I can't believe I'm saying this: I want the Sony 'lens camera.'
When I first saw the leaked photos earlier this month of Sony's rumored 'lens camera', I straight up pooh-poohed this potential device. It looked ugly and ungainly. It was typical current-day Sony: making crazy, but ultimately unwanted gadgets. (Have you seen their horrid SmartWatch?)
Tonight though, another image leaked showing a potential white and gold model and I started thinking more deeply about this product and how it would be useful to someone who travels a lot, always has an iPhone on them, and hates dragging around their large point-and-shoot but needs it in order to take great photos for both work and play. Then it hit me like some pigeon poop on the head... I want this. I want this badly.
I starting thinking about the trip I made to Tokyo in May. Each day I would not only have my iPhone 5 in my pocket but also my Leica D-Lux 4. The Leica is by no means as big as a DSLR, but it's not tiny and pretty much (uncomfortably) takes up a full pocket.
While walking around the city, I found myself often taking a photo with my Leica and then immediately taking the same exact photo with the iPhone. Why? Well the Leica takes amazingly crisp, colorful, beautiful photos that look great once you get back to the hotel, take out the SD card, and transfer them over to your computer. So I felt compelled to shoot with the Leica to get the best looking photos I could.
At the same time, my iPhone is my main communication and sharing device, and I wanted to have photos on my iPhone so I could quickly and easily share them to such platforms as WeChat or, as is often the case when I'm strolling along the streets of China, to quickly upload them by 3G to my blog.
It's a nasty situation balancing the iPhone in one hand and the Leica in the other. I look like an idiot tourist. I hate it. I hate it a lot.
So what's the solution? I want to keep taking photos with my Leica because its an amazing camera (much better than the iPhone's in most situations) but it's comparatively bulky and sharing means I have to get to my computer, download the photos, in many cases reduce the size of the photos, and only then can I email them or upload them. My iPhone has a respectable camera of its own and it's the foundation for how I now share photos with friends and family. But, come on, it's still a smartphone camera and doesn't zoom, doesn't work well in the dark, and isn't a replacement for when I want to take photos that really pop off the computer's screen. What to do? Should I buy and use this monstrosity? What about this brick of a phone? No.
Then Voilà. The lightbulb inside my noggin flashes on. What if I was able to detach the optics from the rest of my Leica and dump the big, heavy body that I hate carrying around so much. And what if I could replace that heavy body and viewfinder with my sleek iPhone 5. And what if the high-quality photos I took with those beautiful optics magically and immediately transferred over to my iPhone's photo gallery, making the photos instantly sharable. And what if I could then simply detach the optics from the back of my iPhone and conveniently slip it into my pocket, where it will wait until the next time I see a scene that I absolutely need the best possible photo of and also want to immediately share with my friends.
Dear Sony, if you release this 'lens camera' and it does indeed look as slick and as compact as the new leaked image from today, and it costs around $250, and the first reviews (such as from The Verge) are solid, I will hand you my money.
Can't believe I just said that. Don't let me down Sony.