Light field imagers such as the plenoptic and the integral imagers inherently measure projections of the four dimensional (4D) light field scalar function onto a two dimensional sensor and therefore, suffer from a spatial vs. angular resolution trade-off. Programmable light field imagers, proposed recently, overcome this spatioangular resolution trade-off and allow high-resolution capture of the (4D) light field function with multiple measurements at the cost of a longer exposure time. However, these light field imagers do not exploit the spatio-angular correlations inherent in the light fields of natural scenes and thus result in photon-inefficient measurements. Here, we describe two architectures for compressive light field imaging that require relatively few photon-efficient measurements to obtain a high-resolution estimate of the light field while reducing the overall exposure time. Our simulation study shows that, compressive light field imagers using the principal component (PC) measurement basis require four times fewer measurements and three times shorter exposure time compared to a conventional light field imager in order to achieve an equivalent light field reconstruction quality.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.