Olympus has introduced the Air A01 lens-style camera, which will be compatible with Micro Four Thirds lenses and will compete against Sony’s QX-series.
Almost two years have passed since Sony announced the QX10 and QX100 lens-style cameras. These devices are cameras that are designed to look like lenses and to be mounted on mobile devices.
Sony QX-series cameras also come packed with a built-in lens. However, the most recent camera is called QX1 and it offers E-mount interchangeable lens support.
Olympus has decided to take a jab at its partner, so it has introduced the Air A01 interchangeable lens camera that is shaped like a lens.
Olympus Air A01 lens-style camera revealed with Micro Four Thirds lens mount support
This new camera features a Micro Four Thirds mount, meaning that it will be compatible with all MFT lenses. Just like the Sony QX-series shooters, the Air A01 is controlled via WiFi using a smartphone.
The new Olympus Air A01 features a 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor and a TruePic VII processor. Additionally, it includes a fast autofocus system, which will allow users to simply tap on a smartphone display, indicating where they want to focus.
The Air A01 will use a smartphone’s screen as a viewfinder. Photographers can hold the camera and lens kit in one hand, while controlling the smartphone with another hand.
Eventually, such devices can become the ultimate selfie tools, as the images can be framed properly and can be transferred immediately to the smartphone that is tethered to it.
This device also employs an electronic shutter with a maximum speed of 1/16000th of a second. Its processor allows users to capture up to 10fps in continuous shooting mode.
Olympus has confirmed that the specs list of its lens-style camera includes a microSD card and a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
Air A01 is an open-source camera, so developers can create their own apps for it
Olympus Air A01 has been launched as an open-source camera. The company is inviting people to the “Hack & Make Project”, courtesy of a Software Development Kit, which will allow developers to create new apps for this device.
Beside apps, designers can create accessories for the Air platform, which could be expanded in the future.
For now, it appears that the camera also comes with Bluetooth support. This way, the apps will “connect” to the camera as soon as it is turned on. Users can add Art Filters and edit their photos or videos directly on the smartphone.
The Olympus Air A01 lens-style camera weighs only 147 grams and it will be released this March in black and white colors only in Japan.
For the time being, it is unclear whether or not it will be launched in other markets. However, it will definitely be present at the CP+ 2015 event, which also takes place in Japan.