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Lytro’s Illum Camera Is Expensive, But Less Gimmicky Than Thought

Back in 2012, Lytro’s first camera introduced folks to its light-field imaging tech -– letting users tweak focus, perspective and depth of field after a photo is taken. However, that
13 Dec 2014 10:00
Lytro’s Illum Camera Is Expensive, But Less Gimmicky Than Thought
Lytro’s Illum camera

Back in 2012, Lytro’s first camera introduced folks to its light-field imaging tech -– letting users tweak focus, perspective and depth of field after a photo is taken.

However, that first-gen camera’s peculiar body and low-res output limited its appeal. Now, with the US$1599 Illum, Lytro’s back, looking to elevate its unique approach from mere curiosity to a legitimate photographic tool.

I spent some time with the beefy new model to see how far the company’s come.one.

First up, here’s a quick and very basic primer on Lytro’s approach.

In traditional photography, you (or your camera) pick a spot to be in focus, compose the frame and snap a shot. Generally speaking, after the shot is taken, whatever was out of focus stays out of focus; there’s not much you can do to make a blurry background object tack-sharp after the fact.

You’re better off just reshooting and adjusting the focal point or depth of field.

With Lytro’s tech, though, the camera sensor doesn’t capture just the one focal plane you selected; it gathers light info from a wide range of potential focal points, allowing you to tweak the depth of field and have more control over what is and isn’t sharp in post-processing.

 

 

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