Alice Camera – AI-powered MFT Camera Attaches to iOS/Android Smartphones Will Soon Start Shipping

Alice Camera - AI-powered MFT Camera Attaches to iOS/Android Smartphones Will Soon Start Shipping

The market of devices attached to smartphones enhancing their photo/video capabilities is heating up. Just a few days ago we reported about SwitchLens, a compact Micro Four Thirds smartphone camera, currently being introduced via Kickstarter. Now, hot on the heels of this announcement, Photogram, the company behind this project, announced that their long-awaited Alice Camera will begin shipping soon. After three years of development and a crowdfunding campaign, the AI-powered Micro Four Thirds camera that attaches to iOS and Android smartphones will be available for pre-order from July 15th, 2024. Let’s take a look at it!

Photogram is a UK-based startup that began working on the Alice Camera in 2020. In 2021, we interviewed the company’s CEO, Vishal Kumar, who explained the concept and what was behind the camera. At that stage, the company did not have the prototype yet, but we learned about the specs and the details that would make the camera different from others. Three years have passed since then, and now the company has announced the proposed shipping dates for the camera.

A quick look at the Alice Camera

As we learned from Kumar’s interview, the Alice Camera aims to be the bridge between mirrorless cameras and smartphones. While the smartphone works as a monitoring, controlling, and sharing tool, the camera will deal with everything else. It will allow the use of interchangeable lenses, a smartphone-like user experience, and on-camera AI-driven computational photography. 

Alice Camera
The camera attaches to iOS and Android smartphones. – Source: Photogram

Photogram is an official Micro Four Thirds system partner, so the camera meets the standard’s requirements. The Alice Camera features an MFT lens mount and a Sony 4/3″ HDR dual-native ISO CMOS sensor. Of course, its AI capabilities make the camera stand out, thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon and Google Edge TPU chips as its primary processing units. They give the camera the power to run Photogram’s proprietary AI-driven computational photography algorithms and software-based image signal processing (ISP) pipeline directly on the camera. ISP will enable extra AI features to the existing cameras over time.

The Alice Camera’s smartphone app allows users to control the camera, manage files, and share content. Alice Camera OS, a Linux-based camera-specific operating system, allows for over-the-air software updates and open-access development. Photogram also encourages developers and businesses to contact the team if they want to build their algorithms and custom apps on the Alice Camera platform.

The app allows the user to control the camera from a smartphone. – Source: Photogram

A challenging journey

Photogram has not reached this stage easily. Struggles like the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdowns that caused severe chip shortages and delays in 2023 for consumer electronics regulatory testing were balanced by the team’s perseverance and the support of backers and investors.

We’re incredibly excited to finally bring the Alice Camera to the world. We set out to build the Alice Camera because we wanted to offer our customers a new type of mirrorless camera built specifically for a new era of content. We’ve developed a fundamentally new engineering paradigm for mirrorless cameras, with significantly novel implementations on hardware, software, and with AI algorithms. Alice Camera represents an innovative step forward in how mirrorless cameras are designed and how our users will process, capture and share their experiences. We can’t wait to see the amazing content created with the Alice Camera.

Vishal Kumar, CEO at Photogram.
Alice Camera
The Alice Camera will start shipping in July 2024. – Source: Photogram

Alice Camera Specs

  • Body: CNC’d Aluminium
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon with 8-core CPU, GPU, and DSP for computer vision
  • AI Chip: Google Edge TPU
  • Video: 4K @ 30fps & 1080p @ 60fps
  • Mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Sensor: 4/3 Sony quad-bayer HDR and dual-ISO
  • Pixel Size: 4.63µm
  • Color: AI color science, HDR, LUTs
  • Stabilisation: Electronic image stabilisation
  • The 3 A’s: AI-driven auto exposure, auto white balance, and focus
  • Storage: Micro SD card
  • Charging: USB-C
  • Audio: 3.5mm microphone jack
  • Battery: 5000 mAh

Price and availability

Interestingly enough we were not able to find the current price for this camera on the company’s website, but in our previous 2021 interview, Vishal Kumar mentioned that the retail price for the Alice Camera would be $760. The only thing mentioned is that early bird orders are entitled to 30% off the retail price, without saying what it is…

For those who pre-ordered already, these are the proposed delivery dates:

  • Cameras for the UK will begin shipping from 15th July 2024.
  • Cameras for the US, Japan, EU, and Australia are scheduled to start shipping from 15th August 2024.
  • Cameras for Canada, France, and the rest of the World will start shipping from Sept 2024.

For more information, please visit the company’s website.

What do you think about the Alice Camera? Did you back the campaign, or are you interested in the camera? Let us know in the comments section of the article below.


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