April 19, 2017

Light L16 — DSLR-Powered, Smartphone-Sized, and 16 Cameras in One — Announces Ship Date

The highly-anticipated Light L16 Computation camera has finally released previews of the final camera design, images captured by the camera, and a summer 2017 ship date.

We first covered the Light L16, a smartphone-sized 4K camera that lets you control depth of field and focal length after capture, way back in 2015. Now, two years later, the official ship date for the world's first multi-aperture computational camera has been announced with images available to preview.

Credit: Light.co

If you already pre-ordered a light, it will ship July 14th. After all pre-orders are covered, Light expects to start selling units to the general public sometime before the end of 2017.

If you don't remember the details of the Light16, this video gives an overview of the technology:

The versions in the field now are in the DVT—or Design Validation Test—stage, which means they aren't final designs; small revisions might happen, based on how the testing goes.

In addition, the Light Polar Fusion Engine, which processes the images, is still in beta, which means artifacts could be present in these images that won't be present in images from the final camera. As the Polar Fusion Engine is software for processing the images, expect the see more changes there in the coming months, while the hardware will likely evolve less. 

Credit: Light.co
Credit: Light.co

For filmmakers, the ability to create cinemagraphs and dynamic ramps out of manipulating exposure and focus of a still photo in post is interesting. But what's more interesting is the video.

Current reports are that 4K video will be possible, but only from an individual lens at a time. This is frustrating, since it would be a major benefit to have the post focus and exposure tools available from computation photography for a moving image, but it's also understandable, since the processing and data volume would be overwhelming for such a small camera.

Having the three prime lenses in such a small package will have some applications in the film industry, of course, and it seems very likely that Light will follow this camera up with an option for multi-sensor motion capture.

Credit: Light.co

The Light L16 cameras are shipping July 14th. Pre-orders were $1,299; the final price is $1,699. For more info, see Light.co.

Tech Specs

  • 5" touchscreen
  • 4K video from 28mm, 70mm or 128mm lens (single lens only)
  • 128GB of onboard storage
  • Close Focus: 10 cm at wide-angle (35mm); 1m at telephoto (150mm)
  • Dust/water resistant
  • Standard 1/4"-20 tripod socket
  • GPS and accelerometer
  • Outputs JPEG, TIFF, and raw DNG
  • Built-in dual-tone LED flash

Test Images

Credit: Light.co
Credit: Light.co
Credit: Light.co

Featured image from Light.co.

Your Comment

14 Comments

Hey! planetMitch here - I just launched a new site covering the Light... and I just posted my analysis of the images coming out of the Light L16... pop over if you're interested. I'll be happy to answer questions if you'd like, I'll pop in now and then to check https://lightrumors.co/2017/04/19/new-light-l16-images-should-we-be-impr...

April 19, 2017 at 12:50PM, Edited April 19, 1:17PM

0
Reply
avatar
Mitch Aunger
owner planet5D.com
88

why are the highlights clipped in every single photo?
lol.

April 19, 2017 at 1:40PM, Edited April 19, 1:40PM

2
Reply

no ND Filter yet

April 19, 2017 at 2:18PM, Edited April 19, 2:18PM

0
Reply

They are actually not clipped in ANY of the photos, except in very small areas.

And the photos are obviously taken under the hot sun in some tropical island.

Seen many DSLRs fare better?

April 19, 2017 at 2:30PM

0
Reply

Yeah I pulled up the pictures with a histogram and saw 0 clipping....

April 19, 2017 at 2:35PM

3
Reply
avatar
Zachary Will
Cinematographer
619

First think I noticed too. Not a deal breaker by any means but some of the highlights do look a bit blown especially in the last two images. But I'm buying this asap.

April 19, 2017 at 4:27PM

0
Reply
avatar
Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
998

If you can make it work with 4K video, you'll have my money!

April 19, 2017 at 3:13PM

0
Reply
avatar
Aaron Nanto
Creator/Filmmaker
222

Aaron, actually the first generation WILL have 4k - but - and this is a big but - it will only use 1 of the 16 modules for shooting video. So it won't have all the capabilities of using 10 sensor modules at once.

They say that is coming later in another model.

It makes sense tho because they need to get the photo algorithms working before they jump to video.

April 19, 2017 at 7:56PM

0
Reply
avatar
Mitch Aunger
owner planet5D.com
88

If all the work is done by robots what would be perfect? Will probably be much better if by a human http://fikodominic.blogspot.com/

April 19, 2017 at 8:52PM

0
Reply

I talked to them about video a longtime ago, and they said basically no, or with !init video, I forget. 4k is good, but it needs to be at least 50p to cover the basis, and your can use three to five cameras. I looked at doing my own unit again, and concluded that having three or more cameras with overlapping images can be done on m!oldest data rates, as the overlap generally reduces data rates a lot. Its like bluray 3D the second image adds 50% to the compression. Using high frame rate, deep data and 4:4:4/4:2:2 compression brings down the data again (though if you are only recording the individual cameras instead of the result of 3D combination, Bayer would technically be better.

So, light could probably do it, and HDR if only they would talk to the right people. I imagine the image sensors are restricted to 30p though. I personally loved the images.

April 20, 2017 at 10:19AM

0
Reply
Wayne M
Director of a Life
279

It looks ridiculous but man that is pretty damn cool! I'd love to see this thing in action.

April 20, 2017 at 12:49PM

0
Reply
avatar
SpacemanSteve
Director of Photography
124

I am very annoyed as I must have signed up a week into pre orders, waited for what 2 years? They emailed last week to say international orders have been cancelled. Unimpressed

April 20, 2017 at 3:50PM

12
Reply
avatar
Jonathan Glazier
Creative Director
98

Does it work like a phone? I mean, can I used it to make a call?

April 20, 2017 at 4:28PM

0
Reply

John, no it doesn't do phone calls, but Light has licensed the technology to Foxconn so expect to see this tech on a phone eventually!

June 7, 2017 at 12:57PM

0
Reply
avatar
Mitch Aunger
owner planet5D.com
88