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$2,000 camera with 16 LENSES?!? Photography with the Light L16

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This is my long awaited review of the Light L16. Announced 2 years ago it is finally out. The Light L16 combines 16 lenses in a mobile style body. Light say this is aimed to replace a traditional DSLR and a bag of lenses. The Light L16 uses computational imaging to get to the final image. When you make a photograph, it uses multiple lenses to compose the photo. Up to 10 images are combined and then stitched together in post production. On the widest angle setting this produces an 81 Megapixel image. So how does it work and what do the images look like? If you are a channel sponsor - check the Community tab to get links to the image gallery and download raw image files. To become a channel sponsor, the button is below this video. Music from Epidemic Sound: https://goo.gl/v5wWKr Subscribe for more videos! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=theartofphotography Watch More Videos: $63,000 CAMERA :: WHAT DO THE IMAGES LOOK LIKE? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq2LmstGD5M MY FAVORITE FUJI LENSES https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3K9IBcHYK4 FUJIFILM X-T2 :: DESIGN WHICH BLOWS EVERY CAMERA AWAY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nici9GkWIVA Thanks for watching - if you like this video, remember to share it with your friends! Ted Forbes The Art of Photography 2830 S. Hulen, Studio 133 Fort Worth, TX 76109 USA My name is Ted Forbes and I make videos about photography. I’ve been making photographs most of my life and I have a tremendously deep passion for photography that I want to share with you on YouTube. The Art of Photography is my channel and I produce photography videos to provide a 360 degree look into the world of making images. We all want to get better so lets do this together! I make videos covering famous photographers, photography techniques, composition, the history of photography, philosophy and much more. I also have a strong community of photographers who watch the show and we frequently do social media challenges for photographers to submit their own work. I feature the best and most interesting on the show when we do these so come check it out and get involved!
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Text Comments (545)
SevenDeMagnus (29 days ago)
Though it can never replace the big DSLRs and Mirror SLRS because: physics. What they can do, the ones with more space can do better (bigger multi-lens, etc.) But it's nice this exist, multi-cams on cellphones are all over.
SevenDeMagnus (29 days ago)
That needs a handle:-)
SevenDeMagnus (29 days ago)
That's like the Hubble telescope and James Webb Space Telescope, like a refracting telescope:-)
SevenDeMagnus (29 days ago)
Cool. Is that as good in an almost pitch black shots (without flash) as the best full sensor professional cameras out there? Thank you. God bless, Proverbs 31
John McClane (1 month ago)
what exactly is the advantage of that camera...? Why these 16 lenses? I did't get it... 80 MP resolution?
Peepers 47 (1 month ago)
My initial impression is that the L16 is trying to compete with a smartphone camera but is marketed to be a dslr replacement. The cellphone we already carry and their camera is good enough. When I want to go beyond my cellphone photos, better image quality on par with a $2k camera is expected. The ability to edit RAW, in Adobe or other software is needed.
George Cyclist (1 month ago)
When you said it shoots everything "wide open", I pretty much made my mind up. All camera lenses have an optimum aperture for best results. Typically stopped down 2 or more stops. Every lens suffers from aberration when wide open and diffraction when fully stopped down. In order to establish this optimum aperture, many pictures need to be taken in various conditions. The L 16 has 16 varying focal length lenses, all of which are fairly small diameter, and not place concentric with one another. Optically each image is therefore a hodge podge of images. This hodge podge is further contaminated by using every lens at it's widest aperture, in order to "get more light into the camera." This massive digital "mess", is then interwoven and processed by software. The people at Light are probably a lot smarter than I am, and a lot of engineering has gone into this product. However, the idea and the results do not add up. It seems that rather than re-invent photography, they have un-invented many of the well established fundamentals of photography.
ciovica florin (2 months ago)
Nop. You got to rework the pictures before actual see them. This is more like for professional development, not for daily use
Roger Starchild (3 months ago)
Apple or Samsung , Canon or Nikon is going to buy them out. Does it do video.
John C (3 months ago)
It lacks character. I'll stick with my Yashi 124G thank you very much.
