Sony QX1, QX30 debut: Transform your smartphone into an APS-C ILC or 30x superzoom


posted Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM EDT

Note: The Sony 16-50mm lens is not included.

A year ago almost to the day, Sony revealed two new cameras unlike anything that had gone before. Both were completely reliant on a smartphone for framing, image review, and all control other than image capture and zoom. Now, it follows up with the Sony QX1 (the first APS-C interchangeable-lens camera module) and Sony QX30 (the first 30x zoom camera module) for your smartphone.

The Sony QX1 marries the basic form and design of the previous QX-cameras with a large 20.1-megapixel Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor a la the Sony A5000 and a fully functional E-mount lens flange. The QX1 provides smartphone-based photographers a slew of qualities normally reserved for dedicated standalone cameras. In addition to the APS-C sensor, the QX1 features Sony's powerful BIONZ X image processor for vastly improved image quality over that from the small-chipped cameras built into today's smartphones.

For the more enthusiast photographer, the QX1 includes a host of advanced features, including RAW+JPEG capture (including the ability to transfer RAW files to Android devices -- no iOS devices for that feature at this time); Program, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority shooting modes (no Manual exposure, though); Lock-on AF; up to 3.5fps continuous burst shooting; 1080/30p Full HD video, and even a built-in flash.

Note: The Sony 16-50mm lens is not included.

The Sony QX30, meanwhile, looks to share much with the existing HX50V compact camera. Resolution is 20.4 megapixels, just as in the HX50V, and it's paired to much the same 24-720mm-equivalent, f/3.5-6.3, 30x optical zoom lens as in that model. Not all features make the grade -- there's no manual exposure option, for example, and nor is there a built-in GPS, but by forgoing a built-in display and instead pairing with your smartphone, you'll get an overall package that's around a quarter smaller than the equivalent standalone camera.


Available from September 2014, the 30x zoom Sony QX30 is priced at US$350. The APS-C sensor-based Sony QX1 will follow from November 2014, priced at US$400. More details can be found in our Sony QX30 preview and Sony QX1 preview, respectively.

Ready to pre-order? Place your order for the new Sony QX1 or QX30 lens-style cameras at one of Imaging Resource's trusted affiliates:

  • Sony QX1 Mirrorless Lens-Style Camera, $398 - B&H
  • Sony QX30 Lens-Style Camera, $348 - B&H