Sony's Leaked QX 'Lens Cameras' Looking for Your Smartphones to Make Them Whole
Alongside the much rumored 20-megapixel ‘Honami’ smartphone, Sony is also expected to announce a new category of Cyber-shot products at IFA 2013 this coming week in Berlin, Germany. And now, we’ve the most reliable leaks yet, courtesy of Sony Alpha Rumors and Digital Camera Info.
The new category looks to be called ‘Smart Shot’ and at launch, it will consist of two ‘lens cameras’. In a nutshell, they - the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 - are attachments with a built-in lens and sensor that you can attach to a smartphone to capture high-quality photos. And through the use of a new PlayMemories mobile app that will be launched for Android and iOS, the user is able to interface with the camera (such as controlling focus, zoom, exposure, white balance) and save images to the mobile device. Of course, connection between the attachment and mobile device is done using Wi-Fi (possibly Wi-Fi Direct, in order to establish peer-to-peer hookup without a wireless access point). For ease of pairing, NFC support is also onboard.
According to the leaked photos and parts of the manual, the two lens cameras also sport a built-in microphone, a little display on the right side that shows if a memory card is inserted (they use Sony’s ultra-small Memory Stick Micro), a zoom lever and a dedicated shutter release button on the other side. Presumably, the inclusion of the microphone is to enable video recording; according to SonyAlphaRumors, 1080/30p shooting in MP4 format is supported. The devices' wireless nature and the hardware controls also suggest that you can just hold them in your hands and use them as is in one room, leaving the mobile device behind in another room for image saving and review. For better weight distribution and since all smartphones don’t come with a tripod screw thread, the QX10 and QX100 seem to have a tripod screw thread at the bottom (either that, or some other attachment is used). A tiny multifunction jack also suggests they can be hooked up to other peripherals (flashgun or more powerful microphone, perhaps?). In other words, the two attachments are effectively cameras sans a LCD monitor (and less circuitry).
Specs-wise, the QX10 is the lower-end of the two models. It has a 1/2.3-inch-type, 18.2MP Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor and a F3.3-5.9 Sony G lens with 10x optical zoom (25-250mm in 35mm terms), and sports in-body optical image stabilization. It’s also much more compact than the QX100, at least 2cm shorter. Besides black, it’ll also come in white/gold. The QX10 is expected to launch at a price of US$250.
On the other hand, the QX100 has a 1-inch-type, 20.2MP Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor and a F1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 3.6x optical zoom (28-100mm in 35mm terms) - yes, much like the very well received RX100 II premium compact camera. It also has a control ring at the front that we assume is for aperture and shutter speed control. Taking into account its similarity with the RX100 II, it’s perhaps safe to assume that this can be used to control other functions too. The QX100 is expected to launch at a price of US$450.
Would you pay S$650-700 for the QX100 (that’s just our guess) or S$999 for the RX100 II?