Olympus unveiled a new Micro Four Thirds camera that requires a mobile phone or tablet to function.
Olympus announced the Olympus Air A01 camera that competes with the recently revealed DxO One. Both gadgets are aimed at converting an iPhone into full DSLR camera. Olympus Air A01 with Amazon Cloud Drive integration is a compact camera excluding an integrated display. The images are instead composed using a smartphone or tablet, which communicates with the camera via Wi-Fi and OA.Central for Olympus Air, Air A01’s dedicated app.
The Air A01 includes a 16MP sensor and a Micro Four Thirds mount, delivering DSLR image quality and full compatibility with Olympus’s comprehensive collection of Micro Four Thirds lenses, expanding the capabilities of your smartphone.
Olympus Air A01 relies on the imaging technology of Olympus’s mirrorless cameras and world-renowned family of M.ZUIKO digital lenses. By incorporating the same 16-megapixel sensor and TruePic VII image processor as the latest OM-D and PEN cameras, users can expect excellent image quality, even in low light. Additionally, the integrated FAST AF system enables high-speed, high-precision focusing whenever a user taps the focus location on a connected smart device. The camera includes RAW capture, 1080p video recording, a 10-frames-per-second consecutive shooting mode (with focus and exposure fixed) and a silent electronic shutter with a 1/16,000-second maximum shutter speed, transforming smartphones with previously limited imaging capabilities into cameras that enthusiasts and semi-professionals alike can enjoy! The included battery can be charged using any USB power source, and is rated for 320 shots per charge.
With an ever-growing family of premium and professional lenses, users can choose from a variety of lens options that meet their individual shooting needs. From wide-angle landscape lenses for discreet street shooting to high-powered zoom lenses, nearly all styles of photography are supported by this innovative concept. Combining the flexibility of lens selection with the virtually limitless shooting style afforded by the free-form design, users will enjoy unique imaging angles and a newfound freedom in composition.
Olympus Air A01 has a newly developed and dedicated app, OA.Central for Olympus Air, which is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore. Customers will be able to instantly transfer DSLR image quality photos to eMail, social networks, and automatically upload to securely store their photos in Amazon Cloud Drive. Olympus Air A01 is the first Olympus camera to include integration with Amazon Cloud Drive. By allowing for direct-to-cloud storage, users minimize the strain on the memory of their smart devices, immediately and securely store their photos, and have instant access to their images for upload across social media outlets.
Local storage is also available on Air A01 using a microSD memory card. Images and video files can be transferred instantly to a connected smartphone or tablet for easy sharing. Because Air A01 is an open platform, developers can create their own apps for the camera using the available software development kit.
The included Olympus Air A01 Coupling accessory enables users to securely attach the camera to a smartphone if desired. The angled mount allows you to see a live view through the lens from various positions for maximum flexibility. Additionally, as the camera and smartphone or tablet communicate wirelessly; the Air A01 can be operated while detached from a smart device, making it possible to capture selfies and other shots that are difficult to obtain using conventional cameras. You can also connect the Air A01 to a tripod for capturing steady shots at night.
The Olympus Air A01 will be available in the United States in July 2015 in Black or White for $299.99 (body only) or $499.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens, and in Canada in August 2015 in Black or White for $399.99 (body only) or $599.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens.
If the concept of the Olympus Air A01 is appealing to consumers remains to be seen. The Air A01 is rather clunky and is not saving that much room compared to a full Micro Four Thirds camera. On the other hand the Air A01 is enabling new creative ways to shoot photos with the Wi-Fi and app concept.
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Pre-order details are available on the Olympus site.