Photography isn’t just about the camera you’re using. Taking the perfect photo also requires using the perfect camera lens.
Able to augment focal length, optical zoom, or the intake of light, camera lenses allow a photographer to fully capture their environment. Unfortunately, understanding how camera lenses work or buying the ideal camera lens is far from simple.
Wouldn’t it be nice, then, if there was a camera that could inherently take amazing photos without the need of a lens?
Enter the L16, a newly developed compact-camera that solves the lens dilemma. But rather than doing away with lenses completely, the L16 takes the opposite approach; this camera is built with 16 different lenses inside.
Created by camera-tech company Light, the L16 looks as small as a smartphone but can capture images on-par with the most expensive professional DSLRs. And once you understand the design of the L16, which can only be deemed revolutionary, you’ll see why.
Looking like a bug’s eye, the L16 has five 35mm lenses that look directly out of the device. Complimenting these five core lenses (and sensors) are 11 other folded optic sensors, which Wired described as “periscopes,” which utilize tiny mirrors to capture a larger landscape.
The end result is pretty fantastic. Shooting a photo with the L16 is like using ten different cameras (placed at different vantage points) all at once. This creates an image file akin to what the human eye might see, with an incredibly nuanced sense of depth and distance between objects.
The amount of detail the L16 captures even lets users adjust the focal plane and depth of field after a photo is taken. That’s unlike almost any other photographic device on the market.
Better yet, since the L16 is using so many cameras and a novel light refraction system, the camera can take in a lot of light. That makes taking nighttime photos, or snapping images in low-light environments, actually feasible. You’ll finally be able to see what you’re photographing at night.
There’s only two downsides to the L16. First, it’s not yet on the market and the company is no longer taking pre-orders. Second, the camera is far from cheap, priced at about $1,700.
So if you’re a pro photographer looking to have the best tool on the market, the L16 may be a worthwhile investment. For the rest of us, having a camera outfitted with a versatile lens is still the most economical route.
Featured image courtesy of: The Light Co via Facebook