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Lytro’s Magical DSLR-Like Camera Lets You Refocus Photos After You Take Them

•, By Mat Honan
 The hand-held point and shoot light-field camera let photographers refocus shots after taking them. It was (and is) very cool, but it wasn’t exactly up to professional standards. With a new camera called the Illum, a DSLR-style shooter with an 8X optical zoom and a high-speed, sports-worthy shutter, Lytro hopes to tap into the creative professional market.

Lytro more or less invented the market for light-field cameras in 2011. Prior to its first release, they had largely been limited to labs. Light-field cameras use a lens array to capture not just an image itself, but also the bundles of light rays, and the direction they are moving in a particular scene. Despite rave reviews, it hasn’t ever really taken off.

With the Illum, Lytro is targeting a more specialized market. In addition to the 8X (30 – 250mm) zoom lens, it has a constant f/2.0 aperture, 1/4000 shutter, and a four-inch backside touchscreen display. According to the company, the new sensor can capture 40 million light rays (Lytro doesn’t list megapixels) to the original’s 11 million. Its desktop processing software works with traditional products, like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom. Photographers can use the camera’s software to refocus pictures after the fact, generate 3-D images, adjust the depth of field, and create tilt shifts. It will be available in July for $1,500.

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