Sony QX10 and QX100 lenses first impressions (video)

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September 5, 2013
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    sony xperia z1 lens qx10 qz100 aa 3 Along with the Xperia Z1, Sony also unveiled the QX10 and QX100 attachments at IFA 2013 yesterday, a pair of lenses that can connect to any mobile device to turn it into a high-end compact camera. We were fortunate enough to spend some time at the Sony booth playing with the Xperia Z1 and its accessories. These are our first impressions of the Sony QX10 and QX100 lens attachments. sony xperia z1 lens qx100 aa 9

    Concept

    At a basic level, the QX10 and QX100 contain an adjustable lens system, a high quality sensor, as well as other components for connecting to the device. The two gadgets can be paired to the Xperia Z1 (or any other NFC-enabled device for the matter) with a simple tap, and, after the paring, all communication goes through Wi-Fi direct. Sony provided a lightweight plastic bracket that can fit on multiple device sizes, that users have to put on the back of the phone, similarly to a protective case. Then the lenses are mounted on the bracket via a clip-on mechanism. All the operation takes just a few seconds once you get the hang of it. sony xperia z1 lens qx100 mount aa 2 After the pairing is achieved, users can control the QX10 and QX100 from the smartphone. We didn’t notice much lag, though that might depend on your own setup. It’s not necessary to have the lens attached to the phone, so you can use it in all kinds of creative ways.

    Specs

    In terms of photographic specifications, the higher-end QX100 offers a 1-inch, 20.2 MP Exmor RCMOS sensor, paired with a fast, wide aperture Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens with 3.6x optical zoom, and a BIONZ image processor. There’s a ring for manual control of zoom. The QX10 brings an 18.2 MP Exmor RCMOS sensor, and 10x optical zoom Sony G Lens. Both models offer Steadyshot OIS. We hope to get the Sony QX10 and Sony QX100 for testing soon, so we can bring you the all important camera samples and comparisons.

    Hands-on video

    Stay tuned for more IFA 2013 and Sony coverage throughout the day and later this week!

    Comments

    • Chirabrata Bhattarjee

      what an Idea.

    • Blowntoaster

      what about Flash? will the flash on your phone fire or will you be able to get an addon that does the flash part for you.

    • Roberto Tomás

      I’m not that much of a photography guy .. what is the point of one of these cameras over a standard phone camera — assuming that the image sensors are the same high quality?
      I mean I know you can focus with the lens manually, but you can also set focal points with some interfaces to phone cameras.

      • Jacob

        ” assuming that the image sensors are the same high quality?”

        Are you sure?

        • Roberto Tomás

          yea, pretty sure. recent nokia and sony xperia image sensors are top notch.

          • Jacob

            You are right. I mean, they have different quality. Phones have smaller sensor. Sony Experia Z1′s excellent sensor is just 1/2.3″ while this QX100′s sensor is huge 1″. It’s as big as Sony Alpha DSLR’s sensor.

            • najiy91

              good info.

      • najiy91

        zoom for sure.

        • Roberto Tomás

          at this point I am just playing devil’s advocate — Jacob and your input is surely right *in general*. But I do notice:
          • the Nokia 1020 has a 1/1.5″ sensor, making it about the same size as a typical DSLR
          • some phones, like the Galaxy S4 Zoom, have optical zoom (10x)

          it seems like, at least if you select the crème of the crop, a phone can really challenge at least normal/random DSLRs.

          • Andreas

            Phones don’t have the same quality of optics, sensors, dedicated hardware for noise reduction or the optical zoom. The difference is huge, even if your phone has a camera considered to be very good. You can only do so much by cramming a tiny sensor inside the body of a phone. And to my knowledge there is no question about also cramming in good optics and lenses.

            Still, with that said, I do believe that these devices will perform closer to high-end digital cameras rather than low-end DSLRs. From what I heard, it seems to me that QX10 is the better purchase. I will take 10x optical zoom any time of the day over a 2MP increase. Megapixels are not a good indicator of image quality, and from the looks of it, both have the same sensor so I will rather take the better optical zoom capability.

            And no, no phone can challenge ANY DSLR. To say this shows ignorance. Do you have a DSLR? The best phones can get a decent image quality that would be comparable to low/mid-end digital cameras. But that’s where any comparisons end really.

            • Roberto Tomás

              When I asked that question I didn’t know so well, but in reading up on the previous comments, I’ve come to understand pretty well. DSLRs, at the extremes, can still reign supreme. But in terms of comparing top-end phone cameras to mid-range DSLRs, I think it is getting to be a pretty close race. Particularly on the noise reduction, f-stop, or sensor size — there are even mobile phones with 10x optical zoom.

              Some of these phones have a 2/3 in^2 sensor, the same as a typical DSLR. And right now they probably have the best noise reduction in the business, because it is cheaper to experiment with them and all the new tech is coming from these thin cameras.

