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:

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. 

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.

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Your Comment

13 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 9:50AM, Edited April 19, 10:17AM

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Mitch Aunger
owner planet5D.com
175

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

April 19, 2017 at 10:40AM, Edited April 19, 10:40AM

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no ND Filter yet

April 19, 2017 at 11:18AM, Edited April 19, 11:18AM

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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 11:30AM

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

April 19, 2017 at 11:35AM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
991

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 1:27PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1271

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

April 19, 2017 at 12:13PM

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Aaron Nanto
Creator/Filmmaker
255

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 4:56PM

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Mitch Aunger
owner planet5D.com
175

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 5:52PM

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

April 20, 2017 at 9:49AM

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Steve-O
Director of Photography
241

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 12:50PM

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Jonathan Glazier
Creative Director
99

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

April 20, 2017 at 1:28PM

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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 9:57AM

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Mitch Aunger
owner planet5D.com
175