Sony took the stage at IFA Wednesday to officially announce the Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10, two new products the company is calling lens-style cameras which essentially serve as smartphone attachments. We had a chance to chat with Sony and gets some hands-on time with both new Cyber-shot models.
The QX100 and QX10 both ship this month and cost $499 and $299, respectively. That price difference is mostly due to picture quality, the QX100 offers a larger Carl Zeiss-designed lens with a 1-inch sensor that shoots at 20-megapixels and offers 3.6x zoom; the smaller QX10’s 1/2.3-inch sensor shoots at 18-megapixels but offers 10x zoom.
The QX100 and QX10 fall within Sony’s existing Cyber-shot family of cameras, but the new products serve a completely different purpose. Both are designed to sync with your smartphone, via a connection established through NFC for most Android devices or Wi-Fi for the iPhone and iPad, allowing the user to take high-quality pictures with long zoom and optical image stabilization. The design includes a removable spring-powered bracket for physically attaching the device to your phone, but also connects wirelessly, allowing you to control the shutter, zoom and settings remotely from a close distance.
The Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10 also function as totally independent cameras, with built-in shutter button, zoom control and battery life display. There’s no flash, however, and you’ll need to add storage to the device with your own microSD card to save pictures to the camera itself. You also won’t be able to look at your photos until after uploading them to a smartphone.
Based on our first impressions, the Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10 are both solid devices that function very well. Everything about the lens-style cameras worked easily, and the controls for taking photos and sharing them online were simple and intuitive. If you already have a good camera you probably don’t need to pick up one of these devices, but if you’re still taking most of your photos with a smartphone this is a great way to up your picture quality without sacrificing on convenience.