Camera technology has advanced at a staggering rate in the last two decades, with first digital, and then the smartphones transforming the way we take photos.
Check out The Alice Camera indiegogo campaign here.
Now there’s The Alice camera, an all-new venture blurring the lines between digital and smartphones.
The Alice Camera blends traditional lens optics, advanced AI camera hardware, AI-based cloud computing and your smartphone to create the ultimate creative tool.
The Alice cameras is an AI-accelerated computational camera. Essentially The Alice Camera uses data downloaded from a cloud-based computer running advanced AI algorithms and then passes this information to an AI chip in the camera. This computational processing then enables you and the Alice camera to take the best possible image without needing deep knowledge of photography.
This works by using AI software developed by Photogram (The company behind The Alice Camera). This cloud-based solution processes thousands of images and recognises and analyses the best bits. This information is then downloaded to the Alice camera, through regular updates, so the cameras AI Chip can compute the cloud-based data with the scene you want to capture.
Think of it as having thousands of professional photographers and their experience packaged inside one hand-sized portable camera.
The AI-chip and its integration are complex by design but at the heart of the Photogram company created by Vishal Kumar and Dr Liam Donovan. Two individuals well versed in the world of AI and creative fields.
More than just AI software and hardware
On the surface, the Alice Camera is not too dissimilar to a modern mirrorless camera; featuring a four-thirds sensor and Micro Four Thirds lens mount.
However, flip the camera over and on the back is a clamp designed to hold a mobile phone. Once a phone, iOS or Android is in place, the open Alice Camera App acts as LiveView screen and camera interface.
There are few buttons on the Alice camera, a shutter button on top, and SD slot on the side, although this may go, USB Type-C and wrist strap loophole, simple and clean.
The Alice Camera is an advanced computational imaging device that utilises tradition lenses, digital sensor, your mobile phone and the power of AI.
The question is, why you would do this?
Smartphone meets Pro-Level DSLR
Ever wondered why your smartphone images often look better than those from your DSLR or mirrorless? That’s all to do with computational photography – a small AI-driven creative mind inside the camera that doesn’t care too much for sensor size or camera body cost, but more light data and how it can be a process.
Alice camera blends interchangeable camera technology with a smartphone to create the ultimate camera.
Capable of shooting better pictures and streaming live on social networks with full high-quality full width 4K video that far excels the quality of a smartphone and features of a DILC.
Clipping your smartphone to the back of the Alice Camera creates an ultra-fast wireless connection between the two devices so they can act as one.
Why use the Alice camera over your phone?
The big advantages of using the Alice Camera and phone combo is that you get the best of both worlds. The fast touch screen UI of a Smartphone, iPhone or Android, large 4/3 sensor and a choice of thousands of lenses either direct MTF fit or through an adaptor.
The 4/3 image sensor is eight times the size of those found in smartphones and offers a dual natives ISO and quad-Bayer structure that provides superb low light performance, high dynamic range and low noise.
This large sense and choice of lenses far excel the creative scope of any smartphone. But, how can it compete with a DILC?
That’s where the dedicated AI-Chip comes into play. The data from all that cloud-based imagery research sets out photographic parameters that enables the camera to decide on the best settings for the scene you are taking.
This is exactly what your smartphone does and why images always look so great. The AI chip, data sets from cloud computing and the image you take are all processed to create the optimal image for the scene in front of you.
What this also means is that the image can be easily manipulated in-camera through the app. We look forward to seeing the full potential of the hardware as it develops.
What’s more for that truly unique look, Alice Camera will have an open-access environment that means creators can customise their creative process, encouraging collaboration and software development.
Alice Camera will be shipped to pre-order customers in the Autumn when the RRP will be £750 for the body only. However, content creators can order the Alice Camera via the Indiegogo campaign which launched today and benefits from a special pre-order price starting from £550 (26% discount).