(iPhone 5 (black, camera closeup 001)

Sony already supplies the main eight-megapixel iSight camera module on the back of your iPhone 5 and is likely to provide a thirteen-megapixel camera upgrade for the upcoming iPhone 5S, the rumor has it. There’s a very good reason why Apple shops for iOS device cameras from Sony: the Japanese giant produces arguably the best CMOS sensors out there.

Case in point: a rumored lens camera accessories reportedly being worked on by Sony’s engineers. These things will latch onto your iPhone or Android smartphone and provide your smartphone with a standalone sensor featuring Carl Zeiss optics, the same used by the Nikon 1 system…

Paired with a Sony-made dedicated app, the solution would bypass your iOS device’s camera completely and allow for photographs ranging from eighteen to twenty megapixels, nearly three times the resolution of your iPhone 5. Put simply, it’s literally a way better camera for your iPhone, where the iPhone itself pretty much gets dumb-ified to an oversized viewfinder.

SonyAlphaRumors first caught wind of the rumor back in July, but this tim around the publication has dug up press shots of the upcoming Lens Cameras accessories, have a look.

Sony Lens Cameras (image 001)

Crazy, no?

It attaches magnetically, in case you were wondering.

Unlike existing camera attachments such as Will.i.am’s fourteen-megapixel accessory dubbed i.am+, Sony’s accessory packs in full-on hardware, including a dedicated Bionz processing chip and much better lenses. Some may also include built-in Wi-Fi and an SD card slot for both wireless and memory card photo transfer.

SonyAlphaRumors claims the Japanese giant is prepping two Lens Camera models, the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lenses.

Sony Lens Cameras (image 002)

The former is believed to sport an eighteen-megapixel CMOS sensor with a 10x zoom lens, which is basically the same sensor and lens of Sony’s $400 WX150 Cyber-shot camera.

As for the other, it apparently comes outfitted with a one-inch 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor with a 2/1.8 Carl Zeiss lens. It’s the same sensor-lens pairing  from the Sony RX100 point-and-shoot camera, which is the most praised sensor for high-end compact cameras.

The “Lens-camera” with RX100MII sensor and Zeiss lens. On the pictures it is the bigger lens. As you know the RX100 is the most praised high end compact camera and features a large 1 inch sensor which is the same used by the Nikon 1 system. Now you can have that kind of Image Quality on your iPhone or Android Smartphone!

Something tells me these things could be prohibitively expensive (hint: $500+ category).

Sony Lens Cameras (image 003)
BTW, this press shot apparently depicts Sony’s new Honami i1 smartpone.

I just can’t imagine having a Cybershot-grade camera hardware on my iPhone without being asked to drop a few hundred bucks on it, but boy do I know a few professional photographers, field editors and designers who’d gladly pay through the nose for this.

It certainly won’t be for mainstream users who don’t want to carry another bulky gizmo on their person.

Be that as it may, these things (hopefully) won’t command a higher price than comparable digital cameras.

Anyone interested?

Shout out in the comments.