Sometimes having too much control can make things worse. Take cameras for example. Any traveller with a point and shoot camera would simply press the shutter key on spotting a good frame while someone travelling with a DSLR would probably need much more time to set up according to the frame. Sure the extra time and effort is clearly reflected in the end result but it is easy to mess up the settings for a picture or two when you don’t have enough time to get the settings right. At times you will feel that you could have clicked a better image if you used a narrower aperture or different focal length.
We recently came across a smart camera that breaks out of the conventional camera design and takes a different approach. The camera in question is called L16 and has been developed by a company called Light. The Light L16 claims to offer DSLR quality images while being able to fit in your pocket.
The Light L16 has got 16 camera lens modules on its face with 13 megapixel sensors sitting behind each one of them. When you shoot a picture, 10 of them fire simultaneously and capture the image at multiple fixed focal lengths. These images are then processed to create a final high quality image that can have a resolution of upto 52 megapixels. It runs a powerful Qualcomm chipset to take care of the heavy processing job. The display is a touchscreen making it easy to edit the photos right away and then they can be shared on social platforms using the inbuilt Wi-Fi. It can also record videos in 4K which use a single sensor only.
The list of features doesn’t end there. The focal length can be varied from 35 mm to 150 mm to get the right scene. As the image has been captured using multiple sensors, the camera has a better sense of depth and more image data to make changes. You can choose to select a different point of focus or use a shallower or deeper depth of field. The end result can be equivalent to an image captured at f/1.2. The same can be used to create better results in low light as well.
While we have seen some of the features like the ability to refocus or using multiple images for better low light photos on different devices in the past, the Light L16 packages them nicely while adding lot more to the mix.
Light was founded in 2013 by Dave Grannan and Dr. Rajiv Laroia. Dave has held leadership roles for major brands like Nokia, Sprint PCS and Geoworks. He holds an MBA from University of California, Berkeley. Rajiv previously founded Flarion Technologies which was later acquired by Qualcomm. He holds Ph.D. and Master’s Degree from University of Maryland, College Park and Bachelors from IIT Delhi.
The camera will be built by Foxconn. Foxconn was also an investor in Light’s $25 million Series B round announced earlier this year. The device can be reserved for $199 on their website. You can also browse some sample pictures here.