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Print 29 comment(s) - last by Dan0512.. on Sep 9 at 9:34 AM

They clip onto your smartphone for better quality photos

Smartphone cameras are convenient because we tend to carry our phones wherever we go, so it's nice to always have everything in one device. However, they've failed to fully replace digital cameras (such as the ultra-portable point-and-shoot cameras) because of their lack of quality photos. So where's the middle ground?

Sony may have found a solution with its new QX10 and QX100 lens cameras. They're smart lenses that clip onto your smartphone and offer the best of both worlds: the portability of carrying one device; the ability to immediately share pictures with your smartphone (instead of having to dump them on a computer, like with a digital camera), and the quality of a point-and-shoot camera.

The QX10 offers a 1/2.3-inch, 18-megapixel image sensor with an f/3.3-5.9 lens. It has a Sony G Lens and communicates wirelessly through Wi-Fi and NFC. It also sports a microSD and Memory Stick slots for storage. 

The QX10 runs $250 USD. 

QX10

The QX100, on the other hand, features a 1-inch 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor and a f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. Like the QX10, it communicates wirelessly through both Wi-Fi and NFC and has microSD and Memory Stick slots. 

The QX100 will hit the pocket a little harder at $500 USD. 

QX100

Sony's system allows your smartphone to be the viewfinder, shutter trigger, and backup storage while the lenses offer quality shots. It seems like it solves a couple problems associated with deciding between the smartphone camera and a digital point-and-shoot, but will people really want to carry a lens around with them in addition to their smartphones?

For those who answered "yes" to that last question, you can pick up the QX10 or QX100 as long as you have an Android smartphone or iPhone. 

Source: Sony



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too bulky
By crispbp04 on 9/4/2013 4:48:04 PM , Rating: 4
I'll just get a Lumia 1020 and save the pocket space.




RE: too bulky
By retrospooty on 9/4/2013 4:56:05 PM , Rating: 5
I dunno... If I cared to take good photo's of things that required this level of zooming, I would think the better option would be to get a real camera.


RE: too bulky
By chµck on 9/4/2013 6:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to have missed the point. This seems like something that would fill in the gap between smartphones and cameras; a gap i didn't know existed.
Of course you'll need more glass to get better zoom, but this is still a great idea.


RE: too bulky
By retrospooty on 9/4/2013 6:25:05 PM , Rating: 2
" a gap i didn't know existed."

That's pretty much what I meant... What gap? There are decent phone camera's that are really good "for smartphones" and there are "real camera's". I would think that anyone casual like me would use the phone, and anyone serious enough about photography would use a real camera. I dont think ther eis a gap. This is sort of just shoving its way into a crack, trying to make a gap, but none exists.

In other words, if you are going to carry this lense, you may as well get a real camera... I could always be wrong though. It seems dumb to me.


RE: too bulky
By chimto on 9/4/2013 8:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

While I think this thing looks pretty neat, if I'm gonna carry another thing in my pocket for photos I'll just get a compact camera. But what do I know? I'm not a photo enthusiast, just your average run of the mill casual picture taker.


RE: too bulky
By retrospooty on 9/5/2013 8:22:36 AM , Rating: 2
" if I'm gonna carry another thing in my pocket for photos I'll just get a compact camera. But what do I know? I'm not a photo enthusiast, just your average run of the mill casual picture taker"

I am with you there, but I do know several people that are really serious about photography. They speak of it on a level I just don't care to visit... But people that are serious about it, want your really good DSLR cameras or better. They wear them in a strap around their necks like Photo-Flava-Flav's (we have all seen these people LOL) and often carry an extra bag with lenses and accessories... This product doesn't seem to serves a purpose to the casual, or the serious photographer.


RE: too bulky
By drewp on 9/6/2013 1:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
i am one of those people, 2 of my cameras fully loaded weigh over 5 pounds. Needless to say I don't use them for every photo I take. I also have a mirrorless camera its much smaller and lighter but still too big.

the qx100 is perfect... this holiday season is going to be so tough!


RE: too bulky
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/5/2013 4:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
It does weight less than a DSLR. The lack of flash is a serious drawback though. Looks pretty awkward ergonomically too. Sooner or later the clip will come loose and either the phone or the camera gets smashed.


