Lytro Illum changes focus even after you've taken the photo

A photo is a moment frozen in time, unless you're snapping with the new Lytro Illum, which can change the focus of a photo even after you've taken it.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

The Lytro Illum Douglas Evans/Lytro

There's nothing worse than taking what feels like a great photo, then opening it later to discover it's out of focus. The Lytro Illum solves that problem by taking photos that you can focus and re-focus even after you've taken them.

The Illum is a light-field camera, allowing you to adjust focus, perspective and depth of field in an image you've already snapped. It works by absorbing and recording all the information that comes through the lens, then creating pictures that can be altered later by simply tapping on the spot you want to be pin-sharp and in focus.

Although Lytro was first to make a camera that changes focus, you can now do it in phones such as the HTC One M8 -- check out our guide to the One M8's camera features -- which is a real blow to Lytro's prospects in the consumer market.

Watch this: Hands on with the Lytro camera

The first Lytro Light Field Camera was a small block-shaped thing that looked nothing like a camera as we know it. The Illum looks more like a traditional camera, complete with a much bigger screen and a more familiar grip.

The Illum looks more like a camera than the first Lytro model. Douglas Evans/Lytro

The original Lytro had a fixed lens, while the Illum adds an 8x zoom. It has a fixed f/2.0 aperture.

Lytro's new Illum goes on sale in the US in July and costs $1,599 (£950). If you get in early and buy one before 15 July, you get $100 knocked off a special engraved version of the camera. The company hasn't yet announced pricing or availability in the rest of the world.