A desire to make DSLR photography more compact has resulted in the world’s first multi-aperture camera. And it might be a game-changer for mobile cameras altogether.

The Light L16 is the brainchild of Dr. Rajiv Laroia. An avid photographer, Laroia found that he was taking more photographs using his smartphone camera than his expensive DSLR camera, as his smartphone was always on hand. This inspired him to create a camera that had the same quality and abilities as a DSLR, but was smaller and portable. So the Light L16 was born.

The Light replaces the DSLR’s expensive large lens with multiple smaller and inexpensive lenses. The result is a multi-aperture camera that captures images using different lenses, depending on the amount of light available and subject matter being photographed.

With a 35-150 millimetre true optical zoom, the camera captures images at a resolution of 52 megapixels. It’s said to  provide crisp images at the same cost as an average 50 – 150 millimetre DSLR lens.

The Light L16 is expected to complete production in the third quarter of 2016, and is available at a discounted pre-order cost of $1 299 (about R17 300) on the Light website.

Watch the video below for more details about how the Light L16 works.

Images and video credit: Light