Filling the gap between a DSLR and connectivity offered by a smartphone is the Alice Camera. Developed by a British startup Photogram AI, Alice is described as an AI-accelerated computational camera. It is an interchangeable lens camera that boasts a dedicated AI chip “that elevates machine learning and pushes the boundaries of what a camera can do.”
It boasts AI-enabled auto focus, exposure, “color science” and more, while the hardware itself offers pro-quality sensor (in this case, an 11 MP Quad Bayer HDR sensor) coupled with the flexibility of interchangeable lens mount system.
In other words, Alice Camera aims to be the best of both worlds, offering connectivity and computational photography of smartphones and the imaging prowess provided by a standalone sensor and actual camera lenses.
The device is designed with content creators in mind and it leverages your smartphone that goes onto the universal phone mount at the back of the camera. Your phone will serve as a monitor, while a dedicated app offers access to all the functionality of the camera.
It may sounds like an over glorified lens system for a smartphone and it probably is. Whether or not Alice AI-accelerated Computational Camera lives up its promises remain to be seen.
Other notables of this upcoming camera (or maybe just half of a camera?) include an aluminum construction body, WiFi, electronic image stabilization, a microSD card slot, USB Type-C charging, a 3.5 mm mic jack, and 4K videoing.
Alice Camera will be available on Indiegogo in February 2021. But the company is already taking pre-order now where a 50 quid (about US$65) deposit will secure you a unit for a super early bird price of 550 pounds (approx. US$710).
The company said the eventual retail price of Alice Camera is £750 (or roughly US$970). Whether it is £550 or £750, it is pricey for an imaging device that requires your smartphone to work. As much as I would love to give it a go, I am also wary of the risks associated with crowdfunding.
Images: Photogram AI.