First Pictures of Sony’s Groundbreaking Lens Cameras Surface


There’s been a lot of doubt surrounding recent rumors that Sony is working on a couple of revolutionary “lens cameras.” The smartphone-attachable lenses — complete with built-in sensor and processor — seemed far-fetched to some, but now that we have our first leaked images, any remaining doubts should start melting away.

The original rumor was reported by sonyalpharumors, who was extremely confident the lens cams were real given the reliability of their sources in the past. But that didn’t stop CNET‘s show Rumor Has It from poking fun at SAR and calling the rumor unlikely, which in turn led the rumor site to bet CNET drinks that the lens cameras were the real deal.

Well, it looks like CNET owes sonyalpharumors a beer next time he’s in NYC, because these product shots seem quite legitimate, and it’s nowhere near April.


Along with the new pics, SAR also shared some previously unknown model names as well as a few details we hadn’t heard before.

The two lens cameras will reportedly be dubbed the DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10. The first will be the pricier big boy of the bunch (seen on the left below). It’ll hit shelves packing the same 20.2-megapixel sensor and Zeiss glass found in/on Sony’s powerful RX100 Mark II compact.

The second will be the smaller, more affordable option that will feature an 18-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor and 10x optical zoom.



Both lenses are said to pack a Bionz processor and will attach magnetically to your smartphone — both Android and iOS will be supported — which will in turn control the lens cam via built-in WiFi/NEF.

This essentially turns your phone into a compact camera, with the phone serving as the LCD screen and brains, while the lens attachment contains the glass and the eye.


No word yet on when these lens cameras will be making their debut, or how much they’ll cost when they do, but Sony has a lot of exciting announcements coming up in the following months, so stay tuned and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date.

(via sonyalpharumors)

  • bcostin

    They probably include an adhesive metal pad for the back of the phone, similar to the add-on accessory rings sold for compact-camera lenses without filter threads. It also looks like it clamps around the body of the phone, so the magnetic part might just be to keep it from sliding.

  • bcostin

    My uncle was a photographer for decades, until macular degeneration made it impossible for him to compose using a viewfinder, or a ground-glass finder, or even a small LCD screen. It’s too late now – he’s nearly blind – but a 10″ tablet with these kinds of sensors and optics would’ve been a miracle to him. How about we all concern ourselves with the quality of our own work, and let other people enjoy taking their own photos however they like?

  • JoeNoName

    they have WiFi

  • Mark Wheadon

    Agreed. This is more about carrying a (hopefully) high quality compact camera without it being bulky (as after all, you’re already carrying the phone).

  • Robert Mark

    That explains why the 30 year old woman sitting in front of me at my son’s recent school concert kept blocking my view with her iPad held up in front of her. I need to be more sensitive to her.

  • bcostin

    Ah, well. Some people are just rude and oblivious. They seem to come with and without tablets.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    just say “upskirt photos” photos already

  • Antonio Carrasco

    This actually makes perfect sense as upskirt photos are a huge market in Japan and what better way to take upskirts than with a lens that can operate while detached from the camera body (phone or tablet in this case)

    Just sayin…

  • Pete

    As time goes on I think we will be seeing more and more things like this; it’s just the natural progression of things. When cars were first introduced they bore little difference from horse drawn buggies with motors. That is what we had and how we thought of them. Soon they morphed into the more purpose built designs that we know them as today, taking full advantage of the benefits of a motorized platform. But the thought of having a radio in a car in the early days? Absurd. Radios were for the house, cars were for transportation. They have nothing to do with each other. But by the 1950’s they were all but ubiquitous. Same with cameras. Not so long ago telephones were low tech analog electronic devices that wire wired to your home, and cameras were necessarily large mechanical devices that bore no technical, mechanical, or functional commonalities with a telephone. But the age of portability for both technologies gave them a purpose together.

    Currently, a smartphone has evolved into little more than a multifunction microcomputer with telephony as only one of its many purposes. As we begin to recognize them for what they really are, powerful computers with increasingly complex and powerful operating systems, the traditional mold of what a smartphone should do will all but disappear. Having such a powerful computer available in ones pocket and not using it for all it is capable of is quite frankly a waste.

    That isn’t to say this particular idea is necessarily the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it’s an important step in what I believe will become the complete modularity of electronic devices in the coming years. This is probably one of those things that in 10 years we’ll all look back and go, “man, and they were so close, too…”

  • hamishNIVENPhoto

    buy a camera? I really dont understand why people would remake things to do the job of another tool.
    You are using a spoon to drink your coffee. Its possible, but its not what the spoon was designed for.

  • hamishNIVENPhoto

    ignorance and stupidity should be crimes

  • JonCruise

    The idea is amazing. But it seems quite fragile.

  • mindseye

    I’m not sure I would trust a simple magnet to hold this lens to a smartphone. How much metal is in most of todays smartphones…? I wouldn’t think enough to firmly and safely hold an expensive glass lens that I assume isn’t exactly feather light.