Well it appears that they’ve been putting that money to good use. Just today, Light has announced their very first camera called the Light L16.
The Light L16 utilises 16 separate lens and sensor modules to stitch together a massive 52-megapixel final image. 10 of the lenses fire together at the same time, and each have different focal lengths. Altogether, the 16 lenses give an effective focal length of 35mm-150mm.
Like Lytro’s cameras, users can also adjust the focusing, depth-of-field, and perspective of images from the Light L16 after the camera captures the first shot. It remains to be seen how this will affect the speed and handling of the camera however, although hopefully the Lytro will have served as a good example of the exact pitfalls Light should avoid.
Early speculation about Light was that they would use their multi-sensor technology for smartphones, and that remains a distant possibility. At this moment, cramming that many lenses and sensors onto the next Samsung Note or S series would make the resulting machine one of Frankensteinian proportions.
The question of convenience will probably come back to haunt the Light L16, as the company is relying on enthusiasts who are willing to carry a second smartphone-sized machine in their pockets or bags.
Even though mirrorless cameras are rapidly seeming like the future, most photographers understand that they’ll still be sacrificing a few features for the convenience of a smaller size. This means that a camera the size of the Light L16, while promising, probably won’t be replacing larger cameras anytime soon.
Still, we hope Light becomes a pioneer in this field and makes a workable multi-sensor camera. It would be fantastic to play around and experiment with a camera like this, although the Light L16 is certainly not cheap. Light are offering it now at a pre-release price of $1300 USD, and when it finally comes out in September 2016 it will be priced at $1700 USD.