I’ve seen a lot of buzz around the Sony QX cameras – for good reason, in my opinion. And while some bemoan the equipment that may enhance smartphone photography, Kodak might just be saved by it.
Kodak Lens Camera: Stealing Sony’s Stranglehold
While Sony has been the first major camera manufacturer to release a lens-style camera geared toward smartphone photographers, a Kodak lens camera has just been announced. The Pixpro Smart Lens (or SL series) is designed without an LCD or many traditional controls, but is intended to be used in tandem with a smartphone, just like the Sony QX series.
Polarizing the photographic community upon release, the original lens cameras were seen as foolish fads or cutting edge technology by different groups, but a Kodak lens camera may divert an unseemly end to one of the oldest names in photography.
Having conceded its film production to the past, and focusing on emerging digital markets (like the smartphone+camera and mirrorless niches), Kodak has pulled itself back from the brink and released a lens camera that may actually give Sony a run for its money, as well as a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.
And while Kodak’s earlier attempts at digital technology have largely failed, this new Kodak lens camera is a foray into new territory with a strong market base and easy selling points.
Not least among those draws is the overall quality of the product, which seems promising from those who have been lucky enough to acquire one (wink wink, Kodak). Another factor? The Kodak name and the option of two models of varying zoom range and price point. While the Samsung lenses seemed downright expensive to me, the offerings of Kodak seem easily affordable in comparison, underselling Sony by about 20%.
The specs of the lenses boil down to a maximum F/3.2-5.6 aperture (better than a basic “kit” lens from Nikon, Canon, or Pentax), image stabilization, SD and SDHC card compatibility, and a equivalent focal range of 28-280 mm for the SL10 and 24-600 mm for the SL25.
Whatever sensor might be used in the Kodak lens cameras is anyone’s guess, though I’m hopeful – about 50-60% hopeful – that Kodak isn’t skimping on this one, and is actually going to give us a fairly large sensor (for a compact piece of equipment, that is).
Purportedly weighing mere ounces, the lenses are forecast to hit the market this spring.