Vivitar Hangs Hopes On ‘Smart Lens’ For iPhone

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The new bandwagon onto which camera makers can desperately throw themselves in the hopes of saving their low-end camera sales is “smart lenses,” like Vivitar’s new Vivicam IU680. These are in fact just cameras, only they look like lenses and they sit on your iPhone, connecting wirelessly to allow you to control the device from an app and receive pictures from a large-sensor camera in return.

But really, what’s the point?

Like Sony’s QX, the Vivicam is designed to be used with a smartphone, supposedly fixing the shortcomings of a phone camera – no optical zoom and a small sensor. And while it’s nice to have a camera that integrates so well with the iPhone, it’s still a camera. If I want a bigger sensor of a better lens, I just reach for my actual camera, and transfer the pictures using a camera connection kit or a Wi-Fi SD card later. Because adding a bulky Vivicam to my iPhone makes it as inconvenient to whip out of a pocket as a real camera.

The pre-launch Vivicam is suspected to have a 27–80mm (equivalent) zoom, a 1-inch sensor, and this absurd flashgun on the top. Seriously? You’re going to all the trouble of adding a big lens to your iPhone and you’re still going to use an on-axis flash that will make your subjects look like zombies?

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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