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.
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:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/188140003
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.
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.
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.
- 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