Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Lytro Refocuses With Illum Megazoom Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

22 April 2014

Lytro, which invented the refocusable picture, has announced it is taking pre-orders for its Illum 30-250mm equivalent megazoom it expects to deliver in July. The $1,599 purchase price (or the pre-order discounted price of $1,499) also includes the Lytro Desktop software to view the unique images.

In a blog entry announcing the Illum, Lytro President and CEO Jason Rosenthal said:

We've spent the last two years custom-building Lytro Illum to advance Light Field Photography to a whole new level. You said you wanted to see what light field could do with more horsepower and pro-grade features and we heard you loud and clear. We outfitted this camera with a completely novel hardware array and unprecedented computational power, both within the camera itself and through a brand-new accompanying software platform. Whereas the first Lytro camera introduced Light Field Photography to the world, Lytro Illum will demonstrate the vast potential of this new category and give you the power to push the artistic frontier beyond anything we've experienced in the 175-year history of photography.

The company also released a video showing the camera in action:


Key specificiations include:

  • Custom-designed 40-megaray light field sensor
  • Light Field Engine 2.0 tablet-class processing provides real-time feedback and can preview the dimensions of each picture on the camera
  • An 8x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent range of 30-250mm, a constant f2.0 aperture and a 1:3 macro capability that weighs half a pound
  • 1/4000 of a second high-speed shutter
  • Lytro button shows the relative focus of all objects in the frame with a color-coded overlay during image capture
  • Four-inch touch screen
  • Lytro Desktop software enables zooming, changing the focus, depth of field and perspective after the picture has already been taken
  • Connections include an external shutter release port, hot shoe, tripod mount, removable battery and SD card slot.

The illum does not have video recording capability, the company confirmed.


The company also listed a few pre-order benefits:

  • Special introductory price of $1,499
  • Personalized camera engraving and special strap
  • Premium customer support and access to educational training, videos, etc.
  • Extended Two-Year Warranty
  • Training from Lytro light field photography experts


In addition, customers who pre-order before July 15 can subject three 2D photos showing how they plan to use the Illum for a chance to win the Ultimate Lytro Photo Experience, "an all-expenses paid, behind-the-scenes photo shoot with Lytro and a professional photographer from one of your favorite magazines."

Five photographers will win an all-expenses paid trip to shoot alongside a prominent photographer at an exclusive photo shoot using their Illum. Twenty more photographers will be selected to participate in an all-expenses-paid trip to attend a Lytro VIP Experience.

The contest rules are posted on the Lytro site.

For more information see the news release below.

Lytro Unveils World's First Light Field Camera And Software Platform Designed For Creative Pioneers

Lytro Illum creates "living pictures" by bringing the power of 3D computer graphics to photography and enabling new avenues for visual storytelling; Customized sensor and Lytro-designed lens deliver previously impossible optical performance; Powerful software platform enables revolutionary interactive experience

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Lytro, Inc. has revealed its powerful vision for the future of photography with the unveiling of Lytro Illum, a light field camera and software platform 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.

The camera paves the way for an immersive brand of storytelling in which images can be brought to life in multiple dimensions through Light Field Photography -- a transformative new category that empowers artistic creation and expression beyond what is possible in the 2D world of digital and film. In capturing the color, intensity and direction of every light ray flowing into the camera, Lytro Illum provides a massive amount of visual information that allows photographers to recreate sights and scenes on a truly experiential canvas.

"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."

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 f2.0 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.

"My photography style pushes me to look for ways to tell a more compelling story with every image. Lytro Illum gave me that ability by incorporating an interactive element that captures different visual touch points at every depth," said Kyle Thompson, a Chicago-based photographer known for his surreal conceptual style and

one of the early users of the camera. "With Lytro Illum, I've been able to make a multi-dimensional image with more perspectives to explore."

Lytro Illum's totally unique photographic experience reflects the technological revolution around virtual reality and 3D graphics as powerful new storytelling formats in the Digital Age. In the hands of creative pioneers, the camera is a catalyst for a transformational shift in which the world will increasingly look for opportunities to craft a more immersive artistic experience.

"Light Field Photography is following the classic pattern for a transformational concept," said Lytro founder Dr. Ren Ng. "The original Lytro camera, which launched in 2012, introduced an entirely new era in photography. Lytro Illum will advance this movement to a new level. We are very excited by the potential of this camera to ignite a photography revolution on the magnitude of the transformation from film to digital."

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 know and love.

Lytro Illum Availability

The Lytro Illum camera will ship starting July 2014 for a retail price of $1,599.

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.

For more information about Lytro Illum, please visit For a demonstration of interactive living pictures, visit the Lytro Picture Gallery here.

Lytro Illum Technical specs


  • Custom-designed 40-megaray light field sensor
  • 8x optical zoom lens (30mm-250mm equivalent)
  • Constant f2.0 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 touch screen
  • Dimensions: 86mm x 145mm x 166mm; 940 grams
  • Hot shoe supports all leading flashes

Software Platform

  • 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

BackBack to Photo Corners