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Olympus Air is a wireless camera for your smartphone

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Sony’s QX lens cameras, which wirelessly and physically attach to your smartphone, didn’t turn out to be all that great — performance was painfully slow, and at their price and size you might as well just carry a decent Wi-Fi-equipped compact camera. But Olympus seems to think there’s the germ of a good idea in there and has announced its take on the concept: Olympus Air.

olympus Air shooting

The Olympus Air A01 is a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor and mount that can take any of the numerous lenses released for the format so far, similar to Sony’s QX1 attachment for E-mount Alpha lenses. Olympus’ version works with a series of apps, including one that replicates a physical camera mode dial and another that employs the Art Filters built into Olympus’ line of full Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Olympus Air has only been announced for release in Japan, where it’ll go on sale March 6th at a price of ¥33,800 (about $289). A bundle with Olympus’ regular 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens will run ¥49,800 ($425). Whether or not it’s worth the price — or even the time spent setting it up — will depend entirely on whether it can improve on the Sony competition’s speed and ease of use.