this is the camera of the future1

Lytro Illum review: this is the camera of the future

The Illum’s design is a perfect microcosm of what this device is supposed to be: the marriage of present and future, emphasis on the future. It looks, in a reductive sense, like a DSLR: there’s a big, cylindrical lens on the left side of the camera, a round grip on the right, buttons and a screen on the back, and a hotshoe on the top. You’re meant to hold it in your right hand with your left underneath the lens, spinning the two dials to zoom and focus. (In fact, it’s so heavy that using both hands is pretty much a necessity.) There’s no mistaking the Illum for anything but a camera.


There’s also no mistaking it for any other camera. Partly because its slanted back (designed so you can see the screen while you hold the camera at chest-level) gives the Illum a vaguely aggressive look, like it’s coming for you and your loved ones. Partly because the matte gray body with blue accents looks like it maybe fell from a spaceship or was lifted from the set of Battlestar Galactica. The Illum is big, bulky, and almost intimidating. I love the way it looks.

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