Light L16, a 52-megapixel computational camera for your pocket

This new beast looks really interesting, although I remain skeptical about photographers’ real desire to refocus shots after capture & to pay $1699 for the capability:

Using a new approach to folded optics design, the Light L16 Camera packs DSLR quality into a slim and streamlined camera body. It’s like having a camera body, zoom, and 3 fast prime lenses right in your pocket. 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.

You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s generating lots of conversation (e.g. in the PetaPixel comments). [Update: Here’s a ton of detail about the device.]

[Vimeo] [Via]

4 thoughts on “Light L16, a 52-megapixel computational camera for your pocket

  1. Interesting idea to use a lot of small compact lenses to replace the typical big honkin SLR lens. The price point kills it though, for the same $$ you can get an iPhone 6s+ and a nice Sony RX100M.

    It’ll go onto the photographic curio shelf, alongside the Foveon and Lytro.

    1. In my opinion the holy grail in photography is much better dynamic range, sorely lacking in all cameras today. Which this new camera technology doesn´t seem to attempt to improve.

      1. Actually, it promises to do just that. They fire multiple cameras covering the same field of view, each with a different exposure parameter. In the linked Imaging Resource interview, they estimate something like 4 to 6 stops of improved range. They also mention this in their FAQ: http://support.light.co/hc/en-us/articles/205407146-What-about-HDR-

        I think their vision is spot-on. Who knows if the technology/price point is there yet (they seem pretty sure of it), or if they execute successfully, but what’s not to like about the idea?

        Casting the potential of this as “refocus shots after capture & pay $1699 for the capability” is a total straw man and seems a bit short-sighted. It promises to do much more than that. I think even casting it as “bring DSLR quality to mobile form factor” is shorting it. It would enable cool algorithmic features like the obstruction removal blogged about here, and actually bring a quality far greater than DSLR when you consider that exposure, focus, depth of field, and zoom settings can all be moved from capture to post.

        I’m glad they’re going after mobile and a component manufacturing & licensing business model. I expect the L16 will be mostly a technology showcase and loss leader for them.

  2. Agree with J Peterson above.
    Exciting/clever tech but the price point it a strange mid-way.
    I’m semi-pro and would like a carry-around everywhere camera – but am looking at £500-£800 Fuji T10/ Alpha A6000/etc.
    I’d imagine most consumers wouldn’t go far above this either.

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