Just when most people thought that mirrorless cameras were the natural next step from dSLRs, Light decided to think out of the box for a moment, and introduced a point-and-shoot camera with 16 sensors on the front.
The reason why such a camera was even developed in the first place was to demonstrate that a camera doesn’t have to be hefty in order to take great pictures. Sure, some might argue that that’s the entire point with mirrorless cameras, but someone thought it could take things even further. Light, the manufacturer of the L16 point-and-shoot camera are so confident of their product’s potential, that they even claim to match dSLR quality.
“We’re trying to replace a big lens [on a DSLR] with multiple small lenses and small sensors,” explained Dr. Rajiv Laroia, Light’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.
“This isn’t just moonshot thinking,” added Dave Grannan, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “We put some of the best talent in Silicon Valley together here at Light. Our computational team and our hardware engineer team have been working for over two years bringing this to reality.”
Each of the 16 lens modules (five 35mm, five 70mm, and six 150mm lenses) packs a 13-megapixel sensor, and their combined effort results in 52-megapixel photos. The camera makes use of some software wizardry to stitch together Basically, Light L16 can handle whatever you throw at it, from macro photos to wide-range landscapes and zoomed shots.
Much like in the case of Lytro’s light field cameras, the depth of field can be adjusted after taking the picture, down to f/1.2. That would make the L16 ideal for low-light conditions, regardless if we’re talking about macros, portraits or concert photography.
Besides the exceptional low-light performance, the L16 sports 35-150 optical zoom, and a 5-inch touchscreen display. Needless to say, the photos taken with this camera will barely have any noise.
Photos are not the only think the L16 is capable of shooting. Should you want to record video, the camera can do it at resolutions of up to 4K, which isn’t something you get to see in your everyday dSLR or smartphone.
Below is a slideshow of photos taken with the Light L16 point-and-shoot camera, albeit not at the real resolution. Still you’ll be able to get an idea about the contrast, depth of field and color reproduction.
Not at last, here is a video of the world’s first multi-aperture computational camera:
This piece of tech can be pre-ordered for $1,299 until November 6, and for $1,699 after that. Placing an order now doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have it in time for Christmas (not even for the next summer), as Light plans to make L16 commercially available only in September 2016. By then, hopefully the company will have some competition and will reconsider its price policies.
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