Is the new Light L16 yet another game changer in the world of photography?
Update 2021: The answer is no. It's not a game-changer. This product never made it to market and the company website is now gone. I must admit I had my doubts!
The L16 from Light.co is quite incredible and possibly the next evolution in the way we build and use cameras. Especially for general, non-professional use.
With the Light L16 and the smaller mirrorless cameras, my Canon DSLR's and heavy lenses are looking rather outdated. This camera has 16 lenses on one, small, smartphone-sized, Android run, multi-aperture computational camera. Boom!
"Meet the world’s first multi-aperture computational camera. The Light L16 Camera uses breakthrough optics design with the most advanced imaging engine ever created to give you the control of a DSLR with the convenience of a smartphone.
With 16 individual cameras, 10 of them firing simultaneously, the L16 captures the detail of your shot at multiple fixed focal lengths. Then the images are computationally fused to create an incredible high-quality final image with up to 52 megapixel resolution."
How the Light L16 Works
When you push the shutter button, the L16 uses 10 of the 16 cameras (I know) simultaneously. It then fuses these together to give you an incredibly high quality, 52 megapixel image. But there's more.
The L16 is based around an Android system which then allows you to upload the images directly from the camera. You can upload them to all your favourite social media sites.
Instead of a high end Smartphone with great camera like the iPhone 6s, this is a superb (on paper anyway) looking camera. It has great Wi-Fi capabilities as well as use of all the Android apps you have on your phone.
Does the Light L16 Shoot Video?
Indeed, you can shoot 4K video from just one of the camera modules. This is done using a 35mm, 70mm, or 150mm effective focal length lens. Cool!
Which Media for the Light L16
The L16 currently has a generous 128gb of on-board storage. This could change by the time the camera is released in late summer 2016 with final spec being announced in Spring 2016.
Does the L16 have macro capability?
Of sorts, the Light L16's minimum focus is 10 cm at wide angle (or 35mm) and 1m at telephoto (150mm). So, not too bad but not quite 1:1 I suspect.
How does the Light L16 compare to a DSLR?
I will let Light.co explain that…
"A traditional DSLR uses one lens to focus light onto one sensor in order to capture a photo. The Light Camera uses multiple apertures and sensors, in conjunction with state of the art computational imaging, to combine those images into a single, higher quality photo with up to 52 megapixels."
It also looks like Apple and one of its main manufacturers are investing in multi lens and sensor arrays for their future Smartphones. So the future is kind of crazy cool (and expensive looking) right now.
Price of the Light L16 Camera
The L16 is set to retail at $1,699 but there is a launch discount of $400 with free shipping making it $1,299 if you get in early. More info on the price and Light L16 camera.
Gallery of Light L16 Images
Check out a small sample of images below which were taken on the Light L16. The first two show varying depth of field from a single image and for some reason the low light shot has been splurged (degraded) on upload. The original is pretty good.