Antonio L. Rivera (4 months ago)
Bottom line after all???? I bought the camera for $800 at eBay on December 2018. I'd updated the firmware using my home WiFi. Will it replace my Nikon SLR? I do not think so. I'm a LG G6 smartphone user with a tripod and it serves me well for general photography. The L16 takes better pics than a cellphone but no better than a DSLR. I use a rubber bumper to protect the camera but I'm still not impressed. At least I didn't paid $2,000....
Ruben Sahakian (4 months ago)
2k junk.No need to replace traditional lenses some things are part of photography.Imagine trying to paint without brushes...yes there may be sponges and other methods but nothing will replace paint on brushes (artistic painting)
P Zareczky (5 months ago)
Looks like the emental cheese 😳
Daniel Jay (5 months ago)
This camera has dramatically changed since its release. Firmware updates have made this easily rival DSLRs no question. Low light improved. Key is to export a DNG from their Lumen software and post process
ddknyc (5 months ago)
I don't see any purpose for this camera or the point to 16 crappy lenses and tiny sensors when you have beautiful competent compact cameras with high quality lenses like the Sony RX100, what problem does the L16 solve all this complication? As Mr. Wonderful likes to say, take it behind the barn and shoot it!
Jeff Ashbrook (6 months ago)
Latest firmware is amazing. Wow.
Gael Hillyard (6 months ago)
Trypophobia
Peter Sayatshkin (6 months ago)
great review! pure pleasure watching it ✨
Steve Bloomfield (6 months ago)
Obviously a Beta prototype to get both publicity for a "startup" concept, and wet the appetite of others to license/build out the technology under a major manufacturer, and lumen software through open source collaboration as it is built on an Android base. Much like "Red's" Smartphone/Camera, a $1-2K work in progress.
GPUabuse (6 months ago)
inevitably, a good review. :)
Voltage Productions (6 months ago)
If they add a grip, fix the image issues, and lower the price to that of an entry level DSLR, it would be worth it.
Michael Tran (6 months ago)
Oh wow, you're local to me. Noticed the picture of Klyde Warren Park!
Sylvain Paquette (6 months ago)
Looking at samples on flickr ... I don't like the image quality at all of the L16. My small lumix GX85 with the kit lens 12-32 does a lot better in every possible way for only a fraction of the price. My pixel 2 seems to offer better IQ except maybe when zooming a lot. I'd rather have one or two lenses of better quality than 16 mediocre.
Eugenio (6 months ago)
I think this is a great "review" maybe I would love to see more images an examples, but your speech was great, not like the trash from Jared Polin, thanks man
Sebastian Hernandez (6 months ago)
Being advertised as the dslr replacement is a joke. I couldn’t shoot a wedding with this period. What about flash? Off camera flash? It’s too laggy 32 gigs and it’s full? 32 gig upgrade? It’s a daytime landscape camera for people who like having “toys”
BasementNugget (6 months ago)
pictures shown in the video pretty much look like the average, mid-end phone pictures
Gazza Lawrence (6 months ago)
Just another expensive overpriced gadget that will appeal to the label brigade "look what I can afford", Why is someone trying to re invent the wheel again 🤔
jm g (6 months ago)
What about firmware updates?
gerald johnson (6 months ago)
I see focus stacking. Each of lens, take a different focal point. I wish them success .
aphex4000 (6 months ago)
I just discovered this channel and found your video so thorough and informative. Great work! 👍
Steven Van Hulle (6 months ago)
"It's hard" is the worst excuse imaginable for failing to deliver top notch quality.
Kris Menon (6 months ago)
I’d try it for $500...
3 DICK (6 months ago)
$2000 worth of GARBAGE
brakel8r (6 months ago)
Great channel...Thanks for the review ..."A" for effort I say.....i cant, however stand all the bashers....get off your asses you figure it out then....oh...i see...cant put the donuts down
Raxmole (7 months ago)
Tldr: gimmick.
