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iCam concept add-on for iPhone is a photographer’s dream

My iPhone (s aapl) is so handy and so much better at getting good pictures than it used to be that I find myself taking out the DSLR kit less and less these days, and just doing a little more work on the editing side, something Annie Leibovitz says is the key to great shots anyway. But a new iPhone accessory concept brings the best of both worlds via a single device — albeit one that doesn’t exist, yet.

The iCam is a simple case for the iPhone 5 (yes, iPhone 5), as conceptualized by Italy’s ADR Studio. The studio used a mock-up it had created for the iPhone 5, featuring a larger edge-to-edge screen and oval home button, as the base device for the iCam add-on, but it’s not hard to imagine it working with the iPhone 4 either.

Basically, it provides a slim case you snap the iPhone into to gain access to an interchangeable lens system, as well as a front-facing small display for self-portrait shots, and a built-in pico projector to show off your slideshows. It also adds hardware controls and a preset wheel like you’ll find on most digital cameras these days, and looks terrific in aluminum. ADR posits that such a device could be made by Apple itself, and the quality of the design definitely lives up to that company’s standards.

It looks great, is actually thick enough that you might be able to believe that it could basically contain much of a 10.1-megapixel compact system camera’s guts, minus those parts the iPhone itself handles, and would really go a long way toward making the iPhone an acceptable semi-pro DSLR replacement, unlike some currently available best-fit solutions that likely won’t satisfy many. But, as mentioned, it’s a concept, so for now it remains a tantalizing, beautiful dream.

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