Firmware Friday: Lytro Illum gets better autofocus, brand-new interface… and a smaller buffer?


posted Friday, July 17, 2015 at 2:08 PM EST


Firmware Friday this week is a little bit unusual, as Lytro's new Camera Software 2.0 update lands for the Illum light-field camera. The reason? Lytro giveth, and then it taketh away!

After installing the new Lytro Illum v2.0 firmware, you'll gain access to improved autofocus. (It might seem counterintuitive that a camera whose fundamental purpose is to allow refocusing post-capture would need autofocus in the first place, but you can only do so within a certain range. Hence, you must still either autofocus or focus manually to achieve the refocusable range you need in your final image.) Although Lytro doesn't state how much of an improvement has been made, it describes autofocus as "significantly" faster.

The Lytro Illum v2.0 firmware also brings a completely redesigned user interface, complete with a full-screen mode that removes distractions while composing your image, quick access to the rearrange menu, and improvements to the info bar, optical offset and bracketing interfaces. And as an added bonus, if you have the Viltrox JY-680L external flash strobe for your Illum, you can now control flash settings from the camera body.

All of which is great, but there's sadly one feature change in the new firmware that, while doubtless necessary, is a bit unfortunate. Although its buffer depth of just ten frames at a sedate three frames per second was already pretty limited, it has apparently been reduced by 20% in the quest for greater stability and reliability. The long and the short of this is that you'll now only be able to manage a 2.7-second, eight-frame image burst after installing the new firmware. (But hopefully, your camera should at least prove more reliable.)

The Lytro Illum Camera Software v2.0 can be downloaded now from the company's corporate website. And that, for this week, brings us to the end of our Firmware Friday roundup. The only other firmware news we're aware of this week was already covered in an earlier artlce, "RED’s latest firmware gives its EPIC and SCARLET cameras true still image capture"... Check back next time for all the latest from the world of camera firmware!

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license. Image has been modified from the original.)