Lytro’s Focus Spread makes your “background defocus” apps feel terribly, terribly inadequate

In just one simple update, Lytro has taken the game up a notch with a unique feature that’s über practical to boot.

Since its launch, the Lytro Illum has been making waves as a serious camera with features that have had serious implications for photography. Suddenly, even smartphones were clamouring to have post-capture defocusing on their snappers.

Just to recap, Lytro first stepped into the spotlight in 2012 with the original Lytro camera that showcased its cutting edge, light-field imaging technology. It is an out-of-the-box approach to a relatively traditional technology and art form; it was also the first time most people ever saw a pocket camera that lets you change the focus point, perspective, and depth of field AFTER the picture has been taken.

Now the Illum has just received a killer update: Focus Spread. Essentially, it makes possible shots that traditionally have to be edited and manipulated digitally. What Focus Spread has for a party trick – and it’s very good trick at that – is to keep multiple subjects or objects in a frame focused, while at the same time creating a bokeh effect for the rest of the picture. It’s possible to make selected parts on the picture have a sharpness of f/16, as well as bokeh shots that look like they were shot with f/1 aperture.

Sure, you can get the same effect by stacking multiple exposures at different apertures, but why would you want to spend time on that when you can get the same result simply by dragging on a virtual slider? This is the future of digital imaging.

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