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 $248 and $498, respectively.

Sony QX100 lens

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.

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2 replies on “Sony QX10, QX100 lenses give your smartphone a better camera”

  1. I can see buying this. The cameras built into phones stink, electronics can’t make up for the lack of glass. And for the size these things pack some pretty impressive optics and a pretty big sensor on the expensive one. Compare the size and weight of these to a full camera with similar specs and I can see reusing the phone you almost certainly already have in your pocket as the user control point.

    This is finally trending toward the PAN (Personal Area Network) concept that BlueTooth was supposed to bring about but the wireless carriers outlawed, giving us instead the smartphone; able to suck at almost anything while excelling at almost nothing.

    Really. Even on the largest, most expensive and most high end phones the screen is too small, the camera is pathetic the IU is cramped and the line about them being good for just about anything other than talking on the phone is so old and so true it isn’t even a punchline anymore.

    We need more of this. I’d like to live in a world where smartphones were ditched as a wrong turn and we went back to dumb phones that made calls, could send a text and act as a Internet access device over BT. Then we could attach our tablet or laptop (or even these smartwatches they blather on about… or not) for Internet things. Add one of these cameras if you want to shoot pictures for uses other than Facebook. And of course a BT earphone if you need to make a lot of voice calls or listen to music. And once they solve the battery problem of course we could move to Google Glass tech.

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