We’ve already given you our thoughts on where the camera and smartphone market is heading. Moreover, over the years we’ve seen a variety of smartphone accessories that attempt to augment the cameras built-in to our smartphones. The first such product, at least in terms of fandom, was the olloclip. It was quickly followed by numerous copy cats, though my favorite continues to be the Phocus despite its rather large size.
Unfortunately, all of these aforementioned products, and those that fall some where in between, utilize the phone’s camera sensor and lens. Generally speaking that’s the crux that negates your smartphone from producing top quality shots that can stand side by side with a point and shoot.
That said, Nokia has attempted to address this shortcoming with their latest handset, the Lumia 1020 (and those in the same range), Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom, and LG’s G2 promises quality photos thanks to OIS and what is said to be a decent sensor. Nevertheless, these are hardly a resolve if you’re already invested in a brand new smartphone, or continue to stick to a platform that won’t promise a camera system that exceeds the status quo.
And that’s where Sony comes in. In late July a rumored emerged pointing towards a smartphone lens system created by Sony that will purportedly improve your phone’s photography abilities vastly. Unfortunately, at the time details were rather sparse, and photos where no where to be found. Yesterday, that changed, as SonyAlpha Rumor got their hands on what are said to be actual photos of the rumored products.
In total there are two lenses that are set to be released. Both clip onto your smartphone – any smartphone – and instead of leveraging the built-in camera sensor like the olloclip, it completes forgoes it. Instead, Sony’s smartphone lens system is said to connect with your device over WiFi or NFC, which is to say your phone will simply serve as a viewfinder and remote, while the lens will house the sensor, processor, and memory card slot.
Cool? Yes. But only if Sony can reduce the size of the lens to make it worthwhile for you to carry it around. If as big, or almost as big as a stand alone point and shoot, there really is no point. Also, the price will need be reasonable to warrant such an investment, again and otherwise you might as well get a point and shoot.
According to SonyAlpha the smaller of the two lenses (DSC-QX10) will included a 10x optical zoom, f/3.3-5.9 G lens, and a 1/2.3 inch 18-megapixel CMOS sensor. The larger lens (DSC-QX100), which is said to be derived from Sony’s RX100M2 camera, will include Sony’s 1-inch 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor and an f/1.8 Carl Zeiss lens.