Sony's IFA-bound 'camera lenses': more pics, more details

Sony's IFA-bound 'camera lenses': more pics, more detailsWe've seen a good few decent cameraphones launched this year, with Sony expected to be the next to join the fray with its 20MP Xperia i1, which is expected to be announced at IFA 2013 next month.

But Sony is lining up another treat for wannabe mobile photographers – an all-in-one “lens camera” that attaches magnetically to the front of your smartphone and instantly transforms it into an imaging superstar.

We first caught wind of Sony's plans last month, but now Sony Alpha Rumours is back with some new pics and a few more details of what we can expect.

As we mentioned last month, there'll be two options to choose from – the DSC-QX100 with its 20.2MP Exmor R sensor and 3.6x optical zoom, and the DSC-QX10, which will have a smaller 2/3in 18MP CMOS sensor but a larger 10x zoom range.

Both models will be powered by a Bionz processor, and will come with an on-board microSD card slot. They will work with any Android or iOS smartphone (or tablet, for that matter), attaching to your phone magnetically and communicating via Wi-Fi or NFC with a dedicated app on the phone itself.

On paper at least it wizzes all over the chips of every other lens kit add-on we've seen so far, but these sort of high-end photo smarts don't come cheap. The danger here is that Sony ends up pricing its camera lenses higher than both top-of-the-range imaging smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 1020, and a good few full-blown interchangeable lens cameras too.

Sony Alpha Rumours suggests Sony's pair of multi-talented new lenses will be arriving alongside the Xperia i1 at IFA on September 4. Might be one to look out for.

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3 comments

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 13, 2013 at 16:42

LOL
Great niche product, Sony. That'll sell about 50 times.

u0421793  Aug. 14, 2013 at 11:02

This makes sense. A camera and a phone have a lot of duplicated technology and processes. The screen, the storage, the control surface, etc. This is effectively a distributed camera, in the same way that a bluetooth headset is a distributed telephone.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 14, 2013 at 12:03

That analogy isn't exactly right.
Yes, many smartphones duplicate camera functions and vice versa.
But: the bt headset alone is useless. The digital camera isn't. There is no bt headset that stores music, lets you edit playlists etc... The bt headset doesn't duplicate function. It adds it.
These lens cameras duplicate a function in a clumsy awkward way. Yes, the photos are probably better, but at a cost: the phone's battery gets sucked dry thanks to the WiFi connection - and consider: it's not as if you go to the troouble of connecting the lens for 1 quick snapshot in the pub. No, you're probably out and about and wanna take many pictures. So you'll have 2 devices to worry about in terms of battery charge etc...
Or take crowded areas - concerts, sports events etc...are they situations where you'd attach an expensive gadget to your other expensive gadget? Why not add a pocket for your credit card?
Also: the bt headset is small. You wear it, and if not it's small enough to just pop into a pocket without much hassle. These lenses are quite big, they get damaged - you need a case, it's bulky and the shape is less comfortable than that of a decent little compact camera.
An alternative is a smart wifi camera. They can be remotely used from your phone or tab if and when necessary (for self shots etc).
Hell, the galaxy Camera is down to €300 - and though it's a buggy affair, at that price it is a decent device that does everything a smartphone can do minus the gsm voicecall thing.

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