Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sony's Camera Module for Smart Devices

Is this the Godsend camera module that Sony is thinking of releasing or is this a hoax? Well for one, I think the whole concept is plausible even though I have my doubts. 

First, let's get one thing straight. This is a compact camera masquerading as a smartphone add-on module. It has its own battery, WIFI, Bluetooth, Sensor and probably even a microSD card slot. 

If this was true, then there is room for suspicion that it will cost a bomb. 

Camera App Module

Let's look at what it does first and compare it to real world realities. Today, most of the cameras come with WiFi and apps for social media uploading. What I think this Sony Module will do is just capture pictures and let your smart device handle all the rest. It is not rocket science but it makes sense. 

The Sony Camera will connect to your smart device wirelessly. WiFi is preferred of course since Bluetooth is far too slow to deliver a 20 megapixel picture to your device. 

Your mobile device will host the display too. Allowing you to see what you capture though I am not sure if there will be any momentary lag (I suspect it will lag as you hit the shutter button since Live View Capture is not possible). 

The mobile app, which will be available for both iOS and Android, will probably have filters too to do your image enhancements. 

Addressing Storage Problems

Storing 16 megapixel size photos are plain ridiculous on mobile devices since the paltry memory storage is not going to hold that many pictures. This means that the Sony Module should have its own storage like a SD card or one of those Sony Memory sticks as used by the PS Vita. 

So I would reckon that the Sony Camera Module will have the ability to support up to 64GB microSD cards at the bear minimum. This means your smartphone will access the pictures stored on the Sony Camera module once it is needed without affecting your onboard device storage. 

Proof is in the Pudding

The most important deciding factor is how much better is this little thing compared to the mobile device's camera. Big isn't an issue. It boils down to high ISO handling and dynamic range. Sony always had a problem with high ISO even on its DSLRs. They just don't know how to push this envelope further. 

If it promises better imaging at high ISO at compact camera cost (around $300 bucks) then it could be worth looking into buying this. But for some strange reason, I suspect this would be sold at a lot higher since they would be effectively creating a new product niche instead of replacing the loss they have been sustaining in the compact camera market. 

At a higher price, I think you're better off getting  compact camera instead of a mobile device add on like this. Technically speaking, the Sony camera module will be totally useless without a smartphone or tablet device so why pay so much for it? Enough said. 


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