How About a Digital Camera Without A Body, Viewfinder or LCD Display?

There’s an intriguing rumor making the rounds that, if true, could dramatically alter the way in which photographers interact with wireless devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops. According to Sony Alpha Rumors, a typically reliable source of information regarding future digital imaging technology from Sony, we may soon see the unveiling of a high-quality lens featuring WiFi connectivity, a built-in imaging sensor and its own power source.

While Sony has yet to confirm (or deny) these rumors, the idea is a “camera without a body or display” intended to be clipped on to a smartphone (and possibly a tablet or laptop) while using your digital device to view. capture and display the image. Reportedly, this innovative product will utilize the same Carl Zeiss optics and 21-MP sensor as the recently introduced Sony RX100M2 compact camera—a sophisticated wireless model featuring WiFi connectivity, a variety of exposure modes and a rather hefty (for a point-and-shoot) price tag of around $750.

So what’s the difference between this and one of the currently available “accessory lenses” designed to be mounted to the lens of your smartphone, you ask? Well, basically everything. As a stand-alone lens and sensor, the results you would achieve with the rumored Sony device would not be dependent upon the optics and smaller sensor in your smartphone. And there’s more; as long as you remain within the WIFI range of this device, you could rest it on a fencepost (or hand it to a friend) to take your own portrait, mount it atop a bicycle helmet, or even hang it round your dog’s neck while using your smartphone to view the composition and snap away.

Presumably there would be dedicated software enabling you set to set various shooting parameters from the phone or tablet—as with the existing Android app for Sony smartphones.

If these rumors prove correct, we could see something very interesting very soon. Stay tuned.