|The Light L16 boasts a crazy 16 total camera modules, creating images by blending photos taken with all 16 simultaneously. Photo: Light.co|
It took four years, but Light.co‘s L16 computational photography camera is officially shipping to pre-order customers. The 16-module camera is about the size of a regular smartphone, but by using 16 cameras at once, it claims to shoot the kinds of photos we’re used to seeing from DSLRs.
The announcement dropped just a couple of hours ago on the Light.co website, where the company seemed to go to great lengths to justify the last 4 years.
“We’ll admit, bringing this breakthrough computational camera to market hasn’t been easy,” reads the blog post. “You see, Light is not just building a camera. Or an app. Or an algorithm, as most other startups do. We’re building all of these things and then combining them to create something radically different.”
Creating this crazy camera has involved a wide variety of engineering feats: designing camera-modules, building new chipsets, creating proprietary computational-imaging software, building out an e-commerce platform, and putting it all into a mobile device.
The camera that came out the other end is allegedly, “something the world has never seen before.”
|Light.co Director of Hardware Engineering, Brian Gilbert, holding the first ‘lunch box’ model of the L16 Photo: Light.co|
“Like any other new invention, revolutionizing the camera has taken some time. For years, we’ve been maniacally focused on producing the highest-quality images possible,” continues the announcement. “Our standards are extreme—they have to be if we are truly reinventing the camera—and we hope you can understand why it’s taken so long for the L16 to reach the high bar we’ve set for ourselves.”
With words like that, the real deal had better be something spectacular. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out.
Light.co is determined not to rush things, or send out an unfinished product, but the first pre-orders shipped today and the company is working hard to get the rest “in the mail as soon as [they’re] ready—but not any sooner.” For our part, we’ll be reaching out and hoping to get an L16 into the DPReview studio ASAP.