Leica i9 concept pairs $1,000 camera with $200 iPhone

When you think of manufacturers that create products to go hand-in-hand with the Apple iPhone, Leica probably wouldn't come to mind. The seemingly brilliant minds at Black Design Associates hope to change that, however. The Leica i9 concept pairs an iPhone 4 with a fixed-lens rangefinder camera, and the result is nothing short of extraordinary. Slipping your iPhone 4 -- black or white -- into the back of the i9 brings the camera to life, activating the compact optical zoom, dedicated aperture and shutter dials, flash and light meter. Images are instantly viewable on the iPhone, where it's safe to assume they're stored as well. The camera back doubles as a case, but you're probably going to want to use it with a headset, unless you like talking to a camera. There's no sign that the i9 will even reach the prototype phase, but nobody is going to stop the high-end camera's designer from dreaming -- especially when said dreams make us weak at the knees.

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Compliment without Compromise

The Leica i9 Concept for iPhone4 exhibits a new way to combine your camera and smart phone.

EL SEGUNDO, CA, April 25th, 2011 – Black Design Associates, LLC announces the Leica i9 Concept Camera for Apple iPhone4.

A better camera phone designed for photographers. The Leica i9 concept offers the unmatched brilliance of Leica's professional CMOS image sensor and lens, made specifically for the unparalleled processing, display and sharing capabilities of Apple's iPhone4.

The i9 was designed with a "Compliment without Compromise" philosophy. If the best camera is the one that you have on you, then the better camera is the Leica i9 concept. The i9 is the only professional camera that's also an iPhone4 case. The goal was to create a camera system that inspires photographers to shoot and share their photos and videos at anytime and anywhere.

The i9 offers an independent professional camera system with an ultra-compact body that doubles as a rugged protective case for your iPhone4. The i9 is a true ready-to-shoot camera with Leica's superior range finder and a 0.3 second start-up. Photos or videos are stored on the i9's internal flash memory (expandable with SD) and then uploaded onto your iPhone4 once the Leica app has launched.

The i9 is the ultimate point-and-shoot camera combining the high performance of a Leica (CMOS image sensor with effective 12.1 MP, professional lens with 8x optical zoom and 35 equivalent focal lengths and ready-to-shoot operation) with iPhone4 (retina display, multi-touch interface, extended storage capacity and mobile/wireless connectivity). Beyond camera features, the i9 and iPhone4 can share their independent batteries for extended operation.

The i9 takes professional photos and videos and allows you to easily compress and share your content to Email, MMS, Flickr, Facebook and/or YouTube directly from the Leica app.

To compliment Leica's timeless design, the i9 includes an interchangeable backing for future generation iPhones. With upgradeable software and a growing list of iPhone features, the possibilities are limitless including a remote voice activated shutter control that as easy as saying, "Cheese!"

About BLACK Design Associates, LLC:

BLACK Design Associates, LLC is a product development, incubation, and retail marketing strategy consultancy based in El Segundo, California. Our team of creative strategists, designers, and engineers, specialize in new market-disrupting products that have maximum impact in the marketplace. Working with new products constantly pressures us to find customer audiences in new and creative ways. Our clients include: InStyler, Mattel, Jakks Pacific, Dial Corporation, Plantronics, Epson and Disney.

For more information, please contact us by phone at: 310-414-9790 or by email at, or visit us online at

©2011 BLACK DESIGN ASSOCIATES, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. BLACK Design Associates, LLC is an independent consultancy with no affiliations and/or pre-existing relationships with Leica Camera AG or Apple, Inc. Leica and the Leica logo are registered trademarks of Leica Camera AG, Apple and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.