If you've heard of Leica, then you probably know your way around a nice camera... or at least a very expensive one. The German manufacturer, a private company that's over 150 years old, specializes in extremely well-crafted point-and-shoot and swappable lens cameras, plus lenses for a few other camera makers. With prices that start at around $1000 for the cheapest models and go up to over 20 grand for specialty and professional cameras, they're generally restricted to the most extravagant of luxury buyers or career photographers.
It's interesting, then, that Leica has announced a "strategic partnership" with Huawei, China's biggest smartphone manufacturer and a rising player on the world stage.
The Google Glass team knows that if you're thinking about mounting a computer on your face, you should do it with some style. Today, Google and the Luxottica Group announced a partnership that will see the two companies working together to design stylish and comfortable frames to pair with Google Glass. This follows the the Glass team's own Titanium line of frames launched back in January.
The Luxottica Group owns, manufactures, and distributes famous brands such as Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Persol. The company is also responsible for manufacturing frames for several top designers like DKNY, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and many others.
Questions about Google Glass and conventional prescription glasses have been flying since the project was announced, but Google finally seem ready to initiate a program to make the two come into conjunction. The Glass team announced frames for prescription lenses and sunglasses for Glass on Google+, along with a glitzy video. The titanium glasses frames will be put up for order exclusively to Glass Explorers later today.
Unfortunately, the solution that Google has presented isn't one size fits all - you'll have to choose from a selection of four standard frames (Split, Thin, Bold, Curve) and order lenses to fit. The titanium frames are pretty pricey as well, with a uniform cost of $225, or $150 for the sunglasses.
There can no longer be any denying it – Sony is about to announce a self-contained camera inside a lens that attaches to your smartphone. The Sony DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens camera modules have been spotted a few times, but this is the largest cache of pictures so far.
Sony has a history of doing odd things with mobile devices, but this is pretty out there. According to Sony Alpha Rumors, which has a good track record on all things Sony camera-related, the company will soon announce a range of "lens cameras" that snap onto Android phones so you can take better pictures. It's every bit as strange as it sounds.
The lens cameras will actually contain almost everything you need to take a picture – a built-in sensor, Bionz image processor, WiFi/NFC, and an SD card slot. Notice anything missing? Yep, there's no viewfinder, but that's what your smartphone is for.
Smartphone cameras have quickly taken over as the primary point-and-shoot for many people, and while they offer up a quick way to take a shot, their use is still fairly limited. If you're looking to get more out of your smartphone's camera, then these add-on lenses may be just what the doctor ordered.
What Are They?
They're small lenses that bring three commonly used mods to your smartphone camera: wide angle/macro, fisheye, and telephoto. They're very simple to use, but I'll warn you upfront - they do require a bit of modification to your phone in order to work. What sort of mod, you ask?