RE: too bulky
By ritualm on 9/5/2013 10:16:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's not the lack of flash that bothers me. It's the general idea behind these products - they are essentially full-featured cameras minus the screen, and they aren't any cheaper given that difference.

The F1.7 on my GX1 is sharper than what the F1.8-maximum on the QX100 can put out. This is just an awful waste of $500.


RE: too bulky
By Silver2k7 on 9/6/2013 5:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
Im also a bit of a photo enthusiast, but I would much rather buy a RX100/RX100 II than something like this add-on thing.


RE: too bulky
By nafhan on 9/5/2013 10:24:09 AM , Rating: 2
This is a "real" camera. Albeit, one that costs (quite) a bit more than you'd expect based on the specs, and then tries to make up for it with better than average smartphone integration.

If the $500 model had an APS-C sensor and could make use of Sony's SLR lens mount, I'd be interested. As it is: I'll use my SLR when I care about quality, and stick with my smartphone when I don't.


RE: too bulky
By retrospooty on 9/5/2013 11:33:44 AM , Rating: 2
" As it is: I'll use my SLR when I care about quality, and stick with my smartphone when I don't."

Exactly... Where does this fit in to your setup? At any given trip, you would have to weight carrying your camera vs. just phone. If you were going somewhere interesting where you wanted quality pics, you would choose your SLR camera. Since you have made the choice to carry your camera, what scenario would this new Sony thing be better than your real camera?


RE: too bulky
By nafhan on 9/5/2013 10:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
If you aren't really concerned with picture quality, sure. However, this is going to be quite a bit better than you'll get with a Lumia or any other cell phone camera.

Still, at this price point and size, you'd get much better value by picking up one of the nicer standalone PS's for ~$250 or a low end DSLR for ~$500. I see this as mostly appealing to people who have money to burn, who already have an SLR, and want something with better picture quality than you'll get from a typical smartphone. The connected aspect will appeal to some as well.

Really, what I'd like to see is SLR's integrating better smartphone connectivity. That's something I'd pay for.


Missed opportunity?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/5/2013 10:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
Seem like the thing has more potential unattached to your phone than it does attached. Imagine you want to cover an event from multiple angles. So you set up four or five of these guys and then switch between them using you phone or tablet. They are small enough that a photographer could carry a few of them on his person.




RE: Missed opportunity?
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/5/2013 12:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't work that way.

These depend on your phone as their viewfinder and to drive things like focus, flash and exposure. Their app is smart enough to communicate with a single 'smart' lens. For wireless, I have to assume bluetooth since wifi would need some sort of access point. Bluetooth has a very limited it will support between peers.


RE: Missed opportunity?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/5/2013 2:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
When the right software it's certainly doable. Wifi is capable of operating in an ad hoc mode.


RE: Missed opportunity?
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/5/2013 2:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
Software will be provided by Sony. I wouldn't expect this kind of forward thinking from them. They will be more concerned with making 1-1 smartphone/lens interoperability. I think 1-n smartphone/lens interoperability would be quite beyond them. The UI for it would be far to complex for them to deal with in a smartphone (remember that UI has to deal with controlling/driving each lens concurrently).


RE: Missed opportunity?
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2013 4:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
Its wifi, what stops someone from using a more powerful laptop from really going crazy with the idea? I'm not sure sony understood the full potential here, I'm sure hollywood could figure out some spectacular effects with a system like this(only maybe a little higher end).


RE: Missed opportunity?
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2013 4:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, that's what I was thinking the potential of these is what separating the camera from the viewfinder lets you do creatively. This is a pretty unique feature that I'm sure creative photographers will be able to run with.


RE: Missed opportunity?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/5/2013 6:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is, the thing doesn't come with a mount that would secure it. As far as I could tell, it's only designed to be attached to a phone. A lost opportunity, really.


no one gets this
By drewp on 9/6/2013 1:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
the qx100 is using arguably the best sensor from the best point and shoot on the market... oh and you get a huge 5" viewfinder to boot too

this quote is from dpreview.com

quote:
"Sony has done such a great job of fitting a large sensor into a small camera that it'd be easy for the uninformed to overlook the near-magic that it must have required."


and that quote is for the older rx100, the qx now has the rx100mk2 sensor which is quite a bit better.

