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Olympus Air A01's cleverer design (pictures)

Olympus' competitor for Sony's QX1 lenseless lens camera has a better designed mount for your phone.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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All atilt

Unlike Sony's QX1, the A01 clamps to your phone at a tilt, which makes it much easier to frame shots.

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App driven

The remote control app's interface is relatively straightforward, and offers all the shooting features of Olympus' entry-level interchangeable-lens cameras.

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Look ma, no lens

The A01 is basically the imaging and power modules of an interchangeable-lens camera.

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Back cover

When not in operation or not attached to a phone this covers the back.

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Beneath the cover

This determines the tension of the spring-loaded clamp based on your phone size.

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Another layer deep

Beneath the clamp-size cover is  the microSD slot, USB connector and the QR setup code plus hard-coded connection IDs and passwords.

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Soda can

Equipped with the fully extended 14-42mm power-zoom lens, the whole unit is pretty compact.

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Release latches

One releases the lens from the mount, the other allows you to rotate the clamp mount.

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Big button

You can't miss this shutter button.

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Unmounted

You can use the camera freehand without attaching it to the camera.

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Beyond the snapshot

This is an example of a way to use the camera with a tablet and hands-free.

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