SwitchLens Micro Four Thirds Camera for Smartphone Now on Kickstarter

SwitchLens Micro Four Thirds Camera for Smartphone Now on Kickstarter

A new Chinese company called Sneaki Design recently launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a compact Micro Four Thirds smartphone camera called SwitchLens. This MagSafe/Qi2-compatible magnetic module is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. It features a 1-inch CMOS image sensor that can capture 21MP RAW/JPG pictures and videos up to 4K at 60P. So, let’s take a closer look at it!

In the smartphone photography/filmmaking world, we’re all familiar with third-party apps, additional lenses, lens filter systems, and other ecosystems of cages and add-ons. What these products have in common is they use your smartphone’s built-in image sensors and lenses, with their pros and cons.

Sneaki Design took another direction and flipped the problem to find a new solution with the SwitchLens that features a bigger image sensor and a “proper” lens mount, which allows you to use any Micro Four Thirds you want with your smartphone.

While this is an interesting approach, we did an interview with Alice Camera back in 2021, a company that launched a similar concept but still did not hit the market.

SwitchLens features

SwitchLens is an independent camera system that can be magnetically attached to your iOS/Android smartphone via a MagSafe/Qi2 ring. Your smartphone connects to the camera via WiFi, and a free photo/video app allows you to adjust your camera settings and capture photos/footage.

The SwitchLens is powered via a 14500 battery
The SwitchLens is powered via a 14500 battery. Image credit: SwitchLens

The SwitchLens is powered via one 3.7V 14500-type replaceable battery. It measures 14 x 6.7 x 1.2cm/5.5 x 2.62 x 0.5″ and weighs 170g/6oz. At the bottom of the unit, you’ll find a USB-C port to charge it and a microSD slot that can take memory cards up to 1.5TB. On the left side, there is a lens release button. Lastly, since all of your camera settings are adjusted within the app, there is only one shutter button at the top.

You can mount Micro Four Thirds lenses to any smartphone
You can mount Micro Four Thirds lenses to any smartphone. Image credit: SwitchLens

Image sensor

The SwitchLens’ main advantage is its 1-inch CMOS sensor. According to the company, it can capture 21MP pictures in RAW or JPG and videos in “MOV” at up to 4K60P, but we don’t have any more details about it.

Within the app, you have complete control over your camera settings, like a regular camera. You can adjust the white balance from 2600K to 8600K, the shutter speed from 10s to 1/8000th, and the ISO range from 100 to 12,800 (expandable to 50 – 25,600).

You can attach any Micro Four Thirds lens you want to the back of the camera. At launch, the SwitchLens only had a Focus Peaking mode in the app and no Autofocus capabilities. However, the crowdfunding campaign’s stretch goal was reached, so they should add autofocus capabilities to it.

Last but not least, the company partnered with a lens manufacturer to propose bundles. In total, there are seven affordable manual Micro Four Third lenses, including 7.5mm F/2.8, 12mm F/2.8, 25mm F/1.8, 27mm F/2.8, 35mm F/0.95 and 35mm F/1.8, and a 50mm F/1.8.

Price and availability

The SwitchLens crowdfunding campaign is live until July 26th. Several rewards and bundles are available, starting at $199 for the body only, $346 for the 3-lens kit, and $649 for the 6-lens kit. All products should start shipping by November 2024.

At the end of every crowdfunding-related article, we remind you to please be aware of the risks when backing a project on a crowdfunding platform. Also, please read the platform’s use and remember there can be significant delays when delivering the product. Some projects don’t get delivered at all.

For more information, please visit SwitchLens’ crowdfunding campaign here.

What do you think about this third-party camera for smartphones? Is it a good idea, or do you prefer using your smartphone’s built-in cameras? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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