The smartphone that can use full-size Leica lenses | Tech US News


Xiomi recently showed off a concept phone that can take full-size Leica lenses.

The stills camera market is a tough space to be in at the moment. With the increasing quality of smartphone cameras, well, the compact market isn’t doing so well. The average smartphone can now capture images that could have been the subject of much more expensive and larger devices a few years ago, so it’s really no surprise that the number of people wanting to buy a separate camera is dwindling.

The major limitation with smartphones, however, is the limited choice of lenses. Indeed, finding a smartphone with multiple fixed lenses, and even limited optical zoom is becoming more common, but there is no truly adjustable option available.

Recently Xaomi showed a concept smartphone, called 12S Ultra Concept, which it developed in collaboration with Leica. The device has never made it to market, but it shows a glimpse of what’s possible when you combine a phone with the ability to use full-size lenses.

Image: Xiaomi.

In addition to the standard camera, the device features a 1-inch 50.3MP sensor that would take its images from interchangeable Leica M-Mount lenses. Only 10 units were ever produced, and it is unlikely to come to market, and the reasons for that could be obvious.

Sample image taken with Xaomi 12S Ultra Concept Phone. Image: Xiaomi.

The market for a smartphone that takes full size lenses would be incredibly small. Most users want convenience, and if you have to carry around bulky lenses, you might as well pack a good DSLR or mirrorless camera. That said, it shows what can be done with a compact device, although the future of smartphone camera technology really lies with multiple lenses and computational photography.

H/T to Petapixel.


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