Olympus just announced a new Japan-only product that mimics what Sony did last year with their QX line. It's a camera sensor and lens mount that's controlled completely by your smartphone. The Air A01 uses a hot 16 megapixel micro four-thirds sensor and is compatible with all lenses for that system.

Sony had a lot of people scratching their heads when they devised this weird concept of strapping a bulbous cylinder to the backside of a phone. It worked with mixed results, and later they came out with a version that used interchangeable E-mount lenses. All-in-all, Americans didn't quite bite. But the cameras fared better in Japan, which is why Olympus decided to limit the Air A01's release to that country.

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This odd device grips the sides of your smartphone at an angle, and connects via WiFi. Everything is controlled from the Olympus companion app, but the Air A01 does have a physical shutter button for more of a camera feel. The guts seem pretty formidable, with an 81 point AF system, 10 fps burst mode, and an electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/16000. Sounds a lot like the specs of the just-announced OM-D E-M5 Mark II!

It looks like you'll only get to try out the Air A01 if you live in Japan, unless it becomes such a hot seller that they migrate it over to the USA.

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