At last, the Sony QX “lens cameras” are officially official. They’re a pair of regular compact cameras built-into lens-shaped bodies, and they’re made to pair with your smartphone, using it as both a viewfinder and a controller.
The lenses connect via Wi-Fi, and if you’re using an Android phone then they’ll pair with it using NFC.
The details follow:
We’ll look at the QX–100, which is more or less an RX100 camera shrunken down, with an ƒ1.8 28–100 lens and a one-inch 20MP sensor (the other model is mostly the same, only with a smaller sensor and 28–250mm zoom).
Both cameras can be used standalone, and they clip onto the body of your phone if you like, although this is not necessary – in fact, you can point the lens at something and view its image on your phone, allowing for sneaky candid shots aplenty.
As standalone cameras, the QXs shoot to SD cards, but can send their pictures to your phone via Wi-Fi using the companion PlayMemories app. DP Review notes that some older and slower phones will introduce a lag when taking photos.
The QX cameras are a neat gimmick, that’s for sure, and they really are made to work with your phone. I have been playing around with all kinds of solutions for this ever since I got my second-gen iPad with its horribly crappy camera, and even now I’m obsessed with using Wi-Fi to get the photos from my camera onto either my iPhone or my iPad.
But you know what? Whenever I have my camera with me, I also have my iPhone. I often shoot a photo with the phone for sharing, and photos with the camera for… Sharing later. None of the Wi-Fi solutions I’ve tried have been as fast or reliable as popping out the SD card and using the camera connection kit, with the only caveat that only the iPad works with the kit.
But you know what? Maybe the QX is actually better suited to the tablet. Imagine that you have an amazing, large-sensor camera paired with the incredible retina screen of a full-sized iPad (the PlayMemories app is Universal) to use as a viewfinder. If you don’t get excited about that, then you’re not nearly nerdy enough.
The cameras are available for pre-order now, for $500 and $250.