The Alice Camera is a new concept of a smartphone-connected camera module. It will feature an 11MP Micro Four Thirds image sensor with M4/3 lens mount. It should provide AI-based functions and quick sharing functions. The UK-manufactured Alice Camera will be available on Indiegogo in February 2021.
In situations where the equipment weight and portability matters, many people are considering whether to only take a smartphone or an additional interchangeable lens camera. Modern smartphones not only feature fairly good cameras, but also a decent computational power.
The team at photogram.ai developed a hybrid device called Alice Camera which can equip any smartphone with a Micro Four Thirds image sensor and lens mount. Let’s take a short look at its features and specs.
Alice Camera – Sensor Back for Smartphones
As I mentioned, Alice Camera is a compact camera body that can be mounted onto the back of almost any standard smartphone. Thanks to a thicker body and an ergonomic handle it provides better hand placement and stability than the smartphone alone.
The specs are not final yet, but it seems the Alice Camera will be using Micro Four Thirds 11MP Quad Bayer HDR image sensor (4.63µm pixel size) along with the M4/3 lens mount. I think it is a good compromise between image sensor size and compact lens ecosystem. Additionally, it is very easy to adapt virtually any lens to the M4/3 lens mount thanks to its short flange distance.
According to the UK-based photogram.ai team, thanks to the lower (GH5S-like) resolution of the sensor and the Quad Bayer structure, the camera should do well in low light conditions. The manufacturer also says that it will be possible to capture 4K video with no crop.
It seems the camera will connect to the smartphone wirelessly via 5GHz WiFi. The Alice Camera native app will provide the camera user interface that should be easy to use. The camera system and firmware will improve with future regular software updates through the app. The creators also said they will be providing open-source software access to Alice allowing customization.
With a direct implementation of a smartphone, it will be easier to instantly share content to social media and live stream directly. The smartphone can also be turned 180 degrees to provide a selfie screen or it can even be mounted separately from the camera module.
The camera body will be made out of aluminum and there will be one MicroSD card slot for storage. Charging will be done via USB-C connection. The Alice Camera will also have a 3.5mm jack to connect external microphones.
Price and Availability
The Alice Camera can currently only be pre-ordered directly via the manufacturers’ website. After paying a £50 deposit, the first 100 customers will get the Alice Camera for £450. The full pre-order terms can be found here.
The team plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in February 2021. The price of the camera body only in the campaign is planned to be £550. Be aware of the risks of any crowdfunding campaigns, because there is a danger that there will be large delays or you might never receive your device – we haven’t touched the Alice camera, we are just reporting about what looks like an interesting concept here.
Finally, the full retail price for the Alice Camera (body only) is planned to be £750. Its creators aim to start shipping all the ordered cameras in summer 2021.
What do you think about Alice Camera? Do you think a hybrid device like this can be the future? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.