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Lytro opens Tokyo storefront as light-field experience center

Lytro’s light-field technology is one of those things you need to see to believe. Its cameras and refocusing effect are different from traditional cameras, and must be tried before buying. As we’ve mentioned in our review, the Lytro Illum is such a niche and expensive camera, that not everyone will find it appealing. That could be why the company has just opened its first retail location.

Located in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, the new Lytro Studio, visitors can experience Lytro’s light-field tech for themselves. They can try their hands on the Illum camera and learn to shoot 3D “living pictures.”

Related: Lytro to lay off big chunk of staff, refocus its technology on virtual reality

“With its culture of innovation and active photography, fashion and creative communities, Tokyo is the perfect city to host this studio and illustrate the intersection of technology and imaging,” says Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal, in a release.

Perhaps Lytro has found a wider consumer audience for its technology in Japan. There’s no mention of whether there will be additional Lytro Studios anywhere else in the world. Despite our qualms about the Illum as a camera, we do think it brings a unique experience that no other camera can deliver and is worth playing with (whether it’s worth $1,600 for that experience is up to you).

If you find yourself in Tokyo, make a pit stop to check out light field for yourself (or head to a specialty camera shop like B&H).