Lytro is back with a new light-field camera, called the Illum, aimed at hobbyist and professional photographers alike. Unlike its predecessor, the device looks like a full-frame digital SLR with a wide, protruding lens and chunky body.

It boasts a custom 40-megaray light-field sensor, with an 8x optical zoom lens that can shoot at up 1/4000 of a second and an f/2.0 aperture. The unique sensor captures numerous characteristics of light rays, including their color, intensity and direction. The result is an image that feels 3D – viewers can subtly shift their perspective and also manually set the focal point.

lytro2 730x365 Lytros new $1,599 Illum camera could kickstart light field photography

While a number of smartphones have attempted to mimic this effect with software, none have come close to the images produced by the original Lytro.

The Illum will launch this July for $1,599 and come with a proprietary software platform where photographers can review their images, create custom animations and export files in common formats. Lytro says it’ll also be compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture app, so photographers can easily use the camera with their existing software setup.

With such a high price-tag, Lytro is targeting the Illum at photographers who are already willing to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment. Given light-field photography is still in its infancy, that’s probably a good place to start.

Image Credit: Lytro