The Alice camera is a new concept of a camera module connected to a smartphone. It will contain an 11MP Micro Four Thirds image sensor with an M4 / 3 lens mount. It should offer AI-based functionality and quick sharing capabilities. The UK-made Alice camera will be available on Indiegogo in February 2021.
In situations where the weight and portability of the device are important, many people consider whether they just want to take a smartphone or an additional camera with an interchangeable lens. Modern smartphones not only have pretty good cameras, but also have decent computing power.
The team at photogram.ai developed a hybrid device called the Alice Camera, which can be used to equip any smartphone with a Micro Four Thirds image sensor and a lens mount. Let's take a quick look at the features and specifications.
Alice Camera – sensor back for smartphones
As already mentioned, Alice Camera is a compact camera housing that can be mounted on the back of almost all standard smartphones. Thanks to a thicker body and an ergonomic handle, it offers a better hand position and stability than the smartphone alone.
Specifications are not final, but it appears that the Alice camera will use the 11MP Quad Bayer HDR image sensor from Micro Four Thirds (4.63 µm pixel size) along with the M4 / 3 lens mount. I think it's a good compromise between the size of the image sensor and the compact lens ecosystem. In addition, thanks to the short flange distance, it is very easy to adapt practically any lens to the M4 / 3 lens mount.
Alice Camera concept development. Source: photogram.ai
According to the UK-based photogram.ai team, the camera should work well in low light thanks to the sensor's lower (GH5S-like) resolution and the Quad Bayer structure. The manufacturer also says it will be possible to record 4K video without trimming.
It appears that the camera connects to the smartphone wirelessly via 5 GHz WiFi. The native Alice Camera app provides the camera's user interface, which should be easy to use. The camera system and firmware will be improved with future regular software updates via the app. The developers also said they will give Alice open source software access to make adjustments.
Alice Camera Concept user interface. Source: photogram.ai
With a direct implementation of a smartphone, it's easier to instantly share content to social media and live streams. The smartphone can also be rotated 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 since there is no lens on the mount …?
The camera housing is made of aluminum and there is a microSD card slot for storage. The charging process takes place via a USB-C connection. The Alice camera also has a 3.5 mm socket for connecting external microphones.
Price and availability
The Alice camera can currently only be pre-ordered directly from the manufacturer's website. After paying a deposit of £ 50, the first 100 customers will receive the Alice camera for £ 450. 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 in the campaign only is said to be £ 550. Be aware of the risks of crowdfunding campaigns as there is a risk that there will be major delays or that you will never receive your device. We haven't touched the Alice camera, we just report on an interesting concept.
Ultimately, the full retail price for the Alice camera (body only) is said to be £ 750. The developers want to deliver all cameras ordered from summer 2021.
What do you think of Alice Camera? Do you think such a hybrid device could be the future? Let us know in the comments section below the article.