updated 10:46 am EDT, Fri July 19, 2013
Accessory will take photographs, transfer over Wi-Fi to smartphone
Sony will be launching a smartphone accessory that could improve photographs taken on such devices, according to a rumor. The company is said to be planning to release a "lens-camera," namely a camera lens with a built-in imaging sensor that can communicate with a nearby mobile device and transmit the resulting photograph to it.
Sources of Sony Alpha Rumors state that it will have a built-in battery and memory as well as the sensor, allowing it to be used separately to a smartphone or tablet. It will apparently connect to a mobile device over NFC and Wi-Fi, and could also be mounted to the smartphone, effectively converting the phone into a complete smart camera unit. The potential device is also said to use a 20.2-megapixel BSI Exmor R 1.0-type CMOS sensor and an f1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, the same as the ones used on the Sony RX100 II. A second model with a smaller sensor yet larger zoom is also said to be in the works.
Despite the quality of the image supplied with the tip, the report gives it the highest possible score on its scale of plausibility, rating it as "almost certainly correct." Though a possible release date has not been provided, it is suggested as coming soon.
If it is indeed true, the accessory would in theory be continuing a trend found in camera launches through the last few months. Manufacturers are offering mobile apps and Wi-Fi connectivity with their higher-specification cameras, allowing for remote control of a shot from a smartphone, as well as transferring the photographs to the device for editing and uploading to social networks. A "lens-camera," such as the one detailed in the rumor, could be seen as a natural progression in this style of photography.