With predictions projecting a decline in the point-and-shoot market as the entry point for photography, more and more camera manufacturers are turning to support of mobile photography in order to both embrace new photographers and new forms of photography as well as continue to make up for the missing 40% they are expected to lose in point-and-shoot production and sales over the next few years. One of the ways that camera makers are learning to stop worrying and love the smartphone is by creating special light-weight, durable, snap-on accessories, especially lenses.
It's no real secret that though smartphones pack a lot of processing power under the hood, they still don't have the power and settings to match a good point-and-shoot phone when it comes to photography. But, as the apps get better at compensating for the lack of highly-specialized image processors and chipsets, mobile photography has begun to take off. Skilled mobile photographers can often work magic with their smartphones or tablets that even the best point-and-shoot couldn't match in the hands of an amateur. Sony has always been one to get ahead of the rest and is now offering lenses for smartphones that allow the photographer the option of capturing almost DSLR-like quality in their photography without having to ditch their smartphone in favor of a bulky (and expensive) DSLR camera themselves. These lenses also offer the mobile photographer one thing that, until now, they were bereft of: true optical zoom. If you're interested, check out the Sony DSC-QX10
and the DSC-QX100
. Overtime, we expect to see Sony expand beyond zoom lenses for smartphones and into fisheye, telephoto, macro, and wide-angle lenses. Who knows but that one day soon, mobile phone photography will have as many after-market accessories (flashes, filters, lenses, etc) as high-end photography has now?
Lenses are one of the most important parts of a camera. If you're interested in taking your mobile photography further but don't quite want to shell out for an expensive or bulky camera, then these snap-on mobile lenses are a great compromise that allow you to continue using your primary "camera" but will let you stretch your smartphone's abilities beyond the limits foisted on it by design.
-- da Bird