Photography

This kit uses your smartphone as the brains of a "pro-level" camera

This kit uses your smartphone ...
IndieVice takes your smartphone, and gives it a pro-level lens and viewfinder
IndieVice takes your smartphone, and gives it a pro-level lens and viewfinder
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IndieVice can handle any 52 mm and 37 mm lenses you already own
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IndieVice can handle any 52 mm and 37 mm lenses you already own
IndieVice will work with most traditional camera accessories and lenses
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IndieVice will work with most traditional camera accessories and lenses
IndieVice takes your smartphone, and gives it a pro-level lens and viewfinder
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IndieVice takes your smartphone, and gives it a pro-level lens and viewfinder
IndieVice makes shooting on your smartphone feel less like shooting on your smartphone
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IndieVice makes shooting on your smartphone feel less like shooting on your smartphone
IndieVice is lightweight and easy to carry around
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IndieVice is lightweight and easy to carry around
IndieVice's brackets can be used to attach a second viewfinder
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IndieVice's brackets can be used to attach a second viewfinder
IndieVice works with a variety of different smartphones
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IndieVice works with a variety of different smartphones
The top two connectors on IndieVice can be used for lighting and audio accessories or a second viewfinder.
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The top two connectors on IndieVice can be used for lighting and audio accessories or a second viewfinder.
An optional GoPro adapter allows you to mount your GoPro to the IndieVice and shoot videos in 4k.
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An optional GoPro adapter allows you to mount your GoPro to the IndieVice and shoot videos in 4k.
With IndieVice, your smartphone simply replaces the guts of your traditional camera.
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With IndieVice, your smartphone simply replaces the guts of your traditional camera.
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We’ve seen lots of different lens systems in recent years that promise to turn your smartphone into a better camera. Now one company is taking that further with a system that transforms your average smartphone into a professional-looking camera that can supposedly work with smartphones of all shapes and sizes.

Unlike add-ons we’ve seen such as the DxO One and Kodak’s Smart Lens, IndieVice is an entire camera system. That means you’re not just strapping another lens onto the front of your smartphone; it's more like you're sliding your phone inside a "real" camera. Your smartphone provides its camera sensor, battery, processing power and display – while the kit handles the rest.

With IndieVice, your smartphone simply replaces the guts of your traditional camera.
With IndieVice, your smartphone simply replaces the guts of your traditional camera.

A viewfinder on the back of the device uses a special dioptric adjustable lens to adapt to your eyesight while you look through it, and there's also a wireless zoom-in/zoom-out and start/stop button, so you can control basic photography functions without touching the phone's screen (and you can also move the location where those buttons stay).

Three 1/4-inch brass threads (two on top and one on the bottom) allow you to attach other things to the rig as well. The top two connectors can be used for lighting and audio accessories or a second viewfinder, while the mount of the bottom makes it possible to attach the setup to a tripod, monopod or a slider.

The company says its rig can handle any 52 mm and 37 mm lenses you already own. IndieVice will also be offering its own line of optional lenses, including a fish-eye and line of ultra-wide-angle lenses. An optional GoPro adapter allows you to mount your GoPro to the IndieVice and shoot videos in 4k. And if you already own one of Sony’s QX lenses, you can attach that to the camera as well. A Bluetooth remote allows you to control the camera from afar, for group photos and videos.

The company says its kit will have a "universal smartphone adapter," to fit everything from iPhones to Androids and even Blackberry. Tablets and mini-tablets, though, are not supported – which makes us question whether 6-inch behemoths like the Nexus 6 (which is a mini-tablet in everything but name) are fair game.

An optional GoPro adapter allows you to mount your GoPro to the IndieVice and shoot videos in 4k.
An optional GoPro adapter allows you to mount your GoPro to the IndieVice and shoot videos in 4k.

While accessories like this can enhance your phone's photography skills and give you the feeling of using a "real" camera, the phone's rear camera sensor is still sitting at its core, so you're not going to get full frame-like results, and you'll naturally get better shots if you use something like a Galaxy S6, LG G4 or iPhone 6 than you will using a lower-grade smartphone shooter.

... and of course it remains to be seen how the resulting images will measure up next to those taken using a regular smartphone camera setup.

IndieVice is currently raising money on Kickstarter to make its first run of the system. A US$125 pledge will get you one of the first IndieVice Pro Models (the company estimates a March 2016 ship date). For additional money you can also pick up some additional lenses and adapters, with the entire kit ringing up for $444.

IndieVice's odds of getting funded are looking good, as it's already raised 82 percent of its $40,583 goal, with 26 days to go.

Source: Kickstarter

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7 comments
FrankRomo
What exactly will you receive for the $125 pledge?
Timelord
Not much point to putting expensive lenses on this if you have to rely on the tiny sensors in smartphones. I'd rather get the Olympus A01 in the story linked below. Maybe not as good lenses, but better sensor.
OwenFuchs
I think I will stick with my 36 Meg. nikon D800...... this idea, of sticking a smart phone, into some sort of silly rig, that resembles , a DSLR........without the power of one, is just plain silly
phissith
I like this better Olympus Air A01
ChrisLeavitt
I'm with Timelord on this one. What good will this kit do without a good image sensor? Still nowhere on par with even an entry-level DSLR's.
KristianColasacco
That's all fine but it's annoying to me that they keep using words like "professional level quality" when it's far from it. No wonder everyone in the world thinks they're a photographer these days.
Rusty Harris
LOL, you'd be better of with a SUPER zoom camera, for ONE fact. SENSOR SIZE! Until the day smartphones start packing at MINIMAL an APS-C sensor, you can throw anything you want in the way of lenses in front of it, but, it's still a PINHOLE sensor. The less light that strikes the sensor, the less quality you will have. It's physics...get use to it.