Lytro’s first camera in 2011 was a class apart. It still is. The handheld kaleidoscope-like point and shoot camera let users refocus their images after shooting them, which was a super feature for $399, but just wasn’t professional enough as per some reviews. This ‘professional’ part has now been rectified in Lytro’s DSLR camera Illum, a shooter with 8x ((30 – 250mm) optical zoom, f/2.0 aperture, a 4″ touchscreen display and a 1/4000 shutter. If you’re serious about photography, you need to check out this technological awesomeness soon enough. Some may feel that this is just an upgraded version of the previous model, but seriously, it’s at the other end of the diameter compared to the first. You may lay your hands on it come July, and proudly take it home for $1,599. Oh, and you get a $100 off if you pre-order before July 15 along with a 2-year warranty. Whipping further cream on the cake, people who pre-order get to submit their original photo series and win a trip with a professional photographer for company in an all-expense paid photo shoot.

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Lytro practically pioneered light field cameras in 2011, which not only capture the image, but also the direction of the light ray bundles in the frame. Company claims that Illum’s new sensor can capture 40-megarays (mind you, no megapixels here) compared to the first’s 11 million. The camera’s processing software works smooth with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. Photographers can use this to their advantage – to refocus the images, to adjust the depth and to create 3D imagery (now what’s more cooler than this – shooting on a single lens camera and getting a 3D image – Wow, just WOW!)

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The lens and the bigger sensor are not just the two differences to justify the towering price of Illum. In Illum is an in-built software that color codes the display with depth information, providing you details earlier on of the depth range you need to work on while shooting an image. Lytro believes that this feature will assist photographers to start thinking in three dimensions. Once ready, users may export the images to known image formats, or post them online for all to see and edit later. The angled touchscreen is another supercool feature. The body is extremely lightweight, and can be compared to some of the best ruling DSLRs in the market right now.

Check out some sample Lytro images here (seriously, have fun with them!)-

Lytro’s Illum is adding the joy in the ‘joy of creating good pictures’, and one can safely say that with this camera out in the market, light-field shall be seriously considered by the leading DSLR manufacturers as well.