentic, interactive window into their world.” The camera will let photographers “adjust focus, tilt, perspective shift, and depth of field,” Lytro says.
The camera has a new larger sensor, an 8x optical zoom (30mm-250mm equivalent) with a constant f/2.0 aperture, and a 1/4000 of a second shutter “capable of freezing motion under a wide variety of conditions.” There’s also a 4-inch articulating touchscreen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, GPS, and WiFi. It will ship in July for $1,599.