            • Andreas

              The ‘typical’ DSLR has a full frame sensor, not a 2/3 inch sensor. And obviously the devices in this article are also performing below the average DSLR. Have a look at this:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format

              Look at the table that explains better. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the diagonal (mm), the more light/information that the sensor can effectively perceive, and therefore the better quality of the image. Of course other things are also important, including software, hardware, optics, etc but the sensor is usually the most important. Most good DSLRs are full-frame. Even a low to mid-entry DSLR, like the Nikon D3200 still offers a larger sensor than the devices of this article, and most importantly a truly superior camera lens (which still is also entry-level). The resolution also stands at 24.2 effective megapixels, whereas it is very unlikely that the articles here list the effective megapixels of either device.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_D3200

            • Roberto Tomás

              I suggest you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-frame_digital_SLR —and notice the image at the top of the page. No major DSLR has a “full film frame”.

            • Andreas

              I am not sure how this is the only thing you would like to quote. For example, how about the fact that even entry-level DSLRs like the (admittedly very good) NIkon D3200 that still features a larger sensor than the 1inch sensors of the QX10/QX100 and obviously a larger sensor than 2/3 you mentioned.

              Secondly, why don’t you google for yourself to find out just how many full-frame DSLRs are out there? (The answer is: A lot)

              http://www.gizmag.com/full-frame-dslr-comparison-guide/28114/

            • Roberto Tomás

              now you are falling into the trap of comparing atypical DSLRs to these top-end phone cameras. On that page I referenced were literally half a dozen DSLR sensors *none* of which were larger than 2/3 in^2. Further, those sensors were being provided by the Wikipedia article as *typical* DSLR sensors. The encyclopaedia article for full frame sensors makes a point to show that “full frame DSLRs” aren’t really full size.

              Atypical/premium DSLRs will exceed those bounds but I was talking about typical DSLRs.

            • Andreas

              In this very responses section I have you (and I quote) saying:

              “Some of these phones have a 2/3 in^2 sensor, the same as a typical DSLR”

              The fact that not all DSLRs are full-frame does not negate the fact that almost all current DSLRs handily beat this sensor size. In fact even old DSLRs do (APS-C sensors were common by 2005) . Even mid-range digital cameras often exceed 2/3rds. I am not sure why you have to go to the ‘typical’ / ‘atypical’ categorization to make a point.

              Are there DSLRs that are not full-frame? Yes, there and many. The vast majority match at least APS-C sensor sizes and many nowadays have a full-frame.

              And we still haven’t even gotten to discussing optics, lenses, hardware and software which also make a difference.

              For daily shooting conditions, even a good phone can have excellent results (minus inferior long-distance focus and of course the number of dedicated focus points — I am not even sure if most phones have more than 1 focus point but I could be wrong on this. Still you can easily get a DSLR with 8 or more. For a case in point, here are a couple of older DSLRs that have a larger sensor than 2/3rds, 1inch or 1/1.5″ with more focus points:

              http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/best-digital-slr-of-2005.html

              You can claim that 2/3rds are plenty for average shooting conditions and the average user. But let’s not compare apples to oranges and claim that a phone matches a typical DSLR… because it doesn’t really.

            • Roberto Tomás

              you are obviously as confused as I am! :)
              The DSLR image sensor that records a full frame (at the mirror) is not the same size as the full frame (past the mirror). You are now thinking about mirrorless full frame sensors.

            • Andreas

              So, your response to this is that I am confused?

              Let’s both go read this and ease our confusion…

              http://www.dpmag.com/cameras/slrs/is-it-time-to-go-full-frame.html

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-frame_digital_SLR

              (35mm film is equivalent to a full-frame DSLR)

              Which DSLR do you have?

            • Roberto Tomás

              okay, what I was talking about was typical DSLRs, and comparing them to premium, cutting-edge mobile phones. Specific examples of phones I used were the Nokia Lumia 1020 an the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, I believe.

              Regarding DSLRs, I made the claim that the image sensor itself is not full frame. Looking at the article I gave as source, it has this sentence in it: «Currently, the majority of digital cameras, both compact and SLR models, use a smaller-than-35 mm frame, as it is easier and cheaper to manufacture imaging sensors at a smaller size.»

              As far as I am concerned, I’m done defending my DSLR claim at that point. :) If it is wrong, that’s fine… this is the sort of thing one can read online though.

              My original question was about overall quality was still up in the air. I still think, from what I’ve read overall, it looks like a lot of the innovation is happening in typical sensor sizes, where it is cheaper. WRBW sensors (low noise) are an example. 3d imaging for after-shot focus is another.

              — the DSLR that I own is an old Nokia 8MP. :)

            • Andreas

              Please be more precise. List the particular ‘typical’ DSLR that has an equal or worse sensor than the Nokia Lumia 1020 (which has a… 2/3″ sensor) or the Galaxy S4 Zoom (1/2.33”).

              (And you have completely, perhaps on purpose) omitted to mention anything about focal points, optics, etc…

              PS: According to a review article: “The sensor inside is midway between the normal tiny ones which add that distinctive murk to smartphone shots and the larger SLR ones which mean wedding photographers still make a living.
              Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-2400000/Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Zoom-Bad-A-brick-phone-zoom-lens-back.html#ixzz2eJGKtvds ” — regarding the S4 Zoom

    • K.

      What’s the product on the left at the 19th sec of the video?

    • Quryous

      .
      Interesting!

      When I first knew the QX-10, it was a fine, 1982 (early) computer from Epson. Interesting how names get recycled without regard to the original. Wish that modern computers had kept pace with the build quality of the original QX-10.
      .

    • Pradeep Viswanathan R

      That’s the wrong hands on video embedded!

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