One of the most intriguing products to appear at this year’s IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin is Sony#s QX-series of “lens cameras”. The idea is that users get the best of both worlds — compact digital camera quality images with the advantages of smartphone photography, such as the ability to instantly upload or share pictures.
At first glance both the QX10 and QX100 look like conventional lenses for an SLR (sinle lens reflex) camera, but there’s more to them. They are essentially compact digital still cameras without screens and control buttons. Behind the lens in each of the devices is a image sensor — the chip found inside every camera that converts light to an electronic image, an image processing chip and a WiFi adapter. Both come with a clip that can be used to mount them to a smartphone and it’s software in the smartphone that is used to control them and replace the viewfinder.
Clipping the lens onto the phone was very easy and at 90 grams, the QX10 didn’t end up making the 135-gram phone front heavy. I found it easiest to hold the phone by grabbing the lens body as I walked around taking pictures.The software shows a live image and has on-screen zoom and shutter controls, but I found it easier to use the physical zoom and shutter buttons on the side of the QX10. The camera can be focused by tapping on any area of the live image, much like the camera software in most smartphones.
We think that this is a quirky, clever & fresh gadget which made sony the power house two decades back. We’ve never been able to take such high quality photos with my cellphone, so for that the QX10 is a winner. If you like to take pictures and are always disappointed by the camera on a smartphone then the QX10 and sister QX100 are worth considering. But if you’re more serious about taking pictures, we as always say that you have to have a full digital slr for that.