I was willing to try this out for maybe $1000, but $2000us is too much, especially when I work in social media and I want those images right away. And those file sizes 170Mb is way too big for what I need. I'd try it out, but it seems out of time and out of price, like how satellite radio was launched after the ipod existed.
Soo Kien Meng (7 months ago)
Finally all traditional camera makers will go the dino way.
Enmy Myen (7 months ago)
I bought today mine... 700 dollars. Amen
Jay Parikh (7 months ago)
Disappointing, hopefully it gets better I'd love something like this
They only thing they were going on is "hey what's something original we can do with a phone?" "Let's just put a fucking crap load of cameras on it!!"
BLACK CAT (7 months ago)
They may be intelligent but they doesn't know how business works, how market works. Instead of gathering customers, they are making their products way too pricey. They are probably like, if customers gonna pay 5-6k for dslr, our new product deserves to be sold at 2k. And that's ridiculous way to start a business.
kenneth vick (7 months ago)
Very informative. Thank you.
MM Reporter (8 months ago)
Haven't read the other comments, but curious to know how stacking or overlapping 13MP images can produce more than a 13MP image. Also, given the size of the lenses to gather more light and image, image detail would seem to suffer compared to both dslr's and newer smart phones.
Kevin Alvey (9 months ago)
@TedForbes I test drove the Lytro and one thing that stuck out to me was that it performed slowly unless it was very bright out and had a REALLY hard time focusing in low light unless held perfectly still. Did you get any sense of how well L16 does in motion and in low light?
The Angry Lensman (9 months ago)
You just saved me 2 large. Thank you.
Im not mark (9 months ago)
Nah I’m good I’m just gonna buy a full frame cam
FancySassy80 (9 months ago)
I would like to play with that camera. But don’t want to spend 2k on it. Wish it was more in a decent price range.
MrVipitis (10 months ago)
They got the big money now... I think is more towards cars and phones, not photography.
Rutger MacDonald (10 months ago)
I think in 5-10 years, this concept is going to be amazing, and may even take over. That said, there will be growing pains, not only for this company, but for others dabbling in the same concept. The journey will be rough, but the destination will be mind blowing.
Piper Hayze Media (10 months ago)
it's interesting just not worth the price like $2000 so many better cameras. Like this should be $500 at the most I feel like every higher end point and shoot could beat this for less than the price.
Mike Jones (10 months ago)
The trypophobia phone
Richard's World Traveler (10 months ago)
Lately I get a lot of their ads popping up on YouTube. As of today it still can't record video either.
Dirty Water (10 months ago)
Never understood the appeal of this thing. It's new, but not better, especially at that ungodly price point. I'll keep my bag of lenses. You say it's supposed to replace high end photography equipment? If a pro photographer pulled this out of their bag for any pro job like a wedding, they would laughed out of the room. It's ugly, its awkward to hold, poor image quality, fake DOF, laggy imports, complicated workflow. I admire their ambition but this will never have a comfortable spot in the market, especially with the dawn of mirrorless. Hard pass
Wood'n Metal Shoppe (11 months ago)
Nice concept, but I would not buy it.
Art Lopez (11 months ago)
$2000, they nuts. It will fail.
Low Cost Film Making (11 months ago)
Hello Thanks for the review, i can see Ableton Push in your desk, maybe you are also like me music producer. Cheers
ken manning (11 months ago)
Maybe the "weird quirkiness" will make these things collector's items. I'm curious about it. I imagine you can play off the (obvious) bugs and physical product flaws to make unexpected pics.
LAHegarty (11 months ago)
5:49 Yeah, they should make one without lenses, so this don't happen.
I'd be happy to get one as an oddity for my collection but wouldn't pay much more than twenty bucks.
Bill Hite (11 months ago)
Thanks for your honest review. I've had my L16 since Nov 2017 and I feel just like you. Great company and concept. Decent pictures and easy to use camera settings. YES Lumen is not a very good program and adds an extra step before you can import into Lightroom. I hope they improve Lumen. At this time I'm thinking about selling my camera. As you say the camera is well built but the extra time you must spend processing each individual image in Lumen before being able to crop and/or adjust color/exposure just is not worth it to me. Lumen is only good a helping you decide which images are worth saving.
