Is Light The Future Of Photography?

Thanks to rapid and ongoing advances in digital imaging technology, our industry is so abuzz with exciting new photographic products—both hardware and software—that it’s difficult for photographers to keep up with the latest-and-greatest gear and without worrying that their photographic arsenal is about to become obsolete. In real terms, though, much of this technical innovation is incremental in nature; better low-light capability, faster processing, higher resolution, enhanced video capability and the like.

Every so often, however, something new appears on the horizon that could prove truly revolutionary—not evolutionary—in nature and might actually change how some photographers pursue their craft. In that vein, what if you were promised a camera offering DSLR quality, high resolution, exceptional low-light performance with minimal image noise, fine depth-of-field control, a five-inch touch screen interface, and an integrated 35–150mm optical zoom—all within a device that fits in your pocket?

Sound crazy? Well that’s exactly the value proposition of the recently announced “L16 Multi-Aperture Computational Camera” from the Palo Alto-based company Light. The revolutionary camera also offers in-device image editing and social network sharing, and a limited number were recently offered for pre-order at a special price of $1,299.

Light Co-Founder and CTO Rajiv Laroia explains that “Unlike a DSLR or mirrorless camera that uses interchangeable lenses for shooting in different situations, the L16 has multiple small and inexpensive built-in camera modules. When you press the shutter button, it captures several high-resolution images simultaneously, then using sophisticated computational imaging techniques it fuses them together to create a single image with up to 52 megapixel resolution.”

That sure is a mouthful, but Laroia and his partner and CEO Dave Grannan know their stuff. They have extensive experience in mobile technology, information theory, optics, image processing and wireless technology, and share a passion for making beautiful photography more accessible than ever before. As Grannan says, “Light’s vision is to enable anyone to take amazing pictures, and to change the consumers’ mindset that quality must come at a high cost, a big size, and with a steep learning curve.”

Time will tell, but it the meantime if you want to watch an interesting video and learn more about this ambitious initiative you can do so at