Friday, 25 April 2014

Lytro Illum

Engadget reports: [edited]

When Lytro first introduced its light field camera two years ago, it shook up not just the world of photography, but of technology in general. Bundled inside a tiny rectangular block was a groundbreaking image sensor that could capture millions of rays of light along with their color, intensity and direction -- a task that previously required hundreds of cameras and a supercomputer. That hardware combined with some complex software meant that you could not only get a 3D image from a single shot, but also the ability to refocus a photograph after you take it. It's this latter trick that is arguably the Lytro camera's most identifying characteristic, and the one that put it on the technological map.

The Illum lens has a zoom range of 30 to 250 mm with a very wide f/2 aperture across it. All you have to do is tap on an image to autofocus, and toggling through the different settings is just a touch and a scroll away.

At the heart of the Illum is a 40 Megaray light ray sensor, which means it's able to capture 40 million rays of light (in contrast, the original only has 11 Megarays). The refocusing is much finer and more granular - we were able to focus in so tight on a labrador's nozzle that we could see its pores. In addition, the Illum has a mechanical shutter with a speed of 1/4000ths of a second, which Rosenthal says would make it great for sports photography. He showed us an example of a Lytro image where it captured a cloud of dirt as a motorcycle went around a dirt track. If you'd rather shoot things up close, the Illum has an extremely close-up macro capability as well, allowing us to zoom in really close on a pair of jeans and hone in on the stitches. Powering it all is one of the highest performance chipsets available; Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800.

You get all of the same software tricks as before, like 3D imaging and post-shot refocusing, but you'll also now be able to adjust the depth of field in order to widen or narrow the focusing area. Additionally, Lytro has worked out a deal with Adobe and Apple so you can transfer those images to Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture if you wish to work on them after you've adjusted the image's focus and depth of field.

The Lytro Illum will be available July 15 for $1,599.

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