Olympus Air A01 turns your smartphone into a mirrorless camera

Olympus has announced its Air A01 add-on camera for smartphones, which turns your Android or iOS device into a very capable mirrorless camera, will be getting a wider release and heading to the US. Previously only available in Japan, the Olympus Air A01 is a smartphone-controlled camera similar to the Sony QX1, but features a Micro Four Thirds lens mount with a matching 16-megapixel sensor and is an open platform for developers.

In addition to its Micro Four Thirds mount, the Air A01 features the same 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor (17.3 x 13 mm) and TruePic VII image processor as cameras like the OM-D E-M5 II. This enables a burst speed shooting at 10 fps (frames per second) an ISO range up to 12,800 and Full HD 1080p video recording at 30 fps. RAW capture is also possible, and the Air A01 features a silent electronic shutter with a 1/16,000-second maximum shutter speed.


While the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled Olympus Air A01 can store images and video on a microSD card, they can also be automatically uploaded and securely stored on Amazon Cloud Drive. The device itself measures 56.9 x 57.1 x 43.6 mm (2.2 x 2.3 x 1.7 in) weighs 147 g (4.2 oz) and can be clipped onto a smartphone using the included smartphone holder. The built-in battery is said to be good for 320 shots on a full charge.

The Air A01 can also be used when not attached to a smartphone, enabling use in situations and positions it might be difficult to use a traditionally shaped camera, and automatically knows which way around the cylindrical device is being held. It also features a tripod mount which could be handy for remote shooting.