Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Lens-style Camera Preview

If you love your Apple or Android smartphone, but aren't impressed with its photo (or video) quality, you might want to consider picking up one of Sony's two newly announced "lens-style" QX-series digicams.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Lens-style camera was announced today along with its more expensive premium sibling, the QX100. At half the price, the QX10 boasts an 18.2 megapixel Exmor RCMOS image sensor, a 10x optical zoom Sony G lens, built-in Optical SteadyShot, and shooting modes like Program Auto, Intelligent Auto, and Superior Auto -- all in a lens-style camera that weighs less than 4 ounces and measures 2.5"x2.5"x1.3".

So, what exactly is a lens-style camera?

Terrific question.

As you can see above, a lens-style camera looks like a small interchangeable DSLR lens, but is, in fact, the whole camera. Wait, you're saying. This doesn't have a viewfinder or an LCD display. Are we sure it's really a camera? How can I take pictures when I don't even know what I'm looking at?

Sony's QX-series cameras use the free PlayMemories Mobile app (available for both iOS and Android devices) to wirelessly connect to your smartphone, which turns the phone's display into a "real-time viewfinder" where you can not only release the shutter and start/stop movie recording, but also access the camera's menu system. You know, adjust settings like shooting mode, zoom, Auto Focus area, etc. The app works with WiFi as well as NFC-compatible devices.

Pictures (and videos) are saved simultaneously on the camera as well as your phone, where they can be instantly shared to all your favorite social media sites.

To make the whole experience feel more natural -- to make sure you don't have to hold the lens in one hand and your viewfinder in the other -- Sony's QX-series cameras include a mechanically adjustable adapter (see photos below) to mount the camera to your smartphone. However, if you want to use a QX series camera separate from a smartphone, such as mounted to a tripod, that's perfectly okay too.

So, what QX-series lens-style camera is best for you?

Well, if you value price, size and zoom length above image sensor and lens quality, the QX10 could be the one for you. If image sensor size, quality glass, and manual controls are more important than price, check out the QX100.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Lens-style Camera Features
  • 18.2-megapixel RCMOS image sensor
  • 10x optical zoom Sony G lens
  • Optical SteadShot
  • Program Auto
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Superior Auto
    • Recognizes 44 different shooting conditions
  • Included Mechanically Adjustable Adapter
  • Weighs less than 4oz
  • Dimension: 2.5" x 2.5" x 1.3"

Available in black or white, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 Lens-style Camera will be available later this month (September, 2013) for around $250.

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