Too practical to be useful – the Phonecamera

Engineering marvels – especially consumer products – have a long history of being so practical and convenient that they are completely useless. Add-on lenses to smart phones are fast approaching this category. It is common knowledge that the best camera is the one you have with you, and unless you go on a specific photo shoot, this will be more many the smart phone in their pocket. Ready to be used anytime with virtually no set-up the smartphone creates reasonably good memories, serves as a creative tool when you study a bit its capabilities and possibly add some apps. There are a wide range of more or less convenient little add-on lenses
with this one slightly more practical than others that require you to glue on parts onto your phone. These lenses are optical add-ons and while most of them suffer from incompatibility with an even more important piece of creative expression – the phone cover – they make use of the imaging technology at hand. Taking the concept of photography with your smartphone a stap further leads to the recent announcement by Sony to provide a fully contained high-end point-and shoot camera that uses your smart phone as a viewfinder and control panel.

Sony QX clip-on camera

Sony QX clip-on camera – Photo by

Sony announced two fully connected cameras containing a Zeiss lens, a large sensor, a battery and electronics. It clips onto your smartphone, making it useless as a phone, a texting device and as a reading unit and hard to handle as a camera. It sounds like a great idea to finally have an optical 10x zoom with the QX10 and the large sensor QX100. Here’s a professional review.


The photo enthusiast blog DPR Connect asks “Has Sony redefined mobile photography?” and there are definitely new options to use a highly connected camera. Maybe it’s a new category. It’s no longer the best camera to have with you – especially when you actually want to use the phone. Every time the $400+ camera piece hits the cobble stones of the street you’re walking when answering a quick call makes you reconsider. When carrying a big clunker in your pocket, you may a

s well carry a complete camera – or not.

Media and communication devices are getting old very fast, which makes us smile when we see feeble attempts to build the ultimate contraption.


Rotobooth users dial their mobile numbers the old-school way with long winds around the rotary phone located below the camera lens. Creators of Rotobooth hacked the phone with an Arduino microcontroller, so that once a photo is taken, it’s sent to Flickr, and the user then receives a text message link to that photo on whatever number was dialed on the rotary phone.

UPDATE: More on Rotobooth (dead link)

More on the sharing the world with everyone except yourself in the next blog entry.


UPDATE: 10 minutes after I posted the blog entry, this came up on FB: attach your iPhone to a classic Hasselblad C500





Posted in Digital Media, lifestyle, memory, Miriam Andromeda, Photography, Uncategorized
2 comments on “Too practical to be useful – the Phonecamera
  1. trucos clash of clans says:

    Howdy just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading
    correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show
    the same results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *