Photo Plus Expo 2017 – Day 1

October 27, 2017
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Photo Plus 2017 – Day 1

The crowds gather for the start of the show.

Today was my appointment day. I had several appointments with marketing reps so I could arrange demo gear for the next year. The gang at Hasselblad were pleased and very surprised that I honored a promise I made in a webinar chat last July and brought them Cuban pastries from Miami. I am a man of my word and am very serious when it comes to pastelitos. It is also the day I drop my Pen-F off at the Olympus booth for a little TLC so I did not have it with me in the morning.

This post now includes a gallery slideshow with captions showing what I saw at the show today between appointments.

Things got interesting after the show

Light L16 Launch Party

I was invited to attend the Light L16 Launch Party. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

The Light L16 Camera was born in Kickstarter a few years ago and is finally seeing the light of day. The Light L16 is physically unlike any camera on the market today. Based on the concept of “computational photography”, the Light L16 packs sixteen different lenses and sensors (13 Mpx each) into a body that looks like an extra-thick plus sized smartphone.

Light L16 camera – Front view of sixteen lenses and sensors.

As goofy as this looks, it is actually a work of pure genius that stands to alter the way we design cameras from now on. Instead of having one main sensor and lens, the L16 possesses multiple smaller sensors whose combined output can produce images up to 52 megapixels in size. That’s medium format territory. But that’s not all. Remember I called this a “computational photography” system and by that I mean that it runs a general purpose operating system (Android) and can be upgraded with new functions via software. On top of that, the lenses on the front have various fixed focal lengths whose combined data enables a 5x optical zoom (28-150mm f/2.0-2.4) all handled via the 5″ touchscreen.

But that’s not all! Since the lenses (5x28mm f/2.0, 5x70mm f/2.0, and 6x150mm f/2.4) are physically spread across the face of the camera, distance information is captured as well and using Lumen (Light’s conversion software) you can actually refocus images after the fact (assuming that the is sufficient separation of foreground and background elements)! Once images a processed through Lumen, they can be exported as JPG or DNG for further post-processing.

Light L16 camera – Rear view

The Light L16 retails for $1,950 USD and pre-orders are being taken now on their website Light.co. I know it sounds expensive, but I physically handled and used the camera at the party and aside from some beta software issues (AF performance mostly, I was told that it will be addressed in the next update), it takes some pretty stunning images and has features you won’t find in other cameras. For instance, if the camera detects (via accelerometer) that it is not moving because it is on a tripod or on a table, it will drop down its ISO levels and use a slower shutter speed automatically. I did not see a flash shoe on the unit, but I can easily see it controlling a cold shoe mounted Bluetooth-enabled lighting system like the Lume Cube.

Best of all, it fits in your pocket.

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