Earlier today, after weeks worth of rumors and leaks, Sony finally announced the ‘lens cameras’ we had heard so much about. No need to parse through rumors and speculate about what’s truth and what’s fiction, the company’s QX100 and QX10 smartphone-attachable lens-style cameras are officially here.
In case you’ve not been following our previous coverage, a general overview might be in order. The Sony ‘lens cameras’ as they have been called, consist of a digital camera packed inside of a lens. The lens contains not only the glass, but also the sensor, processor, microSD slot and wireless capabilities required to make the camera tick.
They’re meant to work in concert with Sony’s PlayMemories App on either an Android or iOS smartphone, using the smartphone as the LCD screen and controller, while the “lens-style camera” does the heavy hardware lifting.
The QX100 is the “premium, large-sensor” model of the two. Inside, you’ll find the same high-end 20.2MP 1-inch sensor you’d find in Sony’s capable RX100 II compact camera. On the glass side of things, the QX100 sports a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-4.9 lens that offers 3.6x optical zoom.
In addition to the larger sensor and wider aperture, what sets the QX100 apart from its brother is the manual control ring at the front, which allows you to adjust either focus or zoom.
Like its sibling, the QX100 will work with the new version of Sony’s PlayMemories App, allowing you to dial in settings using Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto and more.
The QX10 is the less expensive, more consumer friendly of the two. Although the 18.2MP 1/2.3-inch sensor inside isn’t as powerful or large as the QX100′s, the f/3.3-5.9 lens offers 10x optical zoom so users can get closer to the action without losing quality.
No manual focus/zoom ring will be available on the QX10, but the smaller of the two lens-style cameras weighs in at only 4oz, making it the most portable option by far. This one will allow the selection of Program Auto, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto, although no mention is made of Aperture Priority mode.
Both cameras feature Optical SteadyShot Stabilization built-in, so the photos you take with them can stay shake-free even if you don’t. They’ll connect to your smartphone via WiFi (or one-touch NFC communication on compatible devices, as seen here) and allow you to control the majority of settings from there.
The cameras can be attached physically to your phone using the provided adapter, or used separately so you can take photos from angles that might otherwise not be possible.
Both lens-style models will arrive on store shelves later this month. The more-capable QX100 will run you $500, while the more-portable QX10 will only set you back $250. You can already pre-order both the QX100 and QX10 at B&H Photo by following the corresponding links.