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. 


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. 


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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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.

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