Alice Camera – 11MP M4/3 Sensor on Your Smartphone

October 7th, 2020
Alice Camera - 11MP M4/3 Sensor on Your Smartphone

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.

Alice Camera Concept Development. Source: photogram.ai

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.

Alice Camera Concept User Interface. Source: photogram.ai

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.

Alice Camera Concept. Source: photogram.ai. Somehow, this concept still makes little sense as there is no lens on the mount …?

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.

Alice Camera Concept. Source: photogram.ai

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.

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C B
C B
Member
October 9th, 2020

“we are just reporting about what looks like an interesting concept here.“

I’m sorry, but no it’s not. It’s not interesting, because it’s not a new idea. Why would someone buy something roughly the size of a stand-alone camera that has to be attached to their cellphone to use? Just buy a true stand-alone camera if you want something more than your cellphone camera. Once you start carrying around “other things” to use with your cellphone to take pictures, you might as well carry around a real, stand-alone camera.

I wish these guys the best of luck, but this is DOA.

Chris
Chris
Guest
October 9th, 2020

Looks similar in concept to things that Sony and Olympus played around with 5-10 years ago, then sunk without trace. I’m not sure who the target market is here: if you have micro 4/3 lenses to hand, then you surely already have a camera body to attach them to. If you don’t then you can get a Lumix GX9 body today for the early-backer ‘maybe someday’ price of £450. A new GX880 is £350 with a compact zoom lens, and available today. This needs to come in at less than the cost of a small micro 4/3 body to be attractive to those who already have m 4/3 gear. If the target market is people who currently use their smart phone for photography and don’t have m 4/3 gear, it needs to be more attractive than any other camera that can connect wirelessly to a phone. £400 super zoom bridge camera offers more options to someone stepping up from phone-only photography than this does.

Lucky Lindy
Lucky Lindy
Member
October 9th, 2020

Nah bruh

Akhilesh Vanam
Akhilesh Vanam
Guest
October 8th, 2020

All App based photo acts are all crap

Piotrek Naumowicz
Member
October 8th, 2020

ricoh grIII – smaller and lighter 24MP apsc sized camera with image stabilisation and built in lens. Similar price and you don’t need to buy a smartphone ;-)

Alastair Wilson
Alastair Wilson
Member
October 8th, 2020

A solution looking for a problem. May as well just buy a proper M4/3 camera.

Chris Longstaff
Chris Longstaff
Member
October 8th, 2020

Unfortunately I fear that this has been tried (many times) before and failed. If you are willing to carry lenses, you may as well carry a (marginally) larger body such as those by Panasonic and Olympus, with Bluetooth/WiFi. Destined to fail I fear.

Steven
Steven
Guest
October 7th, 2020

AI driven focus…
Another marketing word for “autofocus”. But will it be as good as Sony’s and Canon’s one simple “autofocus”?

They use Stranger Things’ music xD

Anyways, I’m always excited to see what it will be. Maybe good surprise, who knows?

visionrouge.net
visionrouge.net
Guest
October 8th, 2020
Reply to  Steven

AI driven means it will detect where is the face (eye) to focus more than just the first object in front.

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