Meet Laibox: the world's first interchangeable lens action camera
Laibox is a new company that is poised to take the action cam market by storm by introducing the world to the first action camera to feature interchangeable lenses. If you've used a GoPro then the Laibox will feel familiar, but with some really cool features in addition to the swappable lenses. The company promises that its design will deliver higher quality, better light capturing ability, more details and greater depth of field—all while minimizing distortion. At the time of this writing, Laibox is a prototype and has already raised over 200% of its Indiegogo campaign and plans to ship its very first units in April, 2018. So what makes Laibox so different from GoPro? Let's take a look.
The most enticing and differentiating feature Laibox offers is its interchangeable lens design. But it's not just the fact that you can change lenses that's interesting, it's the kinds of lenses you can equip your Laibox with. Unlike traditional cameras that offer different lenses with various focal lengths, the team at Laibox is offering different lenses for different applications. For example, if you want to take a 360 panorama, you'd mount your 360 lens. If you want to create 3D content, you'd equip Laicam with the 3D lens, a panoramic lens allows you to take nearly 180-degree panoramic shots, etc. Swapping lenses seems to be a simple process: pull the existing lens off the front, snap the next one on with the magnetic mount and start shooting.
Panoramic wide angle lens
Laibox comes equipped with an ultra wide-angle lens with a FoV of up to 170 degrees meaning that you can capture panoramic images without the need for multiple exposures or in-camera stitching—a feature Laibox boasts will provide higher quality panoramas than can be attained with competitors' cameras that rely on in-camera processing. When multiple images need to be merged and interpreted in order to create a panorama, there is a real possibility of artifacts and misalignment. By capturing the entire panorama in a single exposure, this risk is mitigated.
8X Optical Zoom
Equipping Laibox with the "double sensor module" gives you an 8X optical zoom that the company claims can even function distortion-free at close range. In the video, it shows someone operating this at a range that is usually handled by a macro lens. Whether or not this double-sensor module can provide macro-like performance isn't clear. But either way, the idea of being able to see your subject 8X closer without cropping your image and losing resolution is a nice feature.
Admittedly, the nomenclature of Laibox lenses could use some work. The wide-angle mentioned above is specifically designed for creating panoramic images while the "panoramic" lens is a lens designed to create spherical 360 photos (that Laibox refers to as having a 740-degree shooting angle for some reason). In any case, the Laibox camera has a lens specifically dedicated to creating single-exposure immersive photos and videos with no blindspots which is something that you would have needed four GoPro Heros to do. It'll be interesting to see how well that feature actually performs.
Articulating Preview Screen
Finally, Laibox includes an attached, articulating, preview monitor. This monitor makes it easy to frame your shots without the need to watch a preview on a smart phone and it also makes it easy to shoot "selfie" photos and videos because the screen is able to open-out and rotate to face-front. This seems super convenient and a very nice-to-have. Why we haven't seen this from GoPro in its 13 years of making the Hero action cameras remains a mystery.
Pricing and Availability
Currently, Laibox is running an Indiegogo campaign that has raised over 200% of its goal. According to its Indiegogo timeline, the first units will ship in April 2018. Perks range from $139 to $239 and include various configurations of lens and accessory bundles.
- 4K UHD 30fps video recording
- 14MP Image Sensor
- Dual-cam Interchangeable Lens
- 180 Degree Tilting Screen
- 2hr Battery Life While Recording 4K