The 16 lens "Light" L16 - here you can see the 16 lenses and how it looks like a smartphone.

The Revolutionary 16 Lens “Light” Camera Could Crush DSLRs Soon

by planetMitch7 Comments

We told you about the 16 lens “Light” camera back in May and now it has been announced and you can actually reserve one at a discount too!

My early prediction was that it would be cool, but now I’m thinking it might be revolutionary.

This could be a DSLR killer.

But I'm sure you're still curious what it even is right?

Robert Scoble (tech nerd) had a chance yesterday to chat with the CEO of Light and you'll find his interview below. Watch that! The concept behind the camera is very different than any other camera on the market and I think it will usher in a new motif in cameras.

But before that, let's look at a couple of images…

What do you think of this image? Shot by DSLR? Nope, shot by the Light.

Light 2015-10-08 15-42-34

Or this?
Light 2015-10-08 15-45-17

The Light has 16 lenses! Here's what it will look like:

The 16 lens "Light" L16 - here you can see the 16 lenses and how it looks like a smartphone.

The 16 lens “Light” L16 – here you can see the 16 lenses and how it looks like a smartphone.

Back in 2012, I interviewed Chuck Westfall at NAB and the one question I asked that I thought was important was when was Canon going to be embedding something like iOS in the camera. I mean really, even back then it was pretty obvious that software was going to be ‘the camera’ of the future.

So here it comes… this Light camera is running Android (not my OS of choice, but I understand why they went there over iOS)… which means it is extensible in many billions of ways.

Have a look at the discussion Robert Scoble posted yesterday on Facebook and you’ll see why I’m pretty excited.

** NOTE: Sorry – I thought the facebook embed would work — here's the video: www.facebook.com/RobertScoble/videos/10153637361384655/

Holy Thomas Hawk, Trey Ratcliff, Karen Hutton, and Scott Jarvie does this new camera blow your mind?DSLRs just got very lame.Learn more at light.co Wow. $1,299 coming next summer. Here Dave Grannan, CEO and cofounder, gives me a first look.

Posted by Robert Scoble on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Features I picked out:

  • Optical zoom from 35-150mm
  • f 1.0 DOF!
  • 4k video
  • 50mp stills
  • Android OS so can connect to wi-fi and install other software
  • Can pair with iPhone or android phone apps to send out photos via cell service
  • simple and expert modes – aperture, ISO, shutter speed priority settings.
  • USB-c connectivity (does that mean we can get HDMI out too? Don't know)
  • mic and headphone jacks

So my understanding from the Scoble interview is there are 5 35mm lenses, 5 70mm lenses, and 6 150mm. So they’re using software to combine the different images coming in from the different lenses/sensors. 10 of the ‘cameras’ are firing to create an image.

Pre-sales starting now, but delivery won’t be until next summer 2016

Downsides:

  • No range beyond the 35-150mm range
  • Larger than a smartphone
  • Still have to carry 2 devices (smartphone and camera) – but this is obviously smaller
  • Unknown optical properties tho the images look damn cool
  • Not sure if it can sync flash and there was no mention of accessories
  • HDMI out? Don't know.

I note that there is only one image on their gallery with much depth of field and the out of focus areas have some unique qualities – but we’ll have to wait for production units to see more details I guess.

Light camera chess pieces

The Light Story:

Light L16 Camera

This is some more behind the scenes info – tho the cover image looks the same as the video above, it is different content.

I'm sure we’ll be hearing lots about this… and i'd love to know what you think! Killer or Stupid?

(cover photo credit: Courtesy: Light (light.co/))



Comments

  1. EMagowan

    Neither killer nor stupid.  One more nail in the coffin of professional photography.

  2. EMagowan

    Neither killer nor stupid.  Better than phone cameras but the price will
    have to come down a LOT before it takes hold.   I was expecting another
    lightfield camera, this is better IMO.  I’m predicting the first
    low-budget film is made by late fall 2016.  I just hope it’s not some
    stupid vampire crap.

  3. guenthergroup

    Hit the website. Not a ton of specific information. Not sure how you control bokeh… and the bokeh I’ve seen looks funky. But Planet5D is all about video. Suddenly you are only using one lens instead of 10, you don’t know anything about bokeh control, you don’t know the capture rates, and on and on.

  4. planetMitch

    guenthergroup There’s a lot yet to be learned and we’re on it. I actually just pre-ordered one. I’m feeling a bit crazy today (and found a coupon for another $300 off) and so I dove in. 

    In the Scoble interview, they talked about video and there’s no mention that I’m aware of where they say that video only uses one lens. He specifically mentioned ‘true optical zoom from 35 – 135mm’ in video @4:51. And earlier he mentions the zoom using up to 10 of the cameras (his phrase for the elements).

  5. guenthergroup

    planetMitch guenthergroup The one lens phrase came from their website. That’s why it was a head-scratcher (why one lens when the rest of the camera juggles so many more). Where’d you find the extra $300 off?

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