We’ve all been there. We’re out shooting with our expensive DSLR, but pull out our smartphone to quickly post something to Facebook or Instagram. I don’t know about you, but I feel a little bit guilty each and every time this happens, yet I do it anyway. Many cameras have added WIFI capability to facilitate easier sharing of photos and video, but few have succeeded in making the experience feel natural. Sony’s QX10 and QX100 attempt to solve this problem removing absolutely everything they can between pressing record and sharing; a strategy we think might just be out of the box enough to work.
In these lens cameras, what looks like a simple lens is actually a lens coupled with a image sensor attached to WIFI and NFC, allowing images seen by the glass to be transferred seamlessly to the users mobile phone or tablet.
While they are clearly being marketed toward still photographers, we did have a chance to ask Sony about the video capabilities. While we haven’t had a chance to analyze the footage, the QX10 and QX100 will be competent at shooting video, though far from ideal. We should expect the video quality to be similar to that of a point and shoot still camera. The QX10 and QX10 feature RCMOS sensors (the same used in Sony’s Cyber-Shot line). The maximum resolution/frame rate is 1920×1080 30p. There is no mic input, and so far, Sony doesn’t have an answer as to whether or not users can use a microphone attached into the smartphone itself. Based on what we saw in the hands-on demo, that would happen inside Sony’s mobile app, Play Memories, rather than the lens camera itself.
All that said, it’s likely anyone shooting video with their smartphone will be better off using one of these. Both fit snugly to just about any size phone and have the ability to be mounted to a typical tripod plate with a ¼ 20 connection.
The QX10 has a list price of $250, and the QX100 is $500. Both will be available for sale later this month.