Yes, the rumors have been circulating for a very long time now and we have to admit: they’ve been true. The Sony QX10 and QX100 lenses with sensors built in are indeed real–and they totally connect to your mobile device. The QX10 and QX100 have a very specific naming for really good reasons. For the most part, the QX10 is a small sensor unit with a long zoom range while the QX100 is a larger sensor unit that is akin to the company’s RX100 camera. So just imagine it: the excellent photo shooting capabilities of the RX100 and your phone–connected together in true harmony via Wifi or NFC. Your Instagram is about to get a heck of a lot better.
|Sensor Type||1.0″ (13.2 x 8.8mm) Exmor R(R) CMOS sensor||1/2.3″ (7.76mm) Exmor R(R) CMOS sensor|
|Number of gross pixels||Approx. 20.9 Megapixels||Approx. 18.9 Megapixels|
|Number of effective pixels||Approx. 20.2 Megapixels||Approx. 18.2 Megapixels|
|Lens Type||Carl Zeiss “Vario-Sonnar T*”, 7 elements in 6 groups (4 aspheric elements including AA lens)||Sony G 9 elements in 7 groups(including 4 aspheric elements)|
|F-number (Maximum Aperture)||F1.8(W)-4.9(T)||F3.3(W)-5.9(T)|
|Iris Diaphragm||7 blades||–|
|Focal Length (f = )||f=10.4-37.1mm||f=4.45-44.5mm|
|35mm format equivalent (Still Image3:2)||f=28-100mm|
|35mm format equivalent (Still Image4:3)||f=30-108mm||f=25-250mm|
|35mm format equivalent (Still Image16:9)||f=29-105mm||f=27.5-275mm|
|35mm format equivalent (Still Image1:1)||f=36-127mm|
|35mm format equivalent (Movie16:9)||f=29-105mm(SteadyShot Standard), f=33-120mm(SteadyShot Active)||f=27.5-275mm(SteadyShot Standard), f=27.5-385mm(SteadyShot Active)|
|35mm format equivalent (Movie4:3)||f=36-128mm(SteadyShot Standard), f=41-146mm(SteadyShot Active)||f=33.5-335mm(SteadyShot Standard), f=33.5-469mm(SteadyShot Active)|
|Focus Range (from the front of the lens)||iAuto:AF(W:Approx.5cm(0.16′) to infinity, T:Approx.55cm(1.80′) to infinity) / Program Auto:AF(W:Approx,5cm(0.16′) to infinity, T:Approx.55cm(1.80′) to infinity)||iAuto:AF(W:Approx.5cm(0.16′) to Infinity, T:Approx.150cm(4.92′) to Infinity) / Program Auto:AF(W:Approx.5cm(0.16′) to Infinity, T:Approx.150cm(4.92′) to Infinity)|
|Still Image, Movie||3.6x(Optical Zoom during movie recording)||10x(Optical Zoom during movie recording)|
|Screen Type||Segment LCD||Segment LCD|
|Optical SteadyShot Active Mode (for Movie)||Yes (Active Mode, Optical type with electronic compensation)||Yes (Active Mode, Optical type with electronic compensation)|
|Focus Mode||Single-shot AF||Single-shot AF|
|Focus Mode||Manual Focus||Touch AF|
|Focus Mode||Touch AF|
|Focus Area||Multi Point AF||Multi Point AF|
|Light Metering Mode||Multi Pattern||Multi Pattern|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 3.0 EV, 1/3 EV step||+/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV step|
|ISO Sensitivity (Still Image)*1||ISO160-6400(iAuto), ISO160-25600(Superior Auto), ISO160-3200(Program Auto), ISO160-3200(Aperture Priority)||ISO100-3200(iAuto), ISO100-12800(Superior Auto), ISO100-1600(Program Auto)|
|ISO Sensitivity (Movie)||Auto: (ISO160-3200 level)||Auto: (ISO100-1000 level)|
|Minimum Illumination(Movie)||Auto: 3.2lux (Shutter Speed 1/60)||Auto: 20lux (Shutter Speed 1/30)|
|White Balance Mode||Auto||Auto|
|White Balance Mode||Daylight||Daylight|
|White Balance Mode||Shade||Shade|
|White Balance Mode||Cloudy||Cloudy|
|White Balance Mode||Fluor.: Warm White||Flourescent White Balance 0|
|White Balance Mode||Fluor.: Cool White||Flourescent White Balance 1|
|White Balance Mode||Fluor.: Day White||Flourescent White Balance 2|
|White Balance Mode||Fluor.: Daylight||Incandescent|
|White Balance Mode||C.Temp.|
|White Balance Mode||Incandescent|
|Shutter Speed*2||iAuto (4 – 1/2000) / Program Auto (1 – 1/2000) / Aperture Priority (8 – 1/2000)||iAuto (4 – 1/1600) / Program Auto (1 – 1/1600)|
|Aperture||iAuto (F1.8/F11) / Program Auto (F1.8/F11) / Aperture Priority (F1.8/F11)||iAuto (F3.3/F8.0 (W)) / Program Auto (F3.3/F8.0 (W))|
|Self-Timer||10sec. / 2sec.||10sec. / 2sec.|
|Shooting Mode||Superior Auto||Superior Auto|
|Shooting Mode||Intelligent Auto||Intelligent Auto|
|Shooting Mode||Program Auto||Program Auto|
|Shooting Mode||Aperture Priority||Movie Mode|
|Shooting Mode||Movie Mode|
|Still Image||33||Superior Auto 44
Intelligent Auto 33
|Compatible Recording Media*3||Memory Stick Micro||Memory Stick Micro|
|Compatible Recording Media*3||Memory Stick Micro (Mark2)||Memory Stick Micro (Mark2)|
|Compatible Recording Media*3||microSD Memory Card||microSD Memory Card|
|Compatible Recording Media*3||microSDHC Memory Card||microSDHC Memory Card|
