brought to you by Deparment of Optics & Acoustics

note on Lytro Illum

Due to its high price tag, Lytro Illum is currently not on my shopping list. I might be able to ensure the software works with it though, as long as someone shares pictures taken by it.

the camera

My camera model is A1 (reported as F1 by firmware, which likely stands for Firefly model codename). Several colours were made:

February 2012
October 2012
Moxie Pink
November 2013

Pretty good start is the specification available at

The missing pieces are:

ISO Sensitivity range:75 — 3200(both manual and automatic)¹
Shutter Speed range:8 — 1/250(automatic 2.66 — 1/250)²

¹ the value 75 is incorrectly reported as 80 on the display in newer firmwares
² the range used to be 1/16 — 1/250 in older firmwares

inside cut

This was a part of the Science Inside page at Lytro web site:

Cut through the A01 camera

Let's identify the circuit boards as well:

SSensor Board
Revision A6

Contains a CMOS sensor with microlens array (MLA). The microlenses are arranged hexagonally, with rows being the major axis. All microlenses are of the same focal length, with the pitch of 13.89 μm and placed at 25 μm in front of the sensor. Note that the MLA is not parallel to the sensor edge — in case of my camera, the rotation is close to ‑0.006 rad, which makes the most top right microlens to be in the third row at the left side. The captured image consists of roughly 328 × 393.6 ≈ 129,100 microlenses.

The sensor is Aptina MT9F002 14.4 Mpx 1/2.3” sensor (effective imaging area 6.14 × 4.6 mm) with 1.4 μm pixel size. The output frame size is, however, cropped to 3,280 × 3,280 pixels which gives about 10.7 Mpx at 12‑bit resolution.

There is a standard Bayer color filter array (CFA) over the sensor to capture the colors, i.e. data from the sensor are grayscale and it must be demosaiced to get the color information back. It has the R,GR:GB,B pattern with blue being the top left pixel as shown at the side.

Finally, a 3-axis accelerometer is onboard.
UUSB Board
Revision A6

This board contains a Micro USB female connector at the bottom, the shutter button at the top and a piezzo buzzer, which is not enabled in current firmware.
Model No DC-A950 by FORMOSA, 3.7V⎓ 2100mAh 7.77Wh Li-ion

The calibration measurements are:
Working current: -0.2670 A
Working voltage: 3.67 V
Power Consumption: -990.8 mW
Charge current: 1.0210 A
Temperature: 27.4 C
MMain Board
Revision A6

This is the main processing board of the camera. On the front side:

On the back side:
Zoran‘s Camera On A Chip 32-bit RISC digital image processor (part № ZORAN ZR364246BGCG)
SK Hynix DDR2 SDRAM memory (1 GB, part № H5PS1GB63EFR)
Temperature sensor
LLCD Board
Revision A6

There is a Marvell‘s Avastar 88W8787A16 SoC offering WiFi 802.11a/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, and FM radio with RDS and transmit capability on the back side of this board.
1.52” touch-enabled, back-lit LCD display

The resolution of the display is 128 × 128 pixels. The touch circuit is on the back side of the display.
CCap Slider

This is the zoom slider on top of the camera. It consists of 5 capacitive sensors.

Standard pigtail connector, 5 cm. Connected to the LCD Board to support the wireless module.

The manufacturer of the lens is kept secret. The distance from exit pupil to microlenses is 28.1 mm. There is also a second temperature sensor on the lens.

You should also definitely check out the official illustration published in The New York Times and the cut in Wired magazine.

camera disassembly

The contains couple of articles on the camera diassembly (part 1, part 2, part 3), credited to Joshua Reich (slideshare, tumblr) and ewolfy, and a video by Jason Wolf. All these are destructive instructions, though — but you need to begin somewhere.

That being said, I have seen some attempts that could have been smarter, so some tips just in case:

Broken camera? Donate it!

oet exhibits

The Office of Engineering and Technology at Federal Communications Commission has published documents required for the approval of the camera. Lytro's grantee code is ZMQ, and the assigned FCC ID is unsurprisingly ZMQA1.

The reason it had to be approved is that it contains the wireless chips as already noted. The documents are:

For your convenience, here are all the photographs of EUT:

According to FCC rules, Block Diagram, Schematics and Operational Description of the camera remain permanently secret.


The assignee of U. S. Patent 7,936,392 is The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.

(2005/9/30) PDFImaging arrangements and methods therefor

Patents granted to Lytro, Inc:

(2007/11/30)PDFInteractive refocusing of electronic images
(2009/11/20)PDFSystem and method for acquiring, editing, generating and outputting video data
(2009/11/20)PDFSystem and method for video refocusing
(2009/12/8) PDFLight field data acquisition devices, and methods of using and manufacturing same
(2011/2/5) PDF3D light field cameras, images and files, and methods of using, operating, processing and viewing samenew
(2011/4/27) PDFCamera
(2011/6/8) PDFStorage and transmission of pictures including multiple frames
(2012/1/31) PDFDownsampling light field imagesnew
(2012/6/14) PDFSelective transmission of image data based on device attributes
(2012/9/4) PDFLight field data acquisition
(2012/11/6) PDFParallax and/or three-dimensional effects for thumbnail image displaysnew
(2012/7/27) PDFOptical assembly including plenoptic microlens array
(2012/7/31) PDFGenerating and outputting video data from refocusable light field video data
(2012/9/4) PDFLight field data acquisitionnew
(2012/10/31)PDFLight field camera image, file and configuration data, and methods of using, storing and communicating same
(2013/2/22) PDFCompensating for variation in microlens position during light-field image processing
(2013/2/22) PDFLight-field processing and analysis, camera control, and user interfaces and interaction on light-field capture devices
(2013/2/22) PDFCompensating for sensor saturation and microlens modulation during light-field image processing
(2013/4/22) PDFAcquiring, editing, generating and outputting video data
(2013/5/6) PDFOptimization of optical systems for improved light field capture and manipulationnew
(2013/9/10) PDFInteractive refocusing of electronics images
(2013/9/20) PDFVideo refocusingnew
(2013/10/10)PDFConfiguring two-dimensional image processing based on light-field parametersnew

Pending applications for patents:

(2013/11/14) Optimization of optical systems for improved light field capture and manipulation

Disclaimer: Jan Kučera and are not affiliated with or endorsed by Lytro, Inc. and the above information is not confirmed.