updated 11:47 am EDT, Wed September 4, 2013
Drastically improves phone shooting quality
After weeks of speculation, Sony today formally unveiled QX Smart Lens line, beginning with the QX100 and QX10. The units clip onto a smartphone, dramatically improving sensor and lens quality for photography. The QX100 is due to ship toward the end of September at a cost of $499, but is essentially a phone version of Sony's RX100M2 camera, sporting a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor with the same Carl Zeiss lens and BIONZ image processing as its sibling.
Each QX has a its own battery, stereo microphone, and memory card slot. Viewfinding and control functions are handled primarily by the phone, which connects via Wi-Fi, although dedicated shutter and zoom controls are present on the lenses. With NFC-equipped phones, pairing can be done automatically, and images are shuttled over to Sony's PlayMemories app. The lenses are compatible with both Android and iOS devices however, and can save images to microSD cards or Memory Sticks. Tripod mounts help with stabilization or self-shooting.
The QX10 is a $250 alternative to the QX100, switching to a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor, and Sony G Lens glass. It also has lower light sensitivity -- rated at ISO 3200, instead of 6400 -- but has up to 10x zoom, versus the QX100's 3.6x.