The Lytro Illum is a unique camera featuring Light Field technology that allows images to be refocused after shooting. Andy Westlake investigates its exciting potential

Product Overview

Lytro Illum

Product:

Lytro Illum review

Price as reviewed:

£1,299.00
TAGS:

Lytro Illum review – Image quality

All this is great, but what about image quality? Well, to be honest, as a £1,300 stills camera, the Illum isn’t great. It may collect 40 megarays of information, but only a small subset of this data is used for any given image. The upshot is that the software only creates 4-million-pixel images, and these aren’t even technically all that good, with little in the way of fine detail and a tendency to show some rather strange processing artefacts. The files are fine for small prints, up to 7x5in perhaps, but beyond that the lack of quality starts to tell.

However, at this point we’d re-iterate that making still images from the Illum really isn’t the point – the camera is all about making ‘Living Images’ or animations.

ISO settings, detail and noise

The Illum is ultimately a camera, which means we have to assess its image quality. Below we’re showing examples printed at 300ppi, equivalent to an 8.2 x 5.5in print.

Even at low ISOs there’s not a lot of fine detail, and the image can show strange jaggies along straight edges. Noise is becoming quite visible at ISO 800, and shadow detail starts to disappear at ISO 1600. The ISO 3200 setting really isn’t very good at all.

Lytro Illum ISO 80

ISO 80: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO 80

 

Lytro Illum ISO 100

ISO 100: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO 100

 

Lytro Illum ISO 200-01

ISO 200: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO 200

 

Lytro Illum ISO 400

ISO 400: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO 400

 

Lytro Illum ISO 800

ISO 800: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO 800

 

Lytro Illum - ISO 1600

ISO 1600: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO1600

 

Lytro Illum - ISO 3200

ISO 3200: 100% crop

See the full size image at ISO 3200

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Lytro Illum review - Design and operation
  3. 3. Lytro Illum review - Lytro Desktop software
  4. 4. Lytro Illum review - Image quality
  5. 5. Lytro Illum review - Focus
  6. 6. Lytro Illum review - Depth of field
  7. 7. Lytro Illum review - Summary
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