The Lytro field camera was cute, but completely impractical for anyone who really wanted to take professional imagery. It was a weird rectangle that just never felt like anything more than a toy. Today Lytro intends to change that with the release of their professionally-focused Light Field Camera Illum. It comes with a 30mm-250mm lens equivalent with a constant f/2.0 aperture and will ship starting July 2014 for $1,599.
The Illum and accompanying software is "designed to redefine the way we portray the world around us. Built to harness the full power of the light field, the professional-grade LYTRO ILLUM will 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."
To enable such rich, layered compositions, LYTRO ILLUM delivers unparalleled optical versatility by merging custom-built hardware with a powerful software platform. The camera offers a 40-megaray light field sensor, 8x optical zoom range, constant f/2.0 aperture and a high-speed shutter capable of freezing motion under a wide variety of conditions. 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.
As part of the launch, Lytro is offering a variety of exclusive opportunities to those who pre-order the camera before July 15. In addition to receiving a specially-engraved LYTRO ILLUM for a special introductory price of $1,499 and an extended two-year warranty, they'll be eligible to join an inner circle of Lytro users with insider access to product development insight and support. Even after the product ships, this nucleus of early adopters will continue to receive ground-floor insight and training from the Lytro team, with opportunities to contribute to exclusive developmental projects.
As part of their status as early adopters, individuals who pre-order will have the opportunity to submit their own photo series to earn a spot in the Ultimate Lytro Photo Experience ‹ a once-in-a-lifetime trip to shoot alongside a prominent photographer on an all-expense paid photo shoot. The Lytro team and this pro photographer partner will be on hand to provide high-caliber, hands-on training and practice for getting the most out of LYTRO ILLUM. As the larger photography community gets acquainted with this new style of digital art, these early adopters will have an inside edge on techniques for producing cutting-edge Light Field Photography.
- Custom-designed 40-megaray light field sensor
- 8x optical zoom lens (30mm-250mm equivalent)
- Constant f/2.0 aperture across the entire zoom range
- 1/4000 of a second high-speed shutter
- Extreme close-focus macro capability
- Combination of tactile-controls and smartphone-class, articulating touchscreen
- Dimensions: 86mm x 145mm x 166mm; 940 grams
- Hot shoe supports all leading flashes
- Virtual camera controls in post-processing, including aperture focus and perspective adjustments and physically accurate tilt control
- Instantly displays 3D photos on 3D-capable devices
- Integrated sharing to leading social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
- Library of drag-and-drop cinematic animations, including pan, zoom, focus and perspective shift
- Interactive depth assist
- Workflow is compatible with existing photo-editing suites like Adobe's Photoshop and Lightroom software and Apple's Aperture software
In addition to enabling post-capture image adjustments, LYTRO ILLUM's proprietary software platform enables users to view images in 3D, build custom animations, export images into common formats like JPEG and share to the Web or mobile devices. LYTRO ILLUM's workflow is also compatible with existing photo-editing suites like Adobe's Photoshop and Lightroom software and Apple's Aperture software, allowing creative pioneers to use the tools they already use.
I love this. The tech finally seems more approachable, and it's a camera that feels like a camera. Who else is excited about this? For more info, head on over to Lytro.com.
UPDATE: Imagine translating the images into video. This video provided to us by Lytro shows how you can create living pictures, similar to how After Effects can be used to bring movement to photos: