Posted by Matt Egan 04 September 2013
Meet the Sony QX10 and QX100: lenses that make your smartphone a high-end camera
We explain what we know about the Sony QX10 and QX100: lenses that make any smartphone into a high-end camera.
One of the less celebrated, but more intriguing, announcements that came out of today's Sony press conference at IFA was the announcement of the Sony QX10 and the Sony QX100. What they? These gadgets are most of a camera. An image sensor and lens that attaches to the front of your smartphone. The QX10 and QX100 then communicates with your phone via wireless technology, and you have a high-end superzoom camera where once you had a many megapizel point and shoot. All the latest from IFA 2013.
Sony QX10 and QX100: specs and features
Sony isn't messing about here: the QX10 has a 1/2.3-inch 18-megapixel sensor and an f/3.3-5.9 lens. Step up to the QX100 and you get a high-quality 1-inch 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor and a f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss lens. This is high-end bridging camera stuff.
To add to that sense both the Sony QX10 and QX100 come packaged with a microSD and Memory Stick slot. There's an all important tripod mount, too. See also: best cases for Sony Xperia Z.
Sony QX10 and QX100: how it works
Think of it this way: both the QX10 and the QX100 incorporate two thirds of what constitutes a camera. Your chosen Sony gadget then communicates with your phone via Wi-Fi or NFC, and it does the rest. Your phone acts as viewfinder, shutter trigger, and storage. The Sony QX10 and QX100 will work with most (if not all) iOS and Android phones
Sony QX10 and QX100: will they be popular?
At first glance this product screams 'niche', like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom - a high-end photo tool stuck to a camera. But think about it: people do still buy high-end compacts. In fact the so called 'bridging' or 'superzoom' class of cameras is the biggest growth area in the imaging world. And we all carry a smartphone or two. *And* the convenience of having your photos on your main connected device should not be underestimated.
Priced right, and with sufficient smartphone compatibility (and if they work well) the Sony QX10 and QX100 could be a sleeper hit. They should at least herald a phalanx of imitators.
Sony QX10 and QX100: UK price
We have only US pricing right now. Converted to UK prices we expect that the Sony QX10 will cost around £180 at launch, and the QX100 around £380. That sounds like a lot until you consider that in each case you will be saving a couple of hundred quid on the cost of a decent compact camera.
Tech Advisor will, of course, be spending some hands on time with the Sony QX10 and the QX100. See also Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear launch: Live video stream.