The company Light, known for its camera L16 with 16 lenses and its cooperation on the 5x camera of the Nokia 9 Pureview smartphone, has announced to stop the production of cameras for smartphones. This brings an interesting experiment to an end - the company&s attempt to use a combination of many cameras (or modules) to calculate better images using an algorithm.
The Light L16 camera, which came onto the market in 2017 by computational imaging of the input of 10 of the 16 camera modules equipped with different lenses, cost around 2,000 euros. Amongst other things, an integrated 35-150mm optical zoom with an adjustable depth of field comparable to an f/1.2 aperture and an image resolution of up to 52 megapixels was promised.
Light L16 Camera with 16 lenses
The cooperation with HMD Global/Nokia on their Pureview Smartphone 2019, which was the first one to be equipped with 5 lenses on the back, also achieved high recognition. The data of all cameras should lead to particularly good (HDR-) single images. However, their results were often disappointing (for example in magnifications and lowlight situations) and the big manufacturers like Apple, Google and Huawei quickly achieved better images with simpler technology (only 3 lenses). And also the image quality of the big L16 camera could never convince despite several updates - despite the enormous hardware and computing effort the quality of single images fluctuated too much.
Nokia Pureview 9 camera module from Light with 5 lenses
Now, according to rumors, Light is withdrawing from the smartphone market - the company&s website gives an idea of what the company wants to focus on in the future: cameras for autonomous cars.