Sony finally officially showed off their poorly kept secret, the new QX Smart Lenses, at IFA this morning. We’ve seen plenty of them already, but just to remind you these are lenses that you can pair with your smartphone to offer a dramatically improved camera experience.
The first two members of the line are the QX10 and the QX100. The lenses connect to your phone via NFC, share the photos to your phone and are controlled by your phone over WiFi.
The QX10 will come in at $250 when it launches at the end of September. It is based on the Sony G Lens. Here are some of the pertinent specs:
- 1/2.3 Exmor R CMOS sensor
- 18.2 MP
- 10x optical zoom
- Max ISO 3200
- Single-shot and touch autofocus
The QX100 is fairly pricey, $499 at launch, and will be avialable at the end of September. Although if you keep in mind that this is based on the RX100 MK II point and shoot, which retails for $750, that pricing seems a little less crazy. Relevant specs for the QX100 include:
- 1.0 Exmor R CMOS sensor
- 20.2 MP
- 3.6x optical zoom
- Max ISO 6400
- Manual, single-shot and touch autofocus
The rest of the specs are identical between the two lenses:
- 12MP movie mode (1440×1080 at 30fps)
- Optical Steadyshot image stabilization
- Memory Stick Micro or Micro SD storage
Sony was quick to mention in their press event that, if you don’t have a Sony smartphone, these lenses will work with your phone. An adapter will be available to fit them to most devices. Considering how niche these seem to be, that’s a critical move for them.
If you haven’t seen the ad below from Sony yet, it’s worth checking out. It displays a day in the life of the QX100 or QX10 owner. I think the guy using it looks pretty awkward with the lens throughout most of the video, which doesn’t exactly instill confidence.
I find the QX100 mildly interesting. Hopefully it will actually manage to live up to its billing as an RX100 MK II minus the screen. That camera is really untouched by other high-end point and shoots at the moment, and for $250 less the QX100, might be worth considering if you already have a smartphone you’re happy with. The ability to detach the lens and remotely view through screen could also offer the opportunity for some unique shots.
The QX10 just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. There are pretty compelling standalone point and shoot options at $250 that offer a much better form factor.
I wouldn’t say any of you have seem too thrilled with the Smart Lens concept when we’ve written about it in the past, but do you feel any differently watching the video or seeing the official pricing and specs on the devices? Do you know anyone that you think would bite on one of the QXs?
If you happen to be one of those people that wants the QX in your life as soon as possible, they have already gone up for pre-order on Amazon and are showing a September 27 release date.