Everyone's looking for Light L16 User Reviews – so I thought I'd grab as many comments/posts/reviews as I could from users…

Note, I've included the TIMESTAMP – that's the link to the source — you'll see someone's name and then a date/time — click that link to see all off the comments associated to the mini-review.

Often, there's a LOT more to the review inside the comments!

Brian Olsen how do you find the camera? What sector of photographers will it be aimed at?
Victor Chen
It's hard to say since it seems to be a work in progress. The ability to change focal plane and have 4K video (both coming soon) changes the conversation.

Auto focus needs some work as it's not always clear what is in focus or now. Also, the speed needs some work as well especially with moving subjects.
As of right now, my experience so far is that I can get pretty good photos out of it using Lumen. Out of camera experience for me is ok. The interesting thing is the “processed photo” on the device looks different (typically better) on my phone once i've transferred it.So, for now, the sector would be “patient” photographers.

On using the L16:

It is very easy to use, although there is some bad UI encountered when you go into manual mode. Switching ISO, shutter speed requires you to scroll up and down on the actual “button” you press, even though the info shows up in the center of the screen. You feel, intuitively, that you'd want to slide the values there (since that is where you can zoom in/out) but if you try you immediately switch to zoom. It's a learned thing, but as it is it is very easy to end up having to let go and click the buttons again to change the values.

Other than that, manual focus is impossible (oh I wish it was available) and auto focus is a bit clumsy and inexact. Attempting to focus on a certain area -seemed- to work on the device, but then when you take it into lumen and try to do something like adjust the depth value and you'll get crazy things in focus and expected areas out of focus. On top of that what lumen shows is wildly inaccurate to what actually appears when you export, although thankfully the export generally appears to be way better than what lumen was showing you.

I'm sure facebook will chew up the photo, it's also added to the flikr group and you can see it here on flikr: flic.kr/p/Y7whTj

L16 needs to improve on focus and image sharpness. The focus is little slow (when compared to a smartphone), and it keeps hunting around in low light condition. Lumen processing tool needs to improve by leaps and bounds. Exporting images in DNG format failed multiple times!

Currently, processing workflow requires exporting from camera to Lumen, then from Lumen to iPhotos. DxO Optics 10 doesn't seem to recognize the DNG format files from L16, so sticking to Apple iPhotos app for now.

Sample shots were taken over the past two days.

Straight out of camera, Bluetooth transferred to my phone. 70mm. ISO 299. 1/48s. Typical office lighting.

I'm still learning how to use it. It definitely has a learning curve and isn't auto-magic.

My Light 16 arrived yesterday. Very complex. I'm believing their statement that this is the beginning of a process of learning and change in the camera and in me. This morning I was able to pair the camera with my laptop via Bluetooth and then upload a 5 meg jpg version to my downloads and now upload it to FB. When I processed the original file in Lumen it was like looking at a 4×5 qualiity image. I could zoom in on the writing on the glass door and clearly read the lettering. I have a lot to learn. Working this weekend at the SP Rotary Pumpkin Patch so will see what happens in the field.

well, i got my camera. took one picture. amazing detail but not that much better than my sony rx100iv. what is frustrating is the amount of processing required. so i'll probably send the camera back. it's probably a great camera but requires far more involvement in the process than just transferring to apple photos. i take pictures, put them on my computer so i can relive previous travel. if anyone in nva is interested, we could perhaps make an arrangement to transfer the camera and yet to arrive utomic screen and edge protector at cost. if you're interested, message me.

Mitch Aunger Cornelis by the way, i would urge you to consider that taking one photo with the camera isn't exactly a complete test and I feel like you're making a snap decision. Yes, processing is slow (and improving with every update) but there are other qualities and opportunities that drew us all to the camera in the first place. Obviously up to you, but maybe working with it a little longer would change your mind.

Cornelis Keur thanks mitch. i am afraid it's overkill for me. i'm not into all the computer work for digital photos. appreciate all your advice as well as all the work you're doing on this site.

Jack Barnosky Brian Olsen I haven't really used it much yet but I feel it is the way to go. I'm all about ease of operation, simplicity, less is more. I
haven't seen any flaws

I reached out to Brad at Light to tell him how much i love the camera. I met him briefly at their NYC shin dig last October… He was excited about my new camera and really emphasized to reach out to Light to give them as much feedback as possible.

I’m a professional photographer; I have been for 45 years. I shot Nikons for 12 years, switched to Canon for the 1984 Olympic Games (I was an official photographer and Canon was the official camera), had a brief flirtation with Leica (great lenses, R4Sp was a terrible camera) then settled in with Canon through the present. Through all of that, whenever I bought a new piece of equipment, the principle caveat was; equipment has to earn its keep!

