Sony's new lens-camera concept could boost the imaging performance of any compatible smartphone and breathe new life into the digital camera market.
One of the standout smartphone trends of 2013 has been better and better image-capturing capabilities: from better sensor technology -- as deployed by HTC in its flagship One handset -- to Nokia's incredible lens and sensor combination on the recently-launched Lumia 1020, which is so good it could even give a full professional DSLR camera a run for its money.
However, as Samsung so aptly demonstrated with the launch of the Galaxy SIV Zoom, boosting the camera performance of a phone leads to a few ergonomic and physical compromises. The resulting handset is very bulky and cumbersome when not being used as a camera.
The Sony DSC-QX10 Smartshot, which is expected to be officially demonstrated for the first time at this week's IFA in Berlin, Germany; on September 6, could be the solution to this bulky problem.
It is a HD video and stills camera contained within a lens that connects physically or wirelessly with a smartphone for professional photos, complete with optical zoom when conditions demand. Small enough to drop into a pocket when not in use and big and powerful enough to significantly boost the imaging performance of any compatible handset, the Smartshot could start a new trend all on its own.
It even has its own, dedicated SD card slot so that the massive photo and video files don't take up all of your phone's storage. Recent leaks suggest that it will also support NFC and wifi for easy device pairing and file sharing.