Light is bringing its multi-lens camera solution to smartphones. The startup has launched its L16 camera with multi-aperture computational camera featuring 16 lenses couple of years ago. On Light L16, ten or more of those lenses capture an image simultaneously at different focal lengths and the algorithm combines them into a single image of 52-megapixel in resolution.
Now, the Washington Post reports that the company is working to bring that idea to a phone. The camera startup showed several concept phones and prototypes that have between five and nine lenses stacked onto the back of the device. One of the prototype model has nine lenses with five of them having 28mm focal length and the remaining four having a focal length of 56mm. The company claims that the multi-lens solution can capture 64-megapixel shots along with improved low-light and depth effects.
Since the launch of Huawei P20 Pro with Leica-designed triple lens solution, the smartphone industry has been looking at multi-camera solution for superior imaging experience. There are already reports of Samsung adopting triple lens setup with the Galaxy S10 next year while Apple is said to follow with the launch of new iPhone next year.
There are also reports that LG is switching to five cameras with the launch of its flagship V40 later this year. German optical systems manufacturer Zeiss has a patent for multi-lens solution which could use five lens that rotate around an image sensor to capture images with depth effect and zoom. The camera technology is expected to debut on a Nokia-branded smartphone made by HMD Global later this year.
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Smartphones have already replaced point and shoot cameras and they are vying to offer features found on digital SLR cameras. Video gear manufacturer RED is also working on a smartphone that might feature inter-changeable lens system via modular design. It now seems certain that smartphone makers are going in the direction of ‘more lens the merrier’ with future devices. Light plans to launch its smartphone with nine lens system later this year. Considering its L16 camera costs $1,950, the new smartphone will definitely not be cheap.