Sony QX10 and QX100 lens modules official: turn your smartphone into top-shelf camera

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Sony’s innovative QX10 and QX100 “lens-style” cameras are real, people, and they just got introduced at the company’s IFA 2013 event. The concept lies on the premise that you don’t want a bulky cameraphone with you at all times, but only at those periods you know you’ll actually need it.

The lenses come complete with their own Exmor sensors, BIONZ image processor, Zeiss optics and wireless connectivity to your Android or iOS device with the PlayMemories Mobile application used as the camera management app. You can attach them to your handset with the provided adapter, hold them in your hand, or mount them on a tripod, while using the phone as a remote viewfinder and control center.

That’s a pretty cool idea for a modular camera, since the units can actually be operated on their own as well – “both the DSCQX100 and DSC-QX10 cameras have a shutter release, memory card slot and come with a rechargeable battery,” says Sony.

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The QX100 module features a huge 1″ 20.2 MP Exmor R sensor, the same from the award-winning RX100 II camera that comes great for low-light shots. The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 3.6x optical zoom are transferring the light to the sensor, and the info gets processed through the trademark BIONZ image processor of Sony. In addition you get a ring for manual focus and zooming, just like in a standalone camera.

QX10 is for the zooming enthusiasts, as it uses 10x optical zoom Sony G Lens pouring light onto an 18.2 MP Exmor R sensor. The whole kit weighs just 4 oz, but has optical image stabilization tech built in, which would ensure steady video of those zoomed-in women’s beach volleyball championships, and sharp low-light pictures.

Such innovations don’t come cheap, and Sony will stock the “lens-style cameras” on the shelves later this month at the cool $500 for the DSC-QX100, while $250 will net you the zoom capabilities of the DSC-QX10. What do you think about Sony’s new concept of making any Android or iOS smartphone a cameraphone?

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