Marcel Smit (11 months ago)
Lytro all over again.
Titan Nodes (11 months ago)
Next: A phone with 20 lenses.
Winston Zhang (11 months ago)
if the stitching issue is fixed then it could be nice for large prints but until then...
emmgeevideo (11 months ago)
I wouldn’t want to trade a Boeing 777 for the Wright Flier but that doesn’t mean the Write Flier wasn’t important. Anyone who doubts that computational photography isn’t the vision for the future can hit me with a buggy whip.
christian fernandez (11 months ago)
i think it can be a nice hdri camera but not yet it can be a one hit wonder at lees the company have plas for make a big jump and make a portable photogrammetry portable camera for textures that can be a nice for video games and animation studios but is really expensive
starrychloe (11 months ago)
SpiderVision! Stereo SpiderVision! Would be cool if it captures infrared and ultraviolet. A FLIR camera alone goes for $2k.
LEO (11 months ago)
What microphone do you use for the audio on your videos?
David van de Water (11 months ago)
Nokia 808 preview operated with 41 mp. Otherwise used its oversampling tech with 2mp, 5 mp and 8 mp resolution. Is it the tech we are waiting for? I don't think so. A. I. In smartphones with photography is developing really fast. Smartphones will succeed. Maybe combining tech with smartphones will do. Huawei is using 3 lenses. So smartphones do so. So another device Making photos, I don't think it will be. The prossionals won't use them either. You are limiting your own creativity because the manual mode suck. When you can do all manual with your own dslr. It will flop.
David van de Water (11 months ago)
There is nothing better than a great dslr. When you have great optics, there Is nothing to beat.
James Gritz (1 year ago)
Thanks for your honest review. I had been thinking of the Light 16 as a travel camera, sort of a high megapixel smart phone. Your video has convinced me to upgrade from my Sony A7 to the A7 II or III with it's 42 megapixels instead. As far as the future potential for me, if I am going to spend that kind of money I think I prefer an interchangeable lens camera which lets you use a variety of native or vintage lenses. I am attracted by the size but it sounds like it is considerable heavier than the iPhone 8 plus which I use in a pinch or when I don't feel like carrying heavy gear. Also sounds like the post processing in photoshop or light room is a pain in the ass. I look forward to your future reviews.
ÉN (1 year ago)
I can't wait to a waterproof case for it to come out it would be awsome 😃
Alex W. (1 year ago)
hmm... surveillance drones, maybe?
tkorocky (1 year ago)
Rather than making infocommercials, how about getting one in the hands of independent reviewers, magazines, or test labs? It won't happen, because it doesn't work. Obviously, they're getting desparate and resulting to YouTube propoganda.
tkorocky (11 months ago)
I probably know more about it than you, being following it for years. You have no test results on photo quality, speed, image blur due to stitching, low light capability. You know, the stuff that real photographers care about. You didn't ever answer the question--has one independent reviewer tested and evaluated one with like, scientific results? All you're doing regurgitating the operating manual and making some general comments.
Did you even watch this video or did you come in to troll based on the title?
babystenerud (1 year ago)
I have owned this camera. It takes almost artificially crisp photos in good lighting condition. Low light performance is HORRIBLE. And since all photos are taken at f/15 there is NO bokeh. Any background blur must be added in post editing. And try taking a photo directly towards a strong light source. Looks awful. And the image generation is soooo slooow. I sold mine and bought a Sony a7rii instead. So much better and more versatile.
123tominator007 (1 year ago)
Be careful. I never thought that DSLRs would produce higher quality images than film based cameras but here we are. Once they (whoever they may be) are able to implement better AI software (machine learning algorithms) one-click one-offs could very well surpass DSLRs and without all the time consuming workflows.
Dennis HP (1 year ago)
Big Camera companies would probably go and ask them for the Light L16 blueprint and the few years later, boom! The New L16!
