DSLRs are huge and bulky, and the different lenses you have to separately carry along with you do not help either. So when a new silicone valley startup unveiled a handheld device that claims to be able to perform as well as a professional camera with all its additional lenses, they were immediately overwhelmed with pre-orders.
This is the little camera that could. Simply and aptly named “Light”, this camera is the size of a smartphone that takes photos the quality of a 52-megapixel DSLR, zooms optically between 35 and 150mm, shoots great images in low light, and lets you select focus and depth of field after you shoot.
The Light camera achieves all these amazing feats by squeezing in 16 tiny smartphone-type cameras, each with its own inexpensive small lens at focal lengths between 35 and 150 mm. When you take a shot, up to 10 of these cameras fire at once, focusing on different points and taking different exposure levels.
After a photo is taken, the output of those 10 cameras is combined in an imaging algorithm, creating a much larger photo than an individual small sensor could handle, and a wider dynamic range than your typical smartphone sensor could produce by itself. Since the image also contains multiple focusing points, you can select what you want in and out of focus, and choose a depth of field up to an f/1.2 equivalent after you shoot.
Output is JPG, TIFF or RAW DNG, and while there’s no facility yet for a hot-shoe or remote flash, you do get a dual-tone LED flash on the back. You can shoot video, but in doing so you chop the image down to a single lens, and lose the composite quality. Pricing is set at US$1,699 – or $1,299 if you pre-ordered previously with a $199 deposit. The Light is so well received that even its pre-orders have sold out, so if you really want one, you can leave your details on the website and the company will contact you once they begin taking orders for it again.
Photographers have always longed for something as pocket-portable as a smartphone that can deliver pro-level camera quality, and it has been a long time coming. The Light will prove exceptionally handy on travels where you would like to lessen your baggage while not compromising on the quality of pictures.
Take a look at more of the phenomenal pictures taken with the Light in various locations around the world.