Enjoy taking photos with your camera, but wish it had an optical zoom lens, better image sensors, and other goodies that are hard to find in a compact phone? Sony thinks it has the answer: clip a wireless camera lens to the back of your phone.
The company is introducing two new lenses designed to work with cameras, the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100.
They’re expected to ship September 27th, and they’re available for pre-order for $248and $498, respectively.
Both lenses basically have the guts of a decent camera, but they don’t have their own viewfinders. Instead you pair them with your Android or iOS phone and use a Sony camera app on your phone to line up your shots and control the shutter and other settings.
The lenses connect to your phone using WiFi and NFC, and they don’t actually have to be clipped to the phone to work — you can hold the lens in one hand and your phone in the other.
The QX100 is a high-end model with an RX100MII sensor and F1.8 Carl Zeiss lens and manual controls and a 3.6x optical zoom and a 20MP 1″ Exmor R CMOS sensor. The QX10 is a more affordable model with a 10x zoom lens and 18MP, 1/2.3 inch Exmor R CMOS sensor.
Sony’s lens cameras are sort of an alternative to buying an Android powered camera just so you can upload your photos straight to Facebook, edit them on the spot, or play Angry Birds on a camera. But if you’re going through the trouble of carrying around a second device for snapping photos, I can’t help but wonder why you would buy a lens accessory for your phone instead of a full-fledged camera that doesn’t rely on your phone.