On April 4, 2014, Sony Japan will be launching a new line of camera lens mounts designed for tablets between 85mm (~3.35″) and 190mm (~7.48″) in width. It is expected that the mounts will work with just about any tablet on the market, but give the distinct impression that they were designed with Sony’s own Xperia and Vaio devices in mind.
The SPA-TA1 tablet attachment is designed for the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens-style cameras and comes in 6 different arm sizes to increment across the size range. The Sony Japan website gives them a list price of 3500 Yen (about US$35) before taxes, but you can pre-order today for a savings of almost 10%.
There is currently no mention of international availability.
Mobile phone photography has seen huge growth in the last few years, fueled by the sheer convenience of the devices and their respective ecosystems. There are only a small handful of phones or tablets considered to take great photos, but they are far outmatched by a dedicated DSLR type camera. Sure, Samsung launched the Galaxy Camera, a hybrid of their Galaxy S3, but it was still just a camera, even if it was running Android.
Why is this important for photography? Camera apps on our devices have come a long way with handling photos, especially with editing photos after the fact, and Google’s Auto-Awesome functionality brings an amazing level of, well, awesome to the photos we take on Android. But none of the programmatic tweaks available can compare to the superior photo quality obtained by the large optical lenses of dedicated cameras, making Sony’s lens attachments very valuable to anyone looking to use current Android devices for high end photography.