|Compatible Recording Media*3||microSDXC Memory Card||microSDXC Memory Card|
|Recording Format||Still Image: JPEG, Movie: MP4||Still Image: JPEG, Movie: MP4|
|Color Space (Still)||sRGB||sRGB|
|Still Image Number of recorded pixels (Image Size)||3:2 mode: 20M (5,472 x 3,648) / 5M (2,736 x 1,824) / 4:3 mode:18M(4,864 x 3,648) / 5M(2,592 x 1,944) / 16:9 mode: 17M (5,472 x 3,080) / 4.2M (2,720 x 1,528) / 1:1 mode: 13M (3,648 x 3,648) / 3.7M(1,920 x 1,920)||4:3 mode: 18M (4,896 x 3,672) / 5M (2,592 x 1,944) / 16:9 mode: 13M (4,896 x 2,752) / 2M (1,920 x 1,080)|
|Movie Recording Mode||MP4: 12M(1,440×1080/30fps)||MP4: 12M (1,440×1080/30fps)|
|PRINT Image Matching (PIM3)||Yes||Yes|
|Input and Output Terminal||Multi/Micro USB Terminal*4 , Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0)||Multi/Micro USB Terminal*4 , Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0)|
|NFC||Yes (NFC forum Type 3 Tag compatible)||Yes (NFC forum Type 3 Tag compatible)|
|Power Source||DC3.6V (supplied battely) / DC5.0V (not supplied AC Adoptor)||DC3.6V (supplied battely) / DC5.0V (not supplied AC Adoptor)|
|Battery System||NP-BN (supplied) / NP-BN1 (not supplied)||NP-BN (supplied) / NP-BN1 (not supplied)|
|Power Consumption (Camera mode)||Approx. 1.1W||Approx. 1.1W|
|USB Charge/USB Power Supply||Yes (Shooting*5 , Playback)||Yes (Shooting*5 , Playback)|
|Still Images*6||Approx. 220 / Approx. 110min||Approx. 220 / Approx. 110min|
|Movies (actual shooting)*7 *8||Approx. 25min.||Approx. 25min|
|Movies (continuous shooting)*7 *9||Approx. 55min. (In [MP4 12M] mode, max. continuous shooting time is approx. 25 min. and max. file size is 2GB. )||Approx. 65min. (In [MP4 12M] mode, max. continuous shooting time is approx. 25 min. and max. file size is 2GB. )|
|Other Shooting Functions||Face Detection||Face Detection|
|Operating Speed*11||Start-up Time (Approx. 6.9 sec.) / Shooting Time Lag (Approx. 0.21 sec.) / Shooting Interval (Approx. 1.0 sec.)||Start-up Time (Approx. 6.9 sec.) / Shooting Time Lag (Approx. 1.2 sec.)|
|Dimensions (WxHxD) (CIPA compliant)||Approx: 2 1/2 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 2 1/4 in. (62.5mm x 62.5mm x 55.5mm)||Approx:2 1/2 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 1 5/16 in (62.4mm x 61.8mm x 33.3mm)|
|Weight (CIPA compliant)||Approx. 179.0g (0lb 6.3oz.) (Battery and Memory Stick_micro are included) / Approx. 165g (0lb 5.8oz.) (Body Only)||Approx. 105.0g (0lb 3.7oz.) (Battery and Memory Stick_micro are included) / Approx. 90g (0lb 3.2oz.) (Body Only)|
|Supplied Accessory||Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BN*12||Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BN*12|
|Supplied Accessory||Micro USB cable||Micro USB cable|
|Supplied Accessory||Wrist Strap||Wrist Strap|
|Supplied Accessory||Smartphone attachment||Smartphone attachment|
|Supplied Accessory||Instruction Manual||Instruction Manual|
|Scan System||Progressive scan||Progressive scan|
|Color Filter||R,G,B primary color mosaic filters||R,G,B primary color mosaic filters|
|Active Mode||Optical and Electronic||Optical and Electronic|
|Focusing Type||Contrast detection AF|
|Auto Controll Range||ISO160-6400(iAuto), ISO160-25600(Superior Auto), ISO160-3200(Program Auto), ISO160-3200(Aperture Priority)||ISO100-3200(iAuto), ISO100-12800(Superior Auto), ISO100-1600(Program Auto)|
|Maximum number of detectable faces||8 faces||8 faces|
|Auto Orientation||On only||On only|
|Recording Format||Still Images: JPEG (DCF, Exif) compliant||Still Images: JPEG (DCF, Exif) compliant|
|Memory Stick Micro||16GB||16GB|
|microSD Memory Card||64GB||64GB|
|Ctrl with Smartphone||Yes||Yes|
|Send to Smartphone||Yes (Select on Smartphone)||Yes (Select on Smartphone)|
|Power Saving||2 min||2 min|
|Clock Function,Setting||Yes (Auto Clock ADJ)||Yes (Auto Clock ADJ)|
|LUN Settings (Multi/Single)||Multi||Multi|
|Capacity for Shooting||typical: 2.3Wh (630mAh), minimum: 2.2Wh (600mAh)|
|Operating Temperature||0 degrees C. – +40 degrees C. / 32 degrees F. – 104 degrees F.||0 degrees C. – +40 degrees C. / 32 degrees F. – 104 degrees F.|
|Storage Temperature||-20 degrees C. – +60 degrees C. / -4 degrees F. – +140 degrees F.||-20 degrees C. – +60 degrees C. / -4 degrees F. – +140 degrees F.|
|Shutter Release Time Lag||Approx. 0.035 sec.||Approx. 0.037 sec.|
For ease of convenience, know that both the QX10 and QX100 really look almost identical. The units themselves are very cylindrical in design and ergonomically, they’re also quite interesting. In these units is encased a lens, sensor, and communication electronics along with a couple of buttons and controls.
