Calibrating the L16
As we gear up for mass production of the L16, one thing remains uniquely important to our camera’s technology: calibration.
A camera that has one optical path worries less about what is “true” or “real” because there is only one truth, one reality. This reality can be objectively tested and optimized, but it requires adjusting only one path.
A multi-aperture camera with sixteen optical paths (apertures + mirrors + sensors) contends with sixteen realities. In order to merge those realities to create one truth (final image), the camera needs to know precisely where each optical path is relative to the others.
In Light’s Palo Alto office, we’ve been using a specially-designed calibration box to “teach” each L16 prototype where all of its optical paths are relative to the others and relative to the world it will capture. This allows the sixteen paths to behave as one - maintaining the same consistency as a camera with only one optical path.
We’ve also been using this box to ensure the various realities captured by the optical paths of our prototypes intersect in the right places (colors match, focal distances are equivalent, mirrors are positioned properly, etc.) so that the final image best reflects the photographer’s reality. All of this calibration has resulted in prototype image quality that achieves the high standards we’ve set: going well beyond traditional mobile photography and into the realm of DSLRs.
At this point, we could delve into the nuances of calibration science or traverse an entire field of philosophical thought about what is real and what is true, but instead we’ll leave it at this:
We’re thrilled with the results we’ve been able to achieve using our calibration equipment in the prototype phase and have now moved our calibration process and box from our Palo Alto office to our Taiwan facilities in preparation for mass production of the L16. Below you can see photos of this exciting move.
The L16 Calibration Box
Inside the L16 Calibration Box
L16 Calibration Box Wiring in Process
L16 Calibration Box Packaged for Shipping
L16 Calibration Box Departing California
L16 Calibration Box Arriving in Taiwan