They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Much to the detriment of the SLR camera industry, this adage has proven to be mostly true, as people have ditched the bulky models in droves for the convenience of their smartphones. The main problem with this trend is that a camera is only an auxiliary feature on phones, and its quality is always going to be undermined by the need to keep the phone slim and lightweight. So rather than have to choose between one or the other, inventor Rajiv Laroia has cultivated a resourceful solution in the form of the Light L16 camera.
When a single photo is snapped, 10 of the lenses will fire simultaneously.
After studying optics for nine months, Laroia devised a product in which a matrix of 16 separate lenses are daisy chained so that when a single photo is snapped, 10 of the lenses will fire simultaneously. The physical displacement of each lens when fired creates an editable parallax of an image, which combines into a single photo thanks to built-in software in a process akin to creating an HDR photograph. But instead of taking pictures at different apertures, the before-mentioned displacement of the lenses acts in a way similar to how human vision works. And while we create a depth of field using only two eyes, this camera utilizes 16, 10 of which are looking at an object at a given time (like some creature out of a Greek myth). This allows the user to have a full command of the photo after the fact, allowing for advanced photo editing instead of time spent setting the shot up, and giving free reign over what should be in focus and what shouldn’t be. This process may sound complicated, but it offers a photographer the kind of control one used to only be able to achieve with thousands of dollars worth of lenses, which also tend to weigh about as much as that money is worth in bricks, for a fraction of the price and heft. It also should prove efficient in the field, as its editing prowess ensures you spend less time preparing to take a photo and more time capturing the moment when it happens. This is an exciting development, and hopefully will help save photography from the endless array of selfies and blurry selfies it’s been reduced to in recent years.