So, stop comparing it to the lumia 1020
stop comparing it to a brick of a camera aka g1x

the reality is that camera is designed to bridge the gap between smartphones and mirrorless/dslr cameras. It combines all the benefits of a smartphone camera + bleeding edge sensor tech. This is awesome




RE: no one gets this
By Dan0512 on 9/6/2013 5:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why you and some other people are so excited about this product;

I read the preview on dpreview.com, and the following details caught my attention:

QX100:

Uses own battery pack
Only JPEG, no RAW
No flash
No AF assist lights
More bulky than RX100
All touchscreen controls (apart from shutter and zoom it seems)
No manual exposure mode
Doesn't seem like it has a tripod mount
Minimum exposure time: 4sec

The last 4 points really bug me. They are issues that are common among most smartphone cameras and limit the extent to which a photographer can use the camera.

For me it seems, that apart from the sensor size/zoom, there is really nothing else this camera/accesory can do that my smartphone can't do. And I should pay $500 for it?

I browsed the internet and saw that the RX100 goes for around $599. I think it's good advice for anyone considering the QX100 that they buy the RX100 instead. With the extended controls and advanced features, a photographer will be able to make much more diverse/appealing photographs than with the QX100.


RE: no one gets this
By drewp on 9/6/2013 8:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
did you read that preview? it clearly states that there is a tripod mount and it uses the rx100mk2 sensor not the rx100... that's a $150 difference to gloss over and much better low light performance

QX100:
no flash - i can't think of one good flash on any p&s that works well - good riddance
raw defeats the purpose of this type of p&s
af assist lights are incredibly obnoxious and serve only to tell everyone that you're about to take a photo
touchscreen controls are bad? since when? I kinda like my smartphone
a 4 second shutter is perfectly fine, this camera is going to be handheld 99% of the time. You really see someone trying to take a 30 second exposure on any p&s?


RE: no one gets this
By Dan0512 on 9/9/2013 9:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough about the tripod, I was only browsing through the preview.

But anyway, having no flash is a serious drawback. The main purpose of PS flashes is to serve as fill flash, which they usually do well; Take a picture of a person in strong, noon light or backlight withouth flash, and see how boring and dull grey their face will be!

Having RAW doesn't force one to shoot RAW. It's a very handy choice to have when dealing with tricky scenery that might need a retouch later, such as exposure. For $500 I sure am not ready to let go of such a software feature ..

I've read that the rx100ii still has issues focusing in low light situations. Having no AF lights is not going to help it either; And even though they can be annoying, it's a feature easily turned off -.-

I was doing 10s exposures with my P&S before I got a DSLR :-)

In all honesty, based on it's features, I still don't see the point of spending $500 on this device.

Please enlighten me, what's the purpose of this device that makes it such a great deal for $500?


dumb idea
By GulWestfale on 9/4/2013 4:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
these are essentially fully fledged cameras (well, point and shoot ones) that clip to the back of your phone and send the pics they take to your phone wirelessly.
my samsung point and shoot shares images with my phone wirelessly (and you can use the phone as a trigger, and set up the camera somewhere else for self-portraits). it's also much smaller than sony's offerings, and has a competitive 5x optical zoom and 16MP sensor. oh, and i paid $99 for it. you'd have to be nuts to spend 500 bucks (or even 250) on one of these.




I'll pass
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/4/2013 5:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
My phone would suck as a view finder for one of those. Samsung's AMOLED screens suck hard in bright sun.

With a tiny wireless dongle my Nikon DSLR can send photos to my phone and from there to my dropbox. Really don't need to pull my phone out of my pocket to do that. Plus I get all the benefits of using a full DSLR - like the nice, bright and dead accurate optical viewfinder.




Awesome!
By Stuka on 9/4/13, Rating: 0
Oh my
By Nortel on 9/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: Oh my
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/5/2013 9:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
And either one is still a quantum leap forward over anything Apple has to offer.


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