Sony QX100, QX10 reviews: Connected camera duo ditch the camera body in favor of your smartphone
posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:01 AM EST
Almost every dedicated camera on the market shares one thing in common: It is -- in some form or other -- a box housing a lens. The long-rumored, large-sensor Sony QX100 and its sibling the long-zoom QX10 don't just buck that trend, they toss it into orbit. The box is gone, leaving only the lens barrel behind. The result is a design radically different to anything that has gone before -- a premium lens paired wirelessly with your smartphone -- and one that aims to change the way you think about photography.
The concept for the QX-series "Lens-Style Cameras" is simple and rather clever. In much of the world, smartphones now account for more than half of all cellphones, and they typically have better screens than your camera does. So why do you need the bulk, weight, and expense of that second screen? Ditch the LCD, pare the camera down to its very basics, and you can do away with the boxy camera body altogether. And that's precisely what Sony has done with the Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10.
The Sony QX100 shares much -- including the same 1.0-inch, 20-megapixel, backside-illuminated image sensor and Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*-branded 3.6x optical zoom lens -- with the existing Sony RX100 II point-and-shoot. It's the bigger of the two QX-series models, and sports the more sophisticated feature set, as well. It communicates with your smartphone via Wi-Fi, and can be paired using Near Field Communications if your smartphone supports it. And it includes its own shutter button, zoom, and manual focus controls, along with built-in storage and power, so it can actually be used standalone, too.
The Sony Cyber-shot QX100 lens-style camera ships from September 2013 in the US market, and pricing is set at US$500. Want to know more? Read our hands-on Sony QX100 review for our first impressions!
And then there's the Sony QX10. This model is smaller, lighter, and aimed at the less-experienced photographer who just wants the zoom lens their cameraphone doesn't have. It, too, is based on an existing camera, but this time it's a small-sensor compact. It shares a similar 1/2.3-inch, 18-megapixel, backside-illuminated image sensor and Sony G-branded 10x optical zoom lens to those used in last year's Sony WX150 point-and-shoot. Like the QX100, the Sony QX10 sports Wi-Fi, NFC, and built-in storage.
The Sony Cyber-shot QX10 likewise hits the market from September 2013, with pricing set at US$250. Want to know more? Read our first impressions in our hands-on Sony QX10 review!