Light just updated their blog today giving us a bit more information on the current status, shipping, and some Light L16 sample images. Light representatives confirmed that all the sample images in the blog post are from the Light L16.
Let's go thru some of the bits from the post:
The countdown has finally begun! We’re less than a month away from the launch of our pre-order shipments, and everyone here at Light is working in overdrive. To give you a better sense of what “overdrive” looks like on our end, we’re going to spell it out for you—in numbers.
One month ago, we moved to a new factory in China. We’re gearing up for mass production of the L16, so we needed a little more space. Check out our new digs!
At this very moment, our manufacturers are building the final L16 test model—our PVT21 build. This is a big deal. A very big deal. For reference, we’ve built nearly a dozen versions of prototypes in the past two years. PVT2 is the last one! Can you already feel the camera’s soft grip in your hands? We can.
Yes it is a big deal to get to the “final L16 test model” – note they outlined all the acronyms of the pre-production tasks here. My concern is the timing, and maybe it is just me but it seems a bit close to the shipping date of July 14th to be getting to the final test… but if they only need 2 weeks for the final test, then I'm being overly concerned HAHA. Oh, and let's not go crazy about it because at this stage, “Devices built during this phase are “customer ready.””
What I will also say (responding to my own concern) that having been in manufacturing for 32 years with Boeing, I know how complicated it is to get everything set up to build a brand new product and get everything tested! I know we're all frustrated with the length of time this has been going on, and I KNOW that the folks at Light are more frustrated than we are. They want to see their baby get out in the world. But just imagine what headaches they're going thru getting this set up and out the door – especially when you read the info below about how many parts there are!
Moving on with the post… a bit about betas:
And in about a week, more of our beta testers will be able to as well.
We're in the process of shipping PVT2 cameras to beta testers right now. If you applied to participate in our early feedback program, here’s a hint: keep an eye on your inbox. We won’t be able to accommodate everyone who applied to the beta program—because frankly, the list is a little overwhelming—but we will try to prioritize our pre-order customers. For those lucky few who do make it in, you’ll get the chance to take photos like this one…
Now that's a nice image! But from my eye, there's a lot of compression going on to get it to the web… so we're still waiting to get our hands on images that are closer to what we'll get out of the camera.
Now here come's the critical bits in the blog post… the second time they've said how complicated getting units ready to ship and that the process of shipping out the pre-orders will probably be slower than we would like.
Notice the conversation about “as fast as humanly possible” – I get the reference here… these are not being jammed thru a speedy production line that uses robots and runs 24 hours a day to crank out thousands or tens of thousands of units a day! The first stages of production are painstakingly done by humans. And what does that mean? It means that not everyone who pre-ordered is going to get a camera shipped on July 14th.
Remember too from the earlier update when they announced the July 14th date:
L16 pre-orders will begin shipping to customers in the US on July 14. Given the length of our pre-order list, we expect fulfillment of these pre-orders to take until late summer.
So… given that statement and the following info, let's remember that pre-orders like mine will be coming more slowly than you or even the folks at Light would probably like.
We’re going to do everything we can to get you shooting with the L16 as fast as humanly possible. (Emphasis on the “humanly.”) Please remember: Real people on the other side of the world are building this insanely complicated, brand-new technology for you. And they're building it by hand.
To give you an idea of what that entails…
There are more than 3,000 different parts in the L16 camera, which are supplied from at least six different countries around the world. Once they arrive at our factory in China, it takes 60 sets of hands to assemble each camera. Our manufacturing team follows an extensive 79-step process—and that doesn’t even include the 13 times we check each camera’s functionality.
So, when we say we’re going to begin shipping on July 14th, we mean exactly that: we’re going to start shipping cameras to pre-order customers on the 14th. Shipping cameras to all of our pre-order customers won’t happen in just one day—or even one week. It’s not humanly possible. And we don’t want to compromise the quality of our manufacturing for speed. Hopefully, you don’t want that either.
So that's 2 posts where the subtly emphasize patience.
And that might be hard for those of us really wanting to get our hands on a Light L16 to put it thru its paces. But patience is a virtue right?
Good luck to those who win the Light L16 lottery and get their cameras first!
Oh, and the rest of their post discusses the process of notification and delivering the camera… you can read that on their site.