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The answer to this question is not simple. I shot several pictures the day I received the camera to explore this. The camera was set to automatic and I used exposure compensation as appropriate.


All the files were imported into Lumen, and then exported as full-sized JPGs. I then used Adobe Bridge to visualize the pictures and obtain data on focal length, dimensions in pixels, and file size (MB). A total of 94 pictures were used in the analysis. Some of these pictures appear elsewhere on the site. The pictures appearing on the website were resized to 1333 x 1000 pixels and saved as JPGs (quality 8).

As the graphs show, the largest image and file sizes are seen at 28mm and the smallest at 150mm. However, the relationship is not linear! The size drops in a near-linear fashion by approximately 85% as focal length increases from 28mm to about 70mm. Just above 70mm, there is an almost 5-fold increase in size. This drops by approximately 75% as the focal length increases to 150mm.

Without detracting from the technology and the incredible image quality of the L16, effectively, the sensor size reduces as the focal length increases in a bimodal fashion. I would call it "cropping in style"! See here for Light's own explanation: 

My guess is that the 28mm photos are a composite of pictures shot by 6 modules of 150mm (or a combination of 150mm and 70mm). At the other extreme, a 150mm photo is shot by a single 150mm module. The 70mm photo must be a single picture taken by a 70mm module. It should be possible to change that to a composite of 150mm modules - and increase the resolution.

On a DSLR, zooming does not change the resolution in pixel terms. With the L16 it does. In that sense, the L16 cannot replace a DSLR!

How many megapixels does the L16 really have?

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