As we all know, by some strange twist of fate, the two relatively disparate technological legacies of telephones and cameras have merged into one hybrid device. When getting a new smartphone, checking to see the quality of the device’s photo quality and megapixel count is nearly—if not as important—as judging its telecommunication capabilities. In short, if you have a mobile phone, you’re also an amateur shutterbug, a fact emphasized by the presence of external camera lens kits and Nokia’s line of Lumia Windows phones. That’s why recently surfaced photos of Sony’s lens cameras caught my attention. If they catch on, they could be a game-changer.
Posted on SonyAlphaRumors today, these photos reveal two new camera lenses from Sony which can attach to an iPhone or Android phone and would interface with the phone via Wi-Fi or NFC (near-field communication, as made famous by this Samsung Galaxy S3 commercial). From there, I’d imagine that a separate app would be used to control the camera, which would also probably give users control over their phone’s built-in flash.
So how about the quality of the lens camera itself? The SonyAlphaRumors post says that the two models coming from Sony will be of comparable quality to that of the Sony DSC-RX100M II and Sony DSC-WX150, each with 20.2 and 18.2 megapixel sensors, respectively. With price tags in the hundreds of dollars, it goes without saying that they’re on the higher end of the photography spectrum, and might not be of interest to the legions of casual photographers who have appeared in the wake of the smartphone boom. No matter your phone’s camera quality, Sony’s lens camera has the potential to bring professional level photo quality to anyone who wants to shell out the money for one of these.
While the lenses may seem on the bulky side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see folks willing to carry around one of these cylinders rather than a separate, high end camera. And if the quality of the lenses matches that of the above-linked cameras, I also feel like some more avid photographers might enjoy leaving their copious amounts of gear at home in favor of one powerful lens.
It’s important, too, that the post doesn’t have any ideas regarding the lens cameras’ release date or prices, though it speculates that we’ll learn more in early September. So how much would you pay for a device like this? And do you think Sony will price them low enough for actual widespread adoption?
Speaking personally, I’d love to try one out. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to test one out before the sun–and the nice picture-taking weather–disappears with the forthcoming winter.