Lytro, known for bringing light-field photography into the modern digital photography scene, has just announced their second product, the Lytro Illum.
“With LYTRO ILLUM, creative pioneers — ranging from artistic amateurs to experienced professionals — will tap into a new wave of graphical storytelling. Now artist and audience alike can share an equally intimate connection with the imagery, and, in a sense, jointly participate in the magic of its creation,” said Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal. “By combining a novel hardware array with tremendous computational horsepower, this camera opens up unprecedented possibilities to push the boundaries of creativity beyond the limits inherent in digital or film photography.”
The Illum looks a lot more like a traditional camera compared to Lytro’s first camera which was basically a long rectangular box. The new camera features a sleek black body with a prominent handgrip and a large black aluminum lens with a set of zoom and focus rings. The Illum uses a custom-designed 1-inch 40-megaray light field sensor that, when partnered with the camera’s lens, enables it to shoot at a max shutter speed of 1/4000. The Illum’s lens is a constant f/2.0 aperture 30mm-250mm 8x optical zoom lens which features 13 pieces of glass that are able to, along with Lytro’s software, determine the direction and source of each light ray which then enables the camera to collect enough light data to create the unique light field photos Lytro’s cameras are famous for.
“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 top of the body features a standard hot shoe as well as the camera’s shutter button and Lytro button; the Lytro button activates the camera’s visual depth assist histrogram. The other physical buttons of the camera include two customizable dials, two customizable function buttons, and lock buttons for autofocus and autoexposure.
With the Illum, Lytro has opted to make the rear of the camera tilted slightly upward. Lytro has said that the reason for the design is that they’re hoping users will begin to shoot photos differently; instead of holding the camera up to one’s face, they’re hoping users will start shooting from the hip. The camera’s 4-inch touch screen is also tiltable to further push Lytro’s hip-shooting initiative. The whole camera weighs only around 2 pounds.
The Lytro Illum is now available for pre-order at Lytro’s webstore and will start shipping in July 2014 for a retail price of $1,599.