Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lytro's new light-field camera

Lytro's new light-field camera looks like an actual camera, costs $1,599

If Lytro's initial camera offered us a sneak peek at the promise of sunshine field photography, the company's second-generation product swings those doors wide open. A so much cry from the toy-like appearance of its forerunner, the $1,599 Lytro Illum looks and seems like a real full-fledged camera meant for a additional skilled crowd. The innovation does not stop at just appearance either, because the Illum may be a way more serious effort at lightweight field photography, with with-it optics, a bigger device and an entire ton of procedure power which may create the Illum the foremost technologically advanced camera to land in shopper hands.

When Lytro initial introduced its lightweight field camera 2 years earlier, it created a sence of exitment in the world of photography. Bundled within a small rectangular block was a groundbreaking image detector that would capture many rays of light along side their color, intensity and direction -- a task that required implementation of many cameras including a mainframe

That hardware, combined with some advanced software system, meant that you just couldn't solely get a 3D image from one shot, however additionally had the flexibility to refocus a photograph once you're taking it. It's this latter trick that's arguably the Lytro camera's most distinctive characteristic, and therefore the one that place it on the technological map.

Fast-forward to 2014 but, and there are currently many smartphones that may imitate this focusing trickery, albeit via software system and a few clever workarounds. Nokia's Refocus app, for instance, snaps many photos in a very row with variable depths of field and is then ready to canvass focus after the very fact. Others, like LG's G professional two and Samsung's Galaxy S5 utilize software system to blur out photos. Indeed, all android phones with 4.4 KitKat and up can pretend a bokeh result because of a brand new Lens Blur possibility in Google's default camera app. instead of being upset by this development, however, Lytro sees it as a positive sign. 

Thankfully, however, focusing is hardly the sole benefit light field photography brings to the table. "Light field photography is regarding capturing the richest data, fundamentally richer than we've ever had" said weight unit. "This is thus we will bring a whole new set of capabilities that were impossible before, as a result of we will flip physics into software system.

It is this capability that is being introduced for the primary time within the Lytro Illum and it has been applied to the lens itself. What will we mean? Well, a classic Canon optical lens that incorporates a zoom vary of seventy to 200mm has regarding twenty two items of glass. The Illum lens, on the opposite hand, incorporates a zoom vary of thirty to 250 millimeter with a awfully wide f/2 aperture across it -- and solely has thirteen items of glass. that very same Canon lens (plus a full-frame body just like the EOS-1D X) would possible weigh around eight pounds. the whole weight of the Illum? a few pound and a 0.5. in step with weight unit, that is as a result of within the Canon lens, "a ton of the glass is employed to figure correcting aberrations in lightweight. It wants the curvature of the sunshine to create the photons land on the device to make the image that you just need." With the Lytro's distinctive image device, however, it's able to discern the direction of the sunshine ray victimisation computation and software system instead.

And what a style it's. The Lytro Illum seems like one thing out of a deposit or a designer piece from a Parisian fashion house. it is a sleek and trendy issue, with a unibody Mg chassis that is hooked up to a beautiful anodized Al lens barrel equipped with each zoom and focusing rings. The grip and same rings area unit wrapped in what seems to be synthetic rubber, that is supple enough to be kind to our hands and fingers. Over on the highest right by the grip may be a giant shutter button along side a Lytro button that provides a visible depth-assist bar graph (more thereon later). misestimation out the physical controls area unit 2 adjustable dials (they default to setting the exposure and therefore the ISO, however you'll be able to customise them), lock buttons for each optical device and autoexposure and some of alternative programmable keys. Sitting atop the camera may be a hot shoe that'll work any normal flash, whereas the sd card slot and USB 3.0 port are on the left facet in a very hidden compartment. The Illum has built-in wifi for wirelessly transmitting those living lightweight field pictures to Lytro's servers, your desktop or on to your iOS device.

If you are curious why there is a focusing ring on a camera that allows you to refocus the image once the very fact, well, it's as a result of reckoning on the depth of field, there won't be plenty of distinction between the foreground and therefore the background. If you switch on the Illum's depth-assist bar graph, however, you will be able to see a depth overlay that color codes things that area unit up shut and within the focusing home in inexperienced, and things that area unit at the so much fringe of the home in orange. Ideally, what you would like may be a nice gradient of inexperienced to orange for the foremost quantity of depth and to maximise the drama in your shots.

What's maybe additional astounding than the camera's chassis, however, is that the 4-inch touchscreen on the rear. As we know, most DSLRs have a programme that is rather incomprehensible for many camera newbies. the amount of buttons and dials that you just got to keep in mind may be quite difficult, that may be a stark distinction from the camera apps on most tablets and smartphones. Lytro, however, has taken a cue from those apps and integrated that very same oversimplified usability approach to the interface on the Illum. All you have got to try to to is faucet on a picture to optical device, and toggling through the various settings is simply slightly and a scroll away. Rosenthal tells North American country they are still understanding the kinks within the software system, however immediately, it's such as you will amendment the synthetic horizon, modify the grid, switch from continuous to single shooting mode, set a self timer and alter between Program, ISO, Shutter and Manual management.

Of course, all pictures on the Illum are captured within the same light field format as before, and you will got to use Lytro's own software system to method them. You get all of identical software system tricks as before, like 3D imaging and post-shot focusing, however you may additionally currently be able to modify the depth of field so as to widen or slender the focusing space. in addition, Lytro has discovered a modify Adobe and Apple thus you'll be able to transfer those pictures to Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture if you would like to figure on them once you have adjusted the image's focus and depth of field to your heart's want.

The Lytro Illum are going to be on the market beginning july fifteenth for $1,599, that sounds overpriced, however the nearest professional camera with the same lens can possible value thousands more. And if you pre-order before that date, you'll be able to snag one for the introductory value of $1,499.


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