The Olympus Air 01 has been officially released in the US after being announced earlier this year.
It’s another one of those products that falls into the ‘camera add on for the smartphone’ camp a bit like the DXO One.
The spec seems reasonable and apparently Olympus has released the SDK so other people can write apps for it.
The difference with Air 01 is the design is essentially a sensor with a lens mount which takes micro 4/3 lenses. This has both advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand there is a nice range of lenses available. On the other you will have to carry those lenses and the Air 01 to use with your phone. You can hear the sceptics saying ‘i may as well just carry a camera body’. They may have missed the point though.
The DXO One and Olympus Air 01 give us photographers a choice. Even more choice. They bridge the gap between carrying a camera bag full of bodies and lenses and the ability to use our smartphones with some more pocketable sensor options.
These devices won’t be for everyone and I daresay that the die hard fans will still moan that ‘if it ain’t a DSLR it ain’t a camera’.
While I am following the development of these add ons, it will be interesting to see if mobile manufacturers respond by improving phone cameras in a way that is meaningful to the consumer. Actually the same could be said for the camera manufacturers 🙂
For many, though, stand alone cameras have become good enough.
Has have mobile phones….