After what has to have been one of the worst kept secrets in photographic manufacturing, Sony has announced the QX10 and QX100 'lens-style cameras' at IFA. While they might look like lenses, they're cameras in their own right. The idea beind them is to combine 'premium camera' technology with smartphone convenience.
You attach the QX10 or QX100 to your smartphone, you connect them via wi-fi and the latest version of Sony's PlayMemories app, and away you go, using your phone's screen to view shots, adjust settings, and share your images. Whether camera unit and phone are physically connected or not doesn't matter; the phone is essentially acting as a remote shutter release. If your smartphone is equipped with near field communication, it's a one-touch process.
In terms of spec, the QX10 has an 18.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and a Sony G lens with 10× optical zoom. There's built-in optical steady shot to help keep things blur-free when you're hand-holding and the light's a bit dim. Together with its battery and memory stick micro, it weighs 105g.
The bigger sibling QX100 has a 20.2 megapixel 1.0-type Exmor R CMOS sensor. It lets you control aperture and exposure compensation as well record video from your phone's screen. This lens is a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 3.6× optical zoom; it too has optical steady shot. As well as being able to make adjustments from your phone, there's a control ring governing focus and zoom on the QX100, too.
But, are you prepared to shell out £399 for the QX100 or £179 for the QX10? I'm incredibly intrigued and am looking forward to exploring them at some point, but I think that I'd rather keep my £400 in my pocket for now. You?