September 4, 2013
Sony Builds A Camera For The Smartphone
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The smartphone has become the camera in everyone's pocket. It's always there, hopefully charged, and adept at snapping a quick shot. Yet many of those shots are lacking the crisp focus and detail of a DSLR or even a point-and-shoot camera. To give that higher-quality capability to smartphones, Sony developed the QX series "Lens-Style Cameras" for iOS and Android devices.
"The devices are compatible with Android and iOS handsets and mark the creation of a new product category," BBC News reports. It signals a growing demand for better cameras for smartphones.
The QX series was introduced with two models: the Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10. Both are able to shoot high-quality images and HD video. The lenses connect wirelessly to a smartphone and attach to the handset with an adjustable mounting device. Once connected, the lens view is revealed on the smartphone's LCD screen with a real-time viewfinder. Using the smartphone's touch screen, users can release the shutter, start and stop movie recordings, and adjust settings such as shooting mode, zoom, and auto focus.
Photographs and video are automatically saved directly to the phone and camera. Both lenses offer Wi-Fi connectivity so users can snap shots, and then upload them directly from the camera. This includes uploading pics to social media sites, email, and other websites.
The QX series lenses use Sony's PlayMemories mobile app to store and organize images and video. The app can also power the ability to connect the lens with the smartphone using NFC to activate one-touch set-up for compatible devices.
"With the new QX series cameras, we are making it easier for the ever-growing population of 'mobile photographers' to capture far superior, higher-quality content without sacrificing the convenience and accessibility of their existing mobile network or the familiar 'phone-style' shooting experience that they've grown accustomed to," said Patric Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony, in a corporate statement. "We feel that these new products represent not only an evolution for the digital camera business, but a revolution in terms of redefining how cameras and smartphones can cooperatively flourish in today's market."
The Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 camera includes a premium, high-quality 1.0-inch, 20.2 megapixel Exmor RCMOS sensor. This is the same sensor found in the Cyber-shot RX100 II camera. The lens offers ultra-low noise images in most light conditions, including dimly lit indoor and night scenes.
Sony paired the sensor with a fast, wide-aperture Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 3.6x optical zoom and a BIONZ image processor. The DSC-QX100 has a dedicated control ring for camera-like adjustment of manual focus and zoom. The lens has several different shooting modes including Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Intelligent Auto, and Superior Auto, which automatically recognizes 33 different shooting conditions and adjusts camera settings.
The DSC-QX100 will be available later in September for about $500.
The less expensive, high-zoom Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 is built with an 18.2 effective megapixel Exmor RCMOS sensor and 10x optical zoom Sony G Lens. Sony says the DSC-QX10 lets mobile photographers bring distant subjects closer without sacrificing image quality or resolution, which is a common complaint with smartphone photography. The camera also has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which combats camera shake for video but also still photography where smartphones can often produce blurry shots because of the response time to the shutter. The DSC-QX10 has Program Auto, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto modes for shooting. It weighs less than 4 ounces, and is available in black or white to coordinate with most smartphones.
The DSC-QX10 will also be available later in September for about $250.