Light L16: The DSLR that Fits in your Pocket
The humble compact or pocket camera has been rendered mostly obsolete by the camera on our smartphones. With every new flagship phone from top smartphone camera manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, the camera keeps getting better and better. However, the DSLR still wins hands down when it comes to image quality but that also means lugging around a few pounds of equipment that also takes up a lot of space. With the introduction of the Light L16 camera, making the difficult choice of whether to bring along your DSLR or not is going to be moot.
The main reason why a DSLR captures much better photos is because of light, or the amount of it. DSLR have big lenses and light sensors that capture way more light than the tiny camera lens and sensors on smartphones. Recently we have begun to see smartphones that include two rear cameras that work together to produce better images.
The Light L16 camera takes this concept to the extreme and features a total of 16 high quality lenses on a single device that is about the size of a smartphone. The actual lenses are six 150mm f/2.4 telephoto lenses, five 70mm f/2 midrange lenses, and five 28mm f/2 wide-angle lenses. And then using the magic of software, the camera takes the multiple images and stitch them into what would be the equivalent of an image from a 52 megapixel camera.
For a far better explanation on the technology and the magic of the software at work, watch the short video below.
The Light L16 camera even has a couple of advantages over a DSLR. Focal plane and depth-of-field can be adjusted after an image has been taken. This is somewhat similar to the Lytro camera. On the other hand, the L16 can only work its magic on still images. The software algorithm is too intensive to be applied on video. The camera can still shoot 4K videos but it is limited to using just one of the lenses for that purpose.
As of writing, you cannot buy a Light L16 camera yet as the company has stopped taking orders until they have shipped out to all their existing pre-order customers. Mass production has begun and they expect to start shipping pre-orders from July 2017 onwards. They expect to accept new orders later this year.