Camera Futura

Posted by Scott

Oh how I wish the 31 megapixel, full frame sensor Camera Futura camera phone were real. Unfortunately it’s just a design study by Seattle firm Artefact Group. According to the concept, the sensor is housed within the lens which continues to function when removed from the body, thus allowing the screen to be used as a remote viewer. Renderings are all well and good, Artefact went so far as to stage a fake CES demonstration of the device for this video:

The video seems to have raised the ire of many a tech-blog commenter, and led many to believe this was just some elaborate hoax. But Artefact states that “we created these assets to spark a discussion around the question of “what if” the product was really available”. I hope something like this comes along sooner than later, I give it 10 years if they were even able to find a big enough market for such a device. I honestly can’t imagine the average cell phone user caring about interchangeable lenses and full frame sensors. Or wanting to lug around a big hunk of glass all the time.

26 Comments Leave A Comment


Austin says:

January 13, 2011 at 12:30 am

Even fake, that’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen from CES this year. The Ricoh GXR has a similar all-in-one sensor lens concept. No full frame and it’s not a phone though.


Patrick Smith says:

January 13, 2011 at 5:20 am

I don’t really get the advantage of the slim design. I though it would be harder to grip since it is so thin, and the weight of using a standard lens would make the front unbalanced. The prototype in the video was amazing, it looked light, and being able to control remotely from the lens would make it great for filming video, like at a concert.

Remember though that people are saying the iPhone 4’s camera is pretty good, so imagine what an iPhone camera will be like in 3 years!


KEVIN A says:

January 13, 2011 at 7:58 am

I’m with you, Patrick, the ergonomics of a slim body and heavy glass don’t seem to make sense. I purposefully went for the biggest body I could find when shopping for an SLR becuase the new form factors of companies like Sony just felt cramped and akward… it’s like they’re trying to fit an SLR in your pocket, but good luck with a lens strapped on. In my opinion the issue of ergonomics is a fatal flaw.


fr says:

January 13, 2011 at 9:59 am

Building the sensor into the lens is a bad idea. You can still use 50 year old lenses on a new digital slr, but if you build the sensor into the lens it becomes obsolete and disposable like all digital products.


KatieB says:

January 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I agree… it’s awesome in looks only. Carrying and shooting with it would be a pain. Sometimes, smaller is not better and this is one of them. The size of an object that must be in close contact with the body should fit well and work with it, in this case, the hands of the user.


Photog says:

January 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

a. It’s pointless to make something completely disconnected from reality and promote it as a “design”

b. The ergonomics look horrible. I’d expect a designer to recognize that before posting


Nick says:

January 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

In concept it’s neat, but in reality it’s pointless. If you’re willing to have a large lens on hand to connect to your phone, you may as well actually have a DSLR. Which by the time this camera phone+lens is possible, I’m sure the DSLR world will be leaps and bounds from where it is now.


Rob says:

January 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Camera manufacturer’s need to wake up to the idea that proprietary firmware interfaces that are not connected to the internet, not extensible or usable (without reading the manual) are not going to cut it when our smartphones have decent cameras. Camera enthusiasts (not professionals) I think would appreciate the ability to put decent glass and take decent photos and have connectivity to the cloud taken care of via their phone data plan.


Brennan says:

January 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I have to agree with the above:

I like it in theory, but the ergonomics are nonexistent (as someone who carries an SLR with rather large glass on the front I definitely see the need for a good, solid grip!)

SLRs are brilliant because of the modular system, you can upgrade things as you go and have money / need for it.


Fernando Audibert says:

January 24, 2011 at 5:49 am

It’s funny reading the comments that a machine can not carry powerful lenses, ergonomic design and proportion. It seems you do not know what man can do with technology, and all we’re talking here about a year from now may not be worth anything. I believe the future will have much more powerful lens with capacity within a few millimeters. Want to bet?


emiliano kore says:

February 14, 2011 at 11:37 am

A great viral fake video… and ideia though… but instead od faking arround, they should actually work on developing something like that, instead of fooling arround ! hauhuhauhuahua

cheers !


MarB says:

February 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm

What would you do if someone calls you, when you’re taking picture? Some long exposure stuff on tripod? When the phone is on vibrate?

I don’t really want DSLR and phone merged together. It’s just that I like to switch phone off during shooting, or make a call during shooting. Too many things can piss you of, and I can’t see advantage of having a phoneDSLR.

Probably some “designer” seen lens adaptor on iPhone and didn’t think about it much.


RobbTheMan says:

April 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

This product isnt for everyone, But the idea of products working together instead of complicating things is fantastic to me. I think its a great idea … BUILD IT. The thin issue is a good one, but debatable until you use it. Maybe have a thin 2nd battery that is attached to the camera that helps the longevity of using both devices in a day or having spares in general is useful. Also if you dont want to take calls on the phone, turn on “Airplane mode”.