In a field of its own
This one-of-a-kind second generation light field camera captures megarays not megapixels, and allows for refocusing of pictures after they’ve been taken
Photographers can alter the perspective or focus point, even after the shot has been taken by tapping the 4-inch tilting display. This is achieved by capturing the light at multiple angles to create rich 3D data. The Lytro isn’t devised with photo printing in mind, but images to view on desktops, handsets and tablets. The talk here is of megarays not megapixels, and the Illum can capture 40 megarays via its customized CMOS light field sensor. How much of the shot is in focus – its depth of field – is controlled via an onscreen depth scale, with units running from centimeters to meters for guidance. It’s possible to focus as close as 0cm, with the lens glass touching your subject. While that sounds impressive, it takes a bit of trial and error to get results. Compositions with points of interest in both foreground and background work best. Images are around 60MB, so a fast, high capacity SD is required. They can be exported as animations showing focus shifting, and hosted online, with an option to embed such images on any website, or upload for hosting on Lytro’s own. Whether you view this as a pricey curio or photography’s future, this is one device you really must try.
Focus Point Of Lytro Illum
Photography’s many dimensions
Over the past five years digital still cameras, from both Sony and Fujifilm have allowed us to create a 3D photo to display on our flat panel TV, or achieve a lenticular-like effect, giving the illusion of an image with immersive depth. But such gadgets almost immediately disappeared. What’s to say the Lytro Illum won’t be a flash-in-the-pan? More of us now exclusively view our images on handsets and tablets, compared to half a decade ago. The Illum was created with that very end use in mind; it delivers shots you can almost step into. This could be the next evolutionary step in ensuring photography has a future.
Lytro Illum – Specifications
Sensor: 40 megaray light field sensor based on customized CMOS chip
Lens: 30-250mm equivalent (8x zoom) with constant f/2 aperture
Screen: 4-inch, tilting touchscreen LCD display
Weight: 940g without battery