The Most Badass Camera In The World Gets VR Magic

Some VR, and a whole lot more

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© 2017 Lytro

Users will now be able to create animations of 3D photos that THEY took! Basically, because of the way the Lytro cameras always capture the direction of light that enters the lens, Lytro users can always create 3D pictures from their images.

Lytro, arguably one of the most badass camera manufacturers in the world, is delving their toes into VR.

In order to ensure that even the most beginner of photographers can get their hands on the newest virtual reality experiences, the company has been making major updates to its flagship camera and desktop software.

It’s true, Lytro’s flagship, the Illum, is hardly for beginner photographers because it’s expensive (but not more so than any serious DSLR) - but the point is that that current VR cameras are massive bulky machines that are not fit for consumer consumption. Just last week I wrote about a new VR camera, but it’s marketed for Hollywood only.

The Illum, which launched last summer, is getting new software that will update the interactivity. Users will now be able to tap to refocus, drag to shift perspective, twist to adjust the aperture - and all of this will be on the rear LCD. Another new addition is a 3x faster autofocus, as well. Basically the Illum 2.0 update is coming to make a better camera.

Where’s the 3D, you ask? I’m so happy you did. The real upgrade is coming to the desktop software. That might sound a little boring at first, but wait for it: users will now be able to create animations of 3D photos that THEY took! Basically, because of the way the Lytro cameras always capture the direction of light that enters the lens, Lytro users can always create 3D pictures from their images. Which means that they can use those images, and turn them into a VR experience - so long as they have a compatible VR headset like the ultra cheap Google Cardboard or the Samsung Gear VR, Lytro users have a way.

The new desktop additions also allow exporting photos for lenticular printing - a specialized printer that allows for hologram prints!

So, if you weren’t convinced before that Lytro was manufacturing some of the most badass cameras in the world, I bet you are now.

The new upgrade means that Lytro users will also be able to edit their images on the holy mecca of all photo editors: Adobe Photoshop. A new Photoshop plug-in accompanies the new software update which means that users can import all their fabulous photos, make the necessary edits and export them back into their Lytro app to share.

The new desktop additions also allow exporting photos for lenticular printing (a specialized printer that allows for hologram prints!), which means the image can change based on the angle the user is viewing it.

 

This is truly innovative stuff, and I’m really happy to hear that Lytro made it here first. The company, which is nothing but innovative, has been commercially flopping for a while now. Despite the massive interest when Lytro first revealed its “living pictures”, photos that could be refocused by a single click after the image was already generated, for whatever reason, the company never took off. Their light-field photos require tons of space, and third party support is basically nonexistent, and obviously since Lytro’s innovative first step, smartphones can now replicate Lytro’s signature refocusing move.

To date, the biggest complaint I have against Lytro is its lack of video. But never fear, Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal took a lot of criticism to heart during Illum’s reviews. In fact, I’m quite sure it’s next on the agenda, if 3D is already a priority. "Think crazy high-resolution, very high frame rates, and a set of editing capabilities that will take the VR world to a level it hasn't seen before," teases Rosenthal.