On one side of the units, you’ve got the zooming slider and shutter release. Just like a point and shoot, the wide angle side is clearly marked with the W while the telephoto end has a T. The body’s design is also rather smooth–and in hands that are sweaty from the NYC heat I’m afraid that they might be a bit too smooth. The very curvaceous design could be a bit too much to handle for some–as ergonomically speaking they could possibly slip out of your hand.
In general, the units are also pretty darned compact but can have an attachment on the back to connect it to a phone as well–which obviously makes the package larger. But in our brief time with the units, we found the QX10 and QX100 able to fit into skinny jeans. In real life though, you probably may not want to do this: it’s a bit tight.
On this side you’ll also find a USB port outlet to connect it to a computer or anything else.
When ready to shoot, the lens extends outward–making the package even larger. But in all seriousness, it may only be deployed like this for a couple of minutes and will never be stuffed into your bag or pocket like this.
The really nice thing about these accessories is that when they are shut off, your lens is also protected. That means that you won’t need a lens cap at all.
Ease of Use
There are a couple of ways to use the units. For starters, many folks might like using the lens accessories with a clip that will attach onto your phone to simulate a semi-point and shoot experience. However, others might opt to keep the lens off the camera phone and instead just place it where ever they want. Either way is acceptable, but the latter is what will really earn you some cooler photos.
When connected to the phone wirelessly, Sony recommends the use of an app that will help to you to get a better control experience and then recommends that you port the images over to your favorite sharing service afterward. Unfortunately, there is no manual control over the settings and you’ll only have very basic shooting modes such as sports, landscape, etc. However, there is a P mode–not for professional, but for program.
However, using the app you will have some control over certain aspects, such as settings for a self-timer, image size, etc. It gives you a lot more power than what was previously capable.
Connecting the unit to your phone requires the use of a little backpack and the clip. Ergonomically, I wouldn’t want to put the lens in the middle of the camera but instead a little bit off to the side.
To focus, you can use the touchscreen interface of your phone and app, or you can use the button on the lens. We’re not quite used to the idea of focusing and shooting by pressing a button on a lens though. And with that said, we feel that most users will opt for the touch screen.
Focusing on the pre-production models that we handled were quite speedy–but they’re also point and shoots; and so we know that Sony has improved the focusing of these cameras quite a bit more than was previously available.
Holding one of these units in your hand feels like you’re holding one of the company’s little NEX series lenses. With that said, they’re small, compact and pretty darn smooth to the touch. And like any lens, if it takes a tumble, you can surely say goodbye to it.
Given the fact that one of these cameras is basically an RX100, we’re positive that we’re going to be floored by the image quality. However, the units that we tested were pre-production models and we weren’t able to snag any photos off the phones we tested them with.
Also note that they will only shoot JPEGs.
We think that Sony needs to be given a lot of credit. Years ago, they told us flat out that they took a major hit in the digital imaging division because of smartphones–but most of that was centered around point and shoots. To adapt, they started to focus more on their interchangeable lens and larger sensor cameras. To adapt even further, they decided to embrace the smartphone market rather than fight it. And with their new QX10 and QX100 units, they surely will be able to. Users will be able to give their phone a real optical zoom and get some glorious bokeh and significantly better high ISO imagery with the units if used correctly.
Though we haven’t been loaned official review units yet, Sony needs to be commended for adapting and surely taking a risk. If the first generation of these products isn’t successful, the second one might be.
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