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
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.