Computational photography is the future. Or so we are led to believe. Smartphones computer techniques to knit together images to mimic results from larger sensors; the iPhone’s portrait mode makes a good fist of simulating a wide aperture and there is no doubt that the results can be pleasing.
In 2015 the Light company, based in California, announced what was heralded as the future of photography: The sixteen-sensor Light L16. It was revolutionary, a brick-like device which combined lens/sensor combinations in various focal lengths to create an image that was supposed to be greater than the sum of its parts. The L16, costing the best part of £2,000, reached consumers two years later. Two years after that, in December 2019, production ended.
So what went wrong? Was the L16 a concept before its time or did it just not live up to expectations? An intriguing article on the DearSusan photography blog gives us a first-hand insight into the L16 from an early adopter, Jean-Claude Louis.