Whereas the original Lytro debuted at $399, the Lytro ILLUM is a $1,599 camera, though it's available for pre-order at an introductory price of $1,499 through mid-July (original Lytro owners are eligible for a 20 percent discount). Why the massive price disparity? Lytro justifies the DSLR-territory pricing by having revamped the camera in several ways. It still uses light-field technology to capture images from different perspectives, but most everything else is different and/or upgraded from the original.
For one, it now looks like a camera instead of a kaleidoscope. The design is very much a modern one, but looks alone don't justify the price hike. It also has a 4-inch touchscreen display, a shutter button, SD memory card slot, removable battery, GPS, Wi-Fi, and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor that's 2,000 percent more powerful than the one found in the original model.
Other specs include a custom-designed 40-megaray light field sensor, 8x optical zoom lens (30mm-250mm equivalent, constant f/2.0 aperture across the entire zoom range, 1/4000 of a second high-speed shutter, and extreme close-focus macro capability,
"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," Lytro stated in a blog post. "Lytrol 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."
In addition to a $100 discount, those who pre-order an ILLUM will receive an exclusive commemorative engraving of the camera's production number.