Wet Shoe (1 year ago)
Doesn't look reliable as slrs
Milad Khosseini (1 year ago)
The camera looks more like high end point and shoot. Good but not great. I'd rather buy a Leica CL/TL... Ted could you please review Leica?
Konstantinos K. (1 year ago)
I'm afraid it will flop, just like Lytro.
Thomas Hedrich (1 year ago)
I had ordered an L16 and returned it and got my money back. My son who is a professional photographer tested the camera for me and told me all the bits and pieces that you highlight in your review. Facit: If someone wants something fancy looking and something to impress his/her non-professional photographer friends...OK. Thank you for your honest and qualified review! Thank you light.co for taking it back and refunding me!
BJ (1 year ago)
The thing with a lot of these cameras is they don't give a true representation of what our eyes are seeing. Stitching over ten images together doesn't sit right with me. When cameras learn to show us things the eyes don't see at all I'll be interested. Right now they all seem too focused on taking away half of what we do see.
P G (1 year ago)
Interesting idea for sure, i'm sure google will buy them off haha.
Max Lawless (1 year ago)
At this point.... lol.
Dave Francis (1 year ago)
Sounds really good and you can put up with the cumbersome issue but at this price you need excellent quality photos. I've been waiting for this for over year and really doesn't seem much better.
OhFishyFish (1 year ago)
The 16 small sensors and lenses concept beating a DSLR remind me of the old joke about Project Managers being people who believe nine women can deliver a baby in just one month.
amanieux (1 year ago)
would have been nice to show l16 vs smartphone as it does seem to be ready yet to compete against a large sensor camera, too bad these engineers never learn the lesson : a working prototype is only 10% of the total work to deliver the full product/service to customers.
Karthik C (1 year ago)
To all those people bashing this technology. Remember this. When digital cameras were at their infancy Kodak was laughing at them despite having digital camera technology and the capital to work on it further. I still remember the ad on a newspaper for a 2 megapixel Casio point and shoot digital camera two decades back. I have personally used this camera. It paled in comparison to a 35mm film camera but gave you instant results. Today we know where digital camera technology stands. People said the same thing about mirror less cameras. We all now know what happened to Kodak because of their lack of foresight. This could be a groundbreaking technology or it may be not. I cannot predict at the moment. But do not be so quick to judge. Let the technology evolve and time answer.
wanderborn (1 year ago)
Great review, thanks a lot. I looks like It is very hard to compute those from different lenses images into one. The tiny details go all over the place making blurry spots. How to better stretch different focus length distortions into one would be the solution. Apple cannot figure it out with two lenses in 'photo mode' and they have to do it with seven or ten. Great idea, but not consumer ready yet.
MrBroxMan (1 year ago)
it looks like a spider lol
Daniel Nyman (1 year ago)
Part of me feels like this is a huge campaign just to sell the tech to google or apple for future smartphone use. Data and conceptual proof that the technology works with any lens combinations they'd want to use. It clearly doesn't work easily or well when all combined, and utilizing the software approach negates a big selling point(upload online immediately) and contradicts the dslr killer claim by perpetuating the method dslrs use(that is, upload and edit and then post, but even dslrs can send jpegs remotely to phones on the spot now) so in that regard it's a step back. None of this mentions how it's simply out of touch with the photo world. If you're attempting to appeal to the photography community, you don't launch a camera for $2000 that has no hot shoe, no tether capabilities, no wifi, a poor holding design, a poor USB cable placement design, and no memory or video capability. By emphasizing megapixels(something every real photographer knows isn't everything) and removing all studio capability, it limits itself to landscape photography and seems to be trying to appeal to the cell phone photographer crowd by offering something much larger and less convenient than a cell phone and that can't upload to IG or FB. At best it's a concept for a smaller and more specific alternative to a travel DSLR, but something like that should be only a couple of hundred dollars. Not thousand. I won't be surprised if they're using this to refine the photo processing app and general tech behind it so they can sell the tech off in the next year or two and walk away from this.
