Hands on with the Sony QX100 and QX10 attachable lens

One of the coolest things we played with during the Best of Sony event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was their smartphone attachable lens, the QX100 and QX10. At first, I thought it was like one of those lens you attach to your phones to improve the phone’s camera but it’s clearly way more than that. This attachment will transform even your measly Php4,000 Android phone into a respectable shooter.

Sony-QX10-01

First and foremost, the Sony attachable lens are cameras on their own. Yes, you can take photos with them by themselves without attaching it to any smartphone. Each has its own sensor, lens, shutter button, zoom lever, battery, microUSB port and a microSD slot. You can even attach a tripod onto it. In fact, the Sony QX100 is just like the enthusiast-level Sony Cybershot RX100 without the viewfinder, flash, menus, and dials.

Sony-QX10-open

The Sony QX10 has a 1/2.3-inch 18.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor (same size as the Xperia Z1’s sensor) paired with a 10x optical zoom f/3.5-5.9 Sony G lens. It comes with an optical image stabilizer as well.

Sony-QX10

The Sony QX100 on the other hand has a huge 1-inch 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor to go with a f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens. It’s the

Sony-QX100

To fully utilize the lens though, you need to connect it to an Android or iOS device (iPad or iPod Touch will work as well) and download the free Sony PlayMemories mobile app from the App Store or Google Play. This app will allow you to use your device as the viewfinder, control different settings (auto or manual) on the lens, use touch focus, click the shutter, and act as secondary storage for the photos/videos.

Sony-QX100-iPhone

You can clip a bracket to the lens so you can clamp it to your phone. It can accommodate a device of up to 13mm thick and from 54-75mm wide. It was able to snugly clamp on my iPhone 5 even with a thick case on.

Sony-QX100-detached

Attaching it is optional though. You can hold your phone on one hand and the lens on the other to get those angled shots. You can even place it on a table or mount it on a tripod then take the shot from a distance.

So how does it communicate to your Android or iOS device? The Sony QX100 and QX10 can broadcast its own secured WiFi network (password is n the inside of the battery lid) which you need to connect to. However, if your device have NFC, connecting is made easier although primary mode of communication is still via WiFi.

Sony-PlayMemories

Launch the Sony PlayMemories app to fiddle with the settings such as white balance, aperture, and exposure. You can use touch-to-focus on your phone and also the on-screen zoom controls and shutter button. We got some lag on our phone as we pan the lens around so there’s still room for improvement. Saving photos on the phone also took a couple of seconds so you might want to turn that setting off if you want to take shots quickly.

Here are a couple of shots taken with the QX100 lens. Click to view it in Flickr for the full-size.

Sony QX100 sample shots using an iPhone 5 as host.

Sony QX100 sample shots using an iPhone 5 as host.

Photos appear sharp and clean even when you zoom in thanks to the f/1.8 lens.

On paper, the attachable lens of Sony is something you would strongly consider if you’re after good photos on your smartphone. You can keep your super slim phone then just take out the attachable lens when you need to take good photos. However, the experience is still far from ideal with the lag you get from the lens to the viewfinder but it’s actually not bad for a first of its kind product.

Sony-QX10-02

These Sony QX100 and QX10 attachable lens will be made available sometime in October along with the Xperia Z1. Local price is yet to be announced but in the US it’s going to be $500 for the QX100 and $250 for the QX10.


11 Comments

  1. with that price why not get a stand alone point and shoot?

    • because i think this is better performance-wise than the other 10k point-and-shoot cameras.

    • bec it’s a fast lens. most point and shoot are f2.8. this one’s f1.8.

      also, it’s a big save on battery. most energy of batteries on typical point and shoot cams gets drained by the display. and with flash-free photography to top that. wouldn’t need flash since it’s f1.8.

      lastly, it’s size and weight is much more manageable. afterall, people who could afford to have this most likely own a compatible smartphone. iOS and Android.

  2. Sir calvin,

    How about the photo qualities? I have a xperia Z and having such is a breath of fresh air to my phone’s not so nice cam (compared to my iphone 5 and S3).

    How about low lighting conditions?

    • shots are good even in low light. kahit zoom in sharp pa rin with minimal noise. will try to upload later the photo that was saved on my iphone when i tried it out.

  3. Same image quality with the xperia z1?

    • i think with the qx10 yes but the qx100 will give better quality because of the f/1.8 lens and 1″ sensor.

  4. sir calvin hindi po ba magagasgas ng device ung screen ng phone pag nakaattach?

    • hindi sya tatama sa screen. check mo 5th picture, konti lang ang kakainin nya sa front side ng phone mo.

      • correct me if im wrong,pero i think kaya siya hindi nadali dahil meron siyang case,panu po kapag wala?especially dun sa mga phone na buong front surface ay glass dagdag mo pa ung mga nakacurve.

  5. kristine /

    meron po ba itong flash qx100

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