Turn your iPhone into a legitimate camera with foto.sosho

Turn your iPhone into a legitimate camera with foto.sosho

Summary: The smartphone pretty much killed the point-and-shoot camera, the problem is that it also killed photo quality in the process.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, iPhone
18
Turn your iPhone into a camera with foto.sosho - Jason O'Grady

Most people use their smartphone as their camera these days simply because it's inconvenient to carry two devices all the time. The best camera is the one you have with you, the old saying goes. Several companies (Olloclip comes to mind) have sought to solve this problem with camera and lens attachments for the iPhone.

Artist and entrepreneur will.i.am (of Black Eyed Peas fame) has released a series of camera attachments for the iPhone called foto.sosho with varying degrees of functionality. 

The foto.sosho C.4 and V.4 (pictured) turn the iPhone 4/S into a legitimate point-and-shoot camera with a cool Leica-like vintage camera aesthetic. They feature a built-in flash, interchangeable lenses and the V.4 adds a slide-out keyboard for entering snappy photo captions even faster. The foto.sosho V.5 adds iPhone 5 compatibility, a 14 megapixel camera and a 5x optical zoom and is due later this year. 

All three iPhone attachments work with the dedicated photo.sosho app (free, App Store) which allows you edit your photos, add filters, and upload them to your i.am+ profile and other popular social media sites. The C.4 and V.4 sell for £199-£299 in the UK and are listed as "coming soon" to other markets, including the U.S.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone

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18 comments
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  • will.i.am is the boss!

    Cool idea man!
    TimeForAChangeToBetter
  • Really? Not much going on in the tech world, eh?

    First, you say:

    "The smartphone pretty much killed the point-and-shoot camera, the problem is that it also killed photo quality in the process."

    Then, you say:

    "The foto.sosho C.4 and V.4 (pictured) turn the iPhone 4/S into a legitimate point-and-shoot camera with a cool Leica-like vintage camera aesthetic."

    First off, those resemble a Leica about as much as a Ford Festiva resembles a Ferrari. As a former Leica owner and fan of their products, there's nothing Leica-esque about this. Nor does it look vintage unless you're comparing it to those cheap, fixed focus SLR-look-alike cameras that came with magazine subscriptions in the 70's and 80's.

    Secondly, how could this device magically turn the iPhone into a "legitimate point and shoot?" You're still using the same crappy sensor from the iPhone with a goofy housing around it. Image quality isn't about the outside of the camera, it's about the sensor and processor. You'll still get crappy iPhone photos, you'll just have a $300 shell on the outside of it to make it look like you're using something other than an iPhone. Behind the scenes, though, you're still just using Instagram to show all your friends your veal carpaccio.

    Additionally, good luck getting this in your pocket. So now your iPhone becomes about as cumbersome as that second device that no one wants to carry around. Why not just leave your iPhone in your pocket and carry a small point-and-shoot on your wrist or in your bag?

    This is a joke. Will.i.am has done far better things with his name than this.
    heymatthew
    • I Can't Agree

      "First off, those resemble a Leica about as much as a Ford Festiva resembles a Ferrari. As a former Leica owner and fan of their products, there's nothing Leica-esque about this. Nor does it look vintage unless you're comparing it to those cheap, fixed focus SLR-look-alike cameras that came with magazine subscriptions in the 70's and 80's. "

      Did you look at the V5? Looks pretty close to an M7 to me.
      Gr8Music
    • Not so with the V5, at least

      According to the website, the V5 has a 14 Megapixel sensor, and since the iPhone 5 only has an 8, I would have to assume that this is merely a bluetooth attachment that lets the iPhone do the image processing.
      JohnFrank88
  • point and shoot camera obsolete?

    Have you checked the sales Amazon reports for a certain Cannon model which is point and shoot? I think it only costs $80. What did you say this iPhone attachment costs? 199 euros, that' more than $80, isn't it?
    I have an iPhone 5. I also have a Cannon PowerShot SX160. When I plan to be somewhere I'm going to take pictures (or hi-def movies), I make sure I have my Cannon. I got it really cheap, though. It was a gift.
    So, I have to carry two devices, big deal! If I bought one of those gadgets that attach to an iPhone, wouldn't that be carrying two gadgets?
    Truly, smart phone cameras have come a long way, from what my 3G would do, my 4G was a big step up - native video, a flash, etc., and my 5 is better still, improved flash and all, but still, there is a big difference between it's capabilities and what my Cannon SX 160 will do, and it's not even top of the line, by any means!
    So, don't tell Cannon & Nikon they should quit the point & shoot camera business, I think they're making too much money selling them at present.
    retmico
    • Learn how to spell please...

      Please learn how to spell. It's Canon not "Cannon". Unless you're referring the cheap knock off camera you bought. The "Cannon PowerShot SX160".

      And to ad to the discussion, true you're not going to get as good of a picture with a smart phone as you would get with a DSLR or a good point and shoot, but there's more to the equation than just the sensor and processor. You have to take into consideration the camera's optics.

      A glass lens is better than a cheap plastic lens. If I'm not mistaken, we have a product here that most likely improves the optics of the iPhoney. Is it worth the price, no... But I'm sure that some people will run out and buy one to go with there $300 Beats By Dr. Dre headphones.
      j_gregory@...
      • Fair criticism

        If you are criticising someone for spelling "Canon" as "Cannon", then you should try to use "their" rather than "there", but it is far more important to consider the spirit behind their entry rather than any typing errors or lack of spelling. Not everyone is fortunate enough to get good schooling, and even if one has, then fast typing can lose characters. Spell checkers can garble you nicely.
        Back to the main topic - a cheap handheld camera will take far better pictures, and respond quicker. What's the old saying - Horses for Courses?
        rwdeane@...
        • You missed one...