For the most part, it has, with notable exceptions. I avoided the Foveon debacle, but not Lytro Illum. I thought that camera would find a place in my workflow. Today, it occupies the “place of ultimate dishonor” on the “go and sin no more” shelf in my office.

I ordered the L16 because, initially, I liked the file size (near medium format), I liked the coverage range (initially 35 – 150, now 28 – 150), and I liked the form factor. I accepted that it was emerging technology and that there would likely be hiccups, but I hoped there would constant development and ready solutions.

As the less-than-a-year-to-delivery stretched into more than 2 years I was troubled by the lack of information and the lack of images; I still wonder who the beta testers were and what they were doing. But, now that the camera is finally in my hands, it’s not as complete and as ready-to-go as I had hoped it would be, but it’s also not a bad as I was beginning to fear it might be. I’ve had the camera for less than a day and I’ve already traversed from increasingly skeptical to confidently hopeful.

The camera needs work, in a significant number of areas – color balance, dynamic range, focusing speed, need immediate attention. ISO range, low-light performance, sharpness, and the Lumen software are also critical. Changing settings in Manual, on the touch-screen, is an iffy process, at best. That needs to be much easier and accomplished with more accuracy and SPEED!

Finally, (at least for the moment), I think this camera has the potential to find a market. Not everyone will like it, but everyone doesn’t need to like it for the camera to succeed. However, in It’s current state of “barely ready for prime time”, a number of corrections need to occur, in a rapid framework, for the camera to maximize it’s chance at success.

so my trial shots aren't all that great… in auto mode. I took a few shots of work but nothing really looked good to me. I may put this in manual mode now and see what happens.

Also, as someone mentioned, I hook up the USB cable to my computer but LUMEN just waits for a hook up. No matter what I do, Lumen does not see the L16.

Eventually, I dragged/dropped the photos into a folder and then opened them up in Lumen.

I'm going to go to a Cars and Coffee, so I'll take photos from both my Samsung S8 and L16. I guess ISO set to 400…

In the absence of decent handheld low light performance, we're still able to explore this camera's ability to shoot in low light by using a tripod and long exposures to produce properly exposed images without handshake induced vibration. My initial instinct was to shoot at ISO 100 @ 15 sec, a setting that would produce dramatic, well exposed photos with light trails on my other cameras. 15 sec proved to be way too long, as evidenced in the overexposed sample. The ability to collect light on the L16 is very interesting – I only needed exposures of 1-4 sec to produce well exposed images.

At web resolutions, the results are quite acceptable with almost no noise. However, closer examination will show that while the L16 noise is virtually absent, the results are weak on details, with a lot of smearing and shadow crush. That said, I was able to read a license plate in one of the images at 2:1 zoom! Like last night's test, low light is a weird combination of surprisingly competent color fidelity, but rendered with limited fine level detail. Perhaps the de-noise algorithms are set too strong and the detail is actually there? To be seen.

(from comments in the thread) Albert C. Lee Haha, just remember if you're bringing a tripod, size and weight are probably no longer your concern. You'll probably bring a different camera. But hats off to the L16 for sure – where other cameras lose color fidelity and contrast in these conditions, the L16 keeps it together. Now they just need to give us some detail. ISO 3200 may be all you need if they can bring back that detail and just a tasteful amount of noise.

Albert C. Lee added 17 photos to the album: HDR with the Light L16. 2017-10-14

Dynamic range is a critical attribute of any quality digital camera. With a wide dynamic range, a camera can capture significantly more details in both shadows and highlights. The human eye can perceive about 20 stops of dynamic range. Modern pro digital cameras can see about 12 stops.

Today, the L16 struggles with dynamic range, producing generally flat and uncontrasty images that require meaningful post-processing work in Lightroom. The highlights are typically blown out, and shadow detail is often crushed, destroying otherwise fine details.

High dynamic range (HDR) photography is one tool that can be used to recover these highlight and shadow details.

While in-camera HDR is promised in future iterations, we can experiment with what HDR capabilities could bring, ironically through computational photo processing on the desktop. Unfortunately the L16 does not have a bracket mode today, so each image must be individually taken at varying exposures, and then merged into a single HDR image through Lightroom. These 3 samples alone took 3+ hrs total to process on a modern Mac due to the size of the files, and subsequent post-processing needs.

As an aside: I generally hate HDR photography largely because it's so frequently abused by photographers. Far too many HDR images have jarring false colors and ample amounts of posterization. If that's your taste, that's fine, but in these examples, I made my best effort to preserve the integrity of the HDR image, and keep it true to the normally exposed image. Post-processing HDR takes a very delicate touch.


planetMitch started many moons ago with a large airplane manufacturer who decided they didn't need him any more. Now he runs successful businesses including the best DSLR video blog on the planet - planet5D.

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