Sony has today announced the new QX Smart Lens series of smartphone accessories. It is a lens-style camera that contains almost all the hardware you’d find in a Sony point-and-shoot — a zoom lens, image sensor and processing chips, a battery, stereo microphones, and even their own memory card slots — and the only thing missing is the viewfinder. The lens leaves the picture display role to your smartphone, which connects via Wi-Fi and is used to control the Smart Lens and share the resulting images out to the world.
Sony has released two variants
- The QX100, which will retail for $499 / £400 near the end of September. Lest that seems too steep a price, consider that this is essentially an LCD-deprived RX100M2. It comes with a 20-megapixel, 1-inch sensor, same Carl Zeiss optics, and same BIONZ image processing.
- The QX10, that will cost you $250 / £180 QX10,with 10x zoom instead of 3.6x found of the 100, but sacrifices image quality with its smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor and less prestigious Sony G Lens. It also has a lower maximum light sensitivty, topping out at ISO 3200 versus the QX100’s ISO 6400 limit.
Both camera modules will pair with your phone via NFC, if you have it, and will then transfer data over Wi-Fi to Sony’s PlayMemories app. The QX Smart Lenses are compatible with Android and iOS devices, will accept microSD and Memory Stick storage cards.