When we pack for a magazine or lifestyle ad shoot, we often have three cameras -- two digital SLRs and one medium format digital, along with 7 lenses. We fill a large pelican case with four strobes, and a long 5 foot bag with light stands and light modifiers and gaff tape and extension cords and so on, and while David keeps everything perfectly organized (he's the organized tidy one of us two), it's a pain to lug through the airport, up an elevator to our hotel room and to our shoot. Sure, we're used to it, but often when we've got our hands full in the airport and we're trying to navigate small trunks in our rideshare car, I fantasize about packing light (turns out we've got a pun here)--one small camera and just my clothes (y'know, like a normal human).
When we first heard the buzz about the new Light L16 cameras and how one small camera was essentially 16 individual lenses and sensors in the body of just one small camera and that the resulting file would be a massive 52 megapixels, we were skeptical. Lots of smaller cameras have come out on the market the past few years, but often the photo resolution is sacrificed. The Light L16camera(s) is a camera reimagined. The company hired us to create a library of photos with the device, so we took the cameras and two friends to Mexico and made a trip out of it. It doesn't look like any camera we've ever used before in our 12 years of professional photography and it doesn't work like one either. To be able to fit a camera in a little purse that has a range of 28mm to 150mm is pretty astounding.
We decided we'd take the Light L16 to a place we'd been dreaming of going. We love Mexico but hadn't spent anytime in Southern Baja and had recently heard rave reviews from a friend about Todos Santos. We brought along two friends and made minimal plans other than booking a hotel, a car, and a list of spots we found within 2 hours of our home-base with a quick Google. We found ourselves on a dirt road, riddled with potholes and lined with 25-foot saguaro cacti in search of a deserted beach, we wandered in and out of shops in town, compared tortillas at taqueria, we climbed rocks across the peninsula along the Sea of Cortez through the crystal clear water and through all of that we didn't have big camera bags on our shoulders or our waists, we just had to carry one camera each, which meant we could go further off the beaten path so much more easily.
We did try and take multiple versions of our favorite scenes because the technology isn't only new, but was brand new to us, and luckily we did because not all of our photos were sharp where we intended them to be. However, the camera was user-friendly right out of the box. You just touch the screen to focus and select your focal length. Though the battery is a single irremovable internal battery, we didn't have problems with running out of power (though we'd charge it each night and had a cable in our car just in case). For file processing, we recommend you make sure your operating system on your computer is up to date and that you have as much free-space as possible on your desktop because these massive files must be downloaded and processed on Light's Lumen software from your desktop drive. We actually received an updated processing software download link while we were in Baja and the team is clearly working to improve it because it was already better than the first we'd used.
All in all, it was incredible to experience this brand new technology in such a colorful, awe-inspiring place.