Back in September of this year, Olympus announced that it would be trying its hand at “lens cameras” with a new “Open Platform” project. The goal is to create a camera module that features a sensor, a lens mount, and wireless pairing with a smartphone.
Early illustrations showed a cube-like camera, but Olympus is now showing off a new rounded prototype that looks a lot more like a lens than it does a camera.
According to 43 Rumors, which received the photos below from a tipster named Alvin, the gadget was being exhibited at an electronics event in Tokyo:
As you can see from the shot above, the camera takes a Micro Four Third lens in the front and then can wirelessly beam its live view to a paired smartphone. A camera control on the smartphone will allow you to snap photos and adjust settings.
The new sleeker design is much more reminiscent of the Sony QX, which lets you pair a Sony camera lens with a Sony smartphone. It features a shutter button on top and three tripod mounting locations.
Specs revealed so far by Olympus include: Android OS, a 16-megapixel sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity, photo/video capturing, optical/digital zoom, RAW files, and a Micro Four Thirds mount.
An illustration on the Olympus site also suggests that a propeller could be attached to the camera to turn the device into some kind of smartphone-controlled drone for aerial photography:
There’s still no indication as to when Olympus is planning to release this camera to consumers or how much it will cost when that does happen.