          I also used "ad" when I should have used "add".
          j_gregory@...
  • No Good

    I agree with the comments about the fact that it's still the iPhone that's doing the photo processing. The idea that this camera attachment eliminates the problem of carrying around 2 devices now is simply not true. No one is going to leave that thing attached to their phone all of the time... and with it detached, you now have 2 devices again to carry around. On top of that, the camera attachment looks like it's actually thicker than the iPhone. I'm not seeing this one selling very much, but who knows in our society. There are so many people who will latch on to a poor product because an artist's name is attached to it (look at Beats by Dr. Dre headphones for example)
    Mconrad@...
  • Camera phones

    If an 8mp + camera isn't good enough for point and shoot, I don't know what it takes. The only thing really lacking in my iPhone 5 camera is an optical zoom.
    rphunter1242
    • Camera phones

      Jason. You need more resolution, not megapixels. D
      Oscardaman
  • I wasn't aware, Jason,

    that the camera on the iPhone is "illegitimate", and the one on my 3rd gen iPad is quite good, but stand-alone cameras will cease to exist only when the cameras on smartphones, tablets, etc, manage to catch up, taking photographs good enough for the fussiest professional photographer. I took what I thought was a really nice photo on my iPad but wasn't able to sell it, yet I've sold several from my Canon A480 and my husband's Sony DSC-F707. The Canon is strictly a beginner's camera and the Sony, while used by many professionals in its day, is now well and truly out-dated.
    Laraine Anne Barker
    • So called "i" pictures

      Laraine. I agree that the Canon A480, and Sony DSC-F707 are outdated, but the reality is these are just model numbers. Lower tech cameras will always be around. I disagree, that your "i" devices take that great of a picture. Granted it is a photographer's skill that is much more valued at the time of exposure. Only the equipment, is second to the photographer. These so called cameras on all tablets, and mobile phone do well in the "Point and Shoot" arena. They cannot possibly replace any of my cameras and their lenses. My Nikons: F, F2, F3, F4, F5; Mamiya 7ii, and Fuji GX617 all shoot film, and surpass the image quality of all full frame 35mm equivalent sensors. My digital D200 and D700 Nikons will run circles around all mobile phones and tablets. Lastly, the lens on mobile devices are a lousy piece of plastic. What kind of resolution do they have? Hope you realize resolution has nothing to do with megapixiles. My AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D is razor tact sharp, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is a super light magnet, and my Fujinon EBC SWD 90mm/5.6 is a super crisp wide angle, They cost $1500, 2000, and 3000 respectively brand new. Can your "i" devices measure up?

      I certainly hope you are not one of those who use their mobile devices to do flash photography of night landscapes......... D
      Oscardaman
  • The iPhone 5 has a pretty good "point and shoot" camera

    as do the latest Samsung models. But the fact that they're really only great at snapping pictures of your toddler in the wading pool leaves the market for SLR and Prosumer cameras intact. I don't think there is case you can add to an iPhone that changes that.... although an underwater case would be an interesting thing, maybe.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Not sure

    I'm not sure, but based on the lens placement on that last one it looks like it may include its own photosensor and be using the iPhone mostly for storage. Is that goofier than carrying around a second point&shoot? Maybe. OTOH, there's something to be said for a camera that uploads its shots directly to your cellphone. It's a nice way to quickly get those snaphots up on facebook, for instance, or e-mail them to a friend.
    dsf3g
  • Point, shoot, duck.

    Before all you geniuses trash all the point and shoot cameras around, there are a lot of high end point and shoots over the last few years, starting over 5 years ago with the Panasonic Lumix LX3 with which I got a wide angle shot of the sun setting under the Golden Gate Bridge that is my pride and joy and has been blown up to 2 feet x 3 feet. And for my Leica loving friends, if you really love Leica, learn Japanese because all Leica lenses are made by Panasonic. Including the one on my LX3. It is who is behind the lens that matters, not the software. Not the firmware. and above all, not the hardware that is just trappings.
    druidlens
  • With the right conditions and technique

    Smartphone photos and videos don't have to suck, but....they usually do. Most people are happy with just good enough results, usually involving their friends, family and random things they come across. The cheapest brand names compact cameras have better image quality and are more forgiving as well. The better middle range cameras, like my well used Sony HX9V, are in a completely different league altogether (except for audio which, as is the case with all compact cameras, is frustratingly mediocre at best.)
    JustCallMeBC
  • So called "i" pictures

    Laraine. I agree that the Canon A480, and Sony DSC-F707 are outdated, but the reality is these are just model numbers. Lower tech cameras will always be around. I disagree, that your "i" devices take that great of a picture. Granted it is a photographer's skill that is much more valued at the time of exposure. Only the equipment, is second to the photographer. These so called cameras on all tablets, and mobile phone do well in the "Point and Shoot" arena. They cannot possibly replace any of my cameras and their lenses. My Nikons: F, F2, F3, F4, F5; Mamiya 7ii, and Fuji GX617 all shoot film, and surpass the image quality of all full frame 35mm equivalent sensors. My digital D200 and D700 Nikons will run circles around all mobile phones and tablets. Lastly, the lens on mobile devices are a lousy piece of plastic. What kind of resolution do they have? Hope you realize resolution has nothing to do with megapixiles. My AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D is razor tact sharp, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is a super light magnet, and my Fujinon EBC SWD 90mm/5.6 is a super crisp wide angle, They cost $1500, 2000, and 3000 respectively brand new. Can your "i" devices measure up?

    I certainly hope you are not one of those who use their mobile devices to do flash photography of night landscapes......... D
    Oscardaman