Todd Dupler (1 year ago)
I purchased a "Refurbished" Light L16 today 4/19/18, because it was $600.00 less than a "Brand New" L16 ... It's still expensive, but worth the gamble I suppose. (Maybe I should've purchased another L Series Lens instead?) I shoot Canon. I have a Canon 6D, 70D and M3. I love my Canon cameras and would not think of replacing them with the L16. However, lugging the larger DSLR's (And lenses) around everywhere you go is simply not practical, so I purchased this as an alternative to both the DSLR's and the Smart Phones. Although the smart phone tech has excelled in the past few years or so, I can't imagine the image quality or file size of a smart phone being better than that of the L16, but I may be mistaken. (I am very impressed by the iPhone X and the Google Pixel Smart Phone image / detail quality) The L16 and its tech is interesting and like the reviewer says, I'm going to stick with this company Light, its tech and the L16 just to see what happens and if all improves as I hope it does. If not, well ... I've blown more money on worse things I suppose.
Derek Gold (1 year ago)
There's no purpose of the camera as a replacement unless it equals and improves on the existing DSLR cameras. From your reivew it seems to fail on all points of comparing to a DSLR form factor. At whatever focal length you chose on any camera today you get equal quality on the shot so getting a lesser photo is a downgrade. Not being able to use the RAW directly from the card is a downgrade since you have to double import to get to lightroom, a downgrade from all cameras today. Paying full price for a half featured phone isn't fair. They should charge what you get and pay as they release real features. Not pay full price and wait for the gaps to fill in and hope the gaps are filled perfectly. New technology shouldn't have any downgrades or what's the point of new cameras that restrict everything. A digital camera should allow for huge ranges of adjustments to allow for creativity. Not force the user to have a slim choice then force in lightroom two steps down the workflow. This is in no way a smart phone or a replacement to a pro camera at all. Every factor you said makes it a downgrade to all tech and only hopes for something that comes close. Even the design isn't the greatest as all the lens placement wasnt thought of when holding the camera with both hands and front screen are sub-par of any $1000 cell phone screen. I had high hopes for this but thoroughly disappointed on all factors possible.
Derek Gold (1 year ago)
On top of that no sd card slot. So you take 256gb of files and wait forever to transfer. on location while charging battery so you can continue shooting in the forest, while 2hrs goes by and the light has changed. AKA not professional or even anything close to even film speed with 35mm or medium format changing cartridges. And it's only usb type-c so can't plug into any desktop or laptop without buying a card or adapter, which they don't sell on their site. Other factors: cost to replace shitty screen? cost to replace broken lenes? cost to replace internal battery? No info on shutter count per charge, video specs for future release of OS. Come on
dirtbox (1 year ago)
Would love to know if there has been any progress on the L16 since this review which is now 4 months old. I notice they are discounting it heavily
Jeff Li (1 year ago)
sad, me and my coworker were following them years ago, and like what you said, years later so much have change in the photo industry, and I think now a days, people just want light weight gear with dslr quality pictures, 4k, amazing images stabilization and social media ready. For $2000, you have so many other option out there.
Joe Thomas (1 year ago)
I have a light 16 also and recently bought a Huawei Mate SE phone and the images are already much better on my phone disappointingly, I think the l16 might be better for certain applications like landscape photos or ?? but... I already prefer the phone images. I really hope they are able to figure out the software, not impressed so far though. Thanks for your video, it's spot on.
ad (1 year ago)
nothing will beat a half decent dslr and a good lens, nuff said
Christopher Leamons (1 year ago)
I really want to see the second iteration of this.
Sean Chang (1 year ago)
Why this camera makes my skin crawl?
RK LMBD (1 year ago)
I'm pretty sure computational imaging is the future along with augmented reality and the ability to probably do photoshopping in camera while composing. And that it's going to do away with the "DSLR and a bag of lenses". But I don't think this camera is it. In fact I expect this company to go bust, a valiant but ultimately ill-fated pioneer.
Anshuman Singh (1 year ago)
Great!! I can finally buy my Nikon D500 now.
Da Dude (1 year ago)
sony should probably buy them. will be nice to incorporate these ideas into the sony dslr.

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