Imagine turning your smartphone into a fully-fledged camera with just a simple add-on. And we're not talking about a clip-on lens - instead, with the Olympus Air, Olympus has essentially tacked a huge camera on to a phone. We've seen similar moves from Sony and DxO in the recent past.
The device holds all the internals of a camera, minus the display. It works with iOS 7.0 or higher, Android 4.0 or higher and even with the Amazon Kindle Fire.
It needs your smartphone or tablet to control the camera and uses a Live MOS MFT sensor (which is smaller than Sony's APS-C in the similar QX1). The TruePic VII image processor (previously seen in the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera) is also embedded, and it has a Fast A 81-point autofocus system, 1/16,000 high-speed electronic shutter, ISO of 100-16,000 and 10fps continuous shooting.
You save your pictures into microSD and it charges over a micro USB cable. The out-of-the-box camera is lightweight due to its use of M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 Ex pancake zoom lens, but thanks to its adoption of the Micro Four-Thirds system you can mount better glass if you wish, such as a M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO.
The camera is currenly only on sale in Japan but will be brought to North America later this month, where it will be selling at US$300 for the body or US$500 with the 14-42mm lens. That's a nice feature set but, even with all that kit, we wonder if people wouldn't rather spend their money on a "real" camera?