Is Sony Developing Attachable Lenses For Your Smartphones?
August 13, 2013

Is Sony Developing Attachable Lenses For Your Smartphone?

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

A set of leaked images released on Monday suggests Sony could be looking to ship new attachable lenses meant to bridge high-quality photography and smartphones.

According to website Sony Alpha Rumors, these lenses have Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity built in and are controlled by Android and iOS smartphones alike. According to the leaked images, the lens cameras (listed as models DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100) won’t enhance current gear but simply attach to the back of smartphones like a stand-alone camera. They also have no LCD screen or external controls and allegedly will depend solely on software that runs on the smartphone.

SonyAlphaRumors hints that these lenses could be released as early as September 4. Though smartphone cameras have improved dramatically in the past three years, there’s still a portion of the market built around improving these cameras further by way of add-on lenses. As these embedded cameras improve, so too does the interest in shooting quality images with a device that fits in the pocket. Smartphones are also easily upgradeable, so while the embedded lens may stay the same, the software used to control it could continually get better year after year.

SonyAlphaRumors claims the two alleged lens-cameras can be magnetically attached to smartphones (presumably leaving out those with plastic backs) and will feature an SD card slot in addition to the Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. The website calls the larger of these devices a “lens-camera” with the same sensor as the one found in the Sony DSC-RX100 M II camera. The second lens is smaller than the first but is rumored to pack in a 10x-zoom lens with 1/2,3 inch 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, similar to the sensor found in the Sony WX150 camera.

All in all, the writers at SonyAlphaRumors seem quite excited about the potential release of these products, saying, “Now you can have that kind of Image Quality on your iPhone or Android Smartphone!”

In an update, the writers claim one of images of the alleged products also leaks an upcoming Sony smartphone, the Sony Xperia i1. The website also ranks its rumors on a scale and claim this story ranks in at an “SR5,” or “almost certainly correct.”

Sony could release this product along with its new Xperia smartphone and near the time Samsung and others release their latest smartphone gear. In other words, while some may be looking to buy the latest smartphones, Sony wants to make sure its lenses are on the front of them all.

As technology gets faster and smaller, smartphone manufacturers have been packing some impressive camera sensors into the smallest of packages. Though cameras have been in common candy bar and flip phones for some years now, consumers now demand to have a camera of some determinable quality in a device which they’ll easily spend upwards of $199 after subsidies.

Earlier this year, one iPhone photography app developer, Camera+, demonstrated how much the iPhone camera specifically has improved in only five years. Though each new Apple device has noticeable improvements over the previous year, the most shocking differences can be found between the very first iPhone and the iPhone 5.

While the iPhone and others continue to steadily improve their camera offerings, Nokia continues to make a name for itself by releasing smartphones with cameras capable of producing near-DSLR quality images. Its latest phone for instance, the Lumia 1020, packs in a 41-megapixel camera which has been receiving some rave reviews from the tech press.