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Lytro unveils professional-grade Illum camera that can focus a picture after shooting it

The new $1,599 light field camera is a huge departure from the previous kaleidoscope-shaped model.
By Ananth Baliga   |   April 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 22 (UPI) -- Lytro has unveiled another professional grade light field vision camera called Illum, improving on its kaleidoscope-shaped model launched in 2011.

The camera, which can refocus a photograph after clicking it, is heftier with fewer buttons, and comes with a non-interchangeable zoom lens. The camera is currently available only in matte-black finish. The camera brings 3D computer graphics to photography, letting users create pictures that can be focused after shooting them.

"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," said Lytro founder Ren Ng.

The Illum is three time costlier than its predecessor, priced at $1599, and comes with a faster processor, a 4-inch touch screen and playback controls that let you preview the dimensions of photos right on the camera. The original Lytro had a fixed lens, while the Illum adds an 8x zoom.

Lytro will be available in the U.S. in July, and customers who buy one before July 15 will get a $100 discount and a special engraved version of the camera. The company hasn't yet released pricing or availability in the rest of the world.

Lytro was founded by Stanford graduate student Ren Ng, who released the first camera priced at $399. The camera works by absorbing all the information that comes through the lens, giving users the option of altering the picture later on by tapping on different parts of the picture, changing the focal point.

The light field sensor senses the direction of the light ratline to the shot, rather than acquiring a single plain of light. This, paired with powerful software, allows Lytro users to pivot the shot around for a 3D effect.

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