It has been quite some time since a major innovation was seen on the outside of the camera. Overall, our DSLRs appear very much the same as expensive film-based cameras from the 90s. Only when you take a closer look that the difference actually feels like a better finish, more mega pixels, LCD screen and zoom capability. The outside design has seen so few changes that we can generally picture any camera available. It’s rectangular with filming lens at the front and a viewing lens at the back. People don’t like designs that endure so long, so just for the sake of change, they do something really crazy. This is what appears to be on the agenda of this company that made this 16-lens camera.
Due to these astonishing number of lens, the front of the camera has been altered beyond recognition as different sizes and varieties of lenses are staring out from the front. Kudos to the entire team at Light that managed to create this unique L16 camera. But, to what end? The sixteen lenses plus an IR sensor at the front give it an utterly bizarre appearance.
Rajiv Laroia, the founder of Light, believes that the company has taken the advantage of a silent revolution in the photography world. Since the cameras have become smaller and smaller to fit mega pixels inside small smartphones, the need for bulky cameras and their ridiculously small lenses could become a thing of the past. So, Light has introduced this alternative camera that can hold many lenses in its case hoping that it could soon become a competitor for the DSLR cameras. So, for now it is an expensive 1,299 $ experimental camera, and it can be pre-ordered to be delivered by summer 2016.
Each of the lens modules includes a 13-megapixel camera optical accessory with three different focal lengths. There are five 35-mm lenses, five 7o-mm ones and six 150-mm modules. To accommodate te bigger lens of 70-mm and 150-mm, a mirror faces out so that the direction you are shooting is perpendicular to the optics. The lens can be controlled via a touchscreen at the back from which you can control all the settings from zooming to focusing. The working of an L16 is also quite different from regular cameras as it effectively has a zoom capability of 35-150mm. The camera takes imagery from all these lenses and computationally blends and interpolates it into a single nice picture. This is a unique concept as this approach means that the end picture will have the quality of a combined 16 lens or 52-megapixels of pure awesomeness. The computational approach can also reduce image noise and even create better images in low light. These are two main problems that plague even the most sophisticated cameras of today.
The Light team also released some pictures taken from the L16. Though they didn’t appear as good as the latest Cannon 5D Mark III, the detail of the result was more or less the same as the latter. The price tag of the L16 is also significantly lower than the Canon’s at the moment so, it could be worth a try. However, soon after the pre-ordering is finished, the price will jump to almost 1,699 $. It will become a little pricey for the curious who are genuinely interested in its different approach. The company also plans to manufacture only a few thousands of these units. Maybe they aren’t done with their crazy ideas yet and using the money from the pre-orders, they could plan for an even crazier camera by the turn of next year!