31
Aug
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A few weeks ago, we caught a glimpse of a new camera attachment from Sony that appears to put an entire camera on the back of your mobile device, in addition to the existing camera. I have to admit – it's kind of a neat concept, if properly executed. Today, a few new images – as well as some details about how the lenses will work – have surfaced over at  Sony Alpha Rumors.

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Here's the skinny: the lenses will be dubbed "Smart Shot" (a combination of "Smartphone" and "Cybershot"). There will reportedly be two to choose from, the QX10 and QX100, which are modeled after the Sony WX150 and RX100MII, respectively. They'll connect to the back of your smartphone, pair through Wi-fi and/or NFC (it wasn't exactly clear how this will work), and be controlled through an updated version of the PlayMemories app. The lenses are also said to have built-in lens stabilization and shoot 1080p video.

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For those interested, here are the purported specifications of the sensors and such:

  • SmartShot QX10: 18MP CMOS sensor, f/3.3-5.9
  • SmartShot QX100: 20.2MP CMOS Sensor, f/1.8-4.9

This duo is rumored to cost $250 and $450, respectively, and should be announced on September 4th. Only a few more days until full details are available.

Sony Alpha Rumors

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Andrew

    If these prices are true, I'm definitely going to get QX100.

    • ltredbeard

      You can get a lot of camera for $450. Even a mid-range DSLR can be found used for this.

      • Andrew

        It depends on what are looking for in a camera. I owned different cameras, and smallest ones I used more then other. Frankly, I used my phone as a camera more than all of them. But often phone cannot provide decent picture quality.
        Mid-range DSLR opens a dangerous road of getting lenses, flashes ans stuff. And in this price category it would be outdated tech. And it would not be that portable.
        I wanted RX100MII. It is compact, it has outstanding performance for something its size. But where I live it is hard to get it for $750. Price here is near $900, and that is a bit high for me. So I am looking forward to QX100 announcement. If it is really something like RX100 sans controls and screen I would get one. And I think "attachable" screen ad controls is a plus.
        Only problem: real product can be nothing near I imagine. :) Than I should look into buying RX100MII in USA.

  • brkshr

    I think I'll be buying one of these as my first camera. I've only ever used my smartphones or a less than $100 point & shoot camera.

    • Herman

      I'd love to know how useful it really is on regular basis.
      If you get one, could you let me know? :')

      • brkshr

        Definitely. I'll save the email notification for this

  • mellow

    tiny sensor, do not want

    • Andrew

      QX100 will get Sony's 1" sensor akin to RX100II. I think it should not be qualified as "tiny". It's not any near APS, but still RX100 is quite good camera.

      • hot_spare

        I am sure if they say it as 1" sensor, it would be technically less than that. Like RX100 also wasn't a 1" sensor.

        Not blaming Sony, that's how the industry works.

        • Jangles

          It was only Kurt Munger that said the RX100 doesn't have a 1" sensor. Everyone has since proved him wrong (because he's a blowhard), even going so far as to tear apart the RX100 and compare the sensor size to the Nikon 1 system.

          • hot_spare

            Really? Why don't we do a simple calculation? RX100 sensor size is 13.2 x 8.8mm. So, the diagonal length is 15.864mm. Converted to inch, this is just 0.625 inch (much less than 1" as advertised).

            Same goes for Nikon 1. That's not a 1-inch sensor. That's how they market the product. This comes from an age-old tradition of TV picture tube measurement in 50's. The size designation does not define the diagonal of the sensor area but rather the outer diameter of the long glass envelope of the tube.In most cases it's approximately two thirds of the designated size.

  • hot_spare

    I am not sure what this is. Is this a full camera or just lens attachment? If this is a full camera, why does it has to attach itself to a phone? and if it's just a lens attachment, then it's too expensive.

  • Jon Harding

    Would someone PLEASE tell Sony that they NEED me to test these for them? :D

    • Hans Pedersen

      Sony, you NEED ^this guy to test these for you.

  • TSK

    it will almost certainly connect with AT LEASt NFC. NFC and WiFi logo's can be seen on both of the lenses, if these pictures are to be believed.

  • Leonardo Baez

    will work with any phone or just sony's?

    • dextersgenius

      It should work with most smartphones (no reason not to, as it looks like most of the work is done by the lenses themselves). Sony would be foolish to limit them only to their phones, when Apple and Samsung hold the majority share..

  • dogulas

    What is the physical size of the actual sensor? That spec is all-important. Not megapixels.

    • Jangles

      QX10: 1/2.3" sensor. Similar to WB5-something-or-other.

      QX100: 1" sensor. Similar to RX100.

  • Cerberus_tm

    I don't really get this device. Why not make a very compact camera instead, one that connects with your phone through Wifi but that isn't physically connected to it? Or why not buy a real camera? What purpose does it serve to attach this thing to your phone temporarily for a shot?

    • hot_spare

      This ^^

    • SilentMobius

      This is a camera minus the viewfinder/screen. It uses NFC to pair and wi-fi to preview/transfer. The ability to attach is simply to allow standard camera-like operation. The device will work just fine when not physically attached. The point is you get a _lot_ of camera for less than you would be paying for the same thing+bigger chassis/viewfinder/screen/bigger battery, and get to use your smartphone or tablet as a very capable screen/controller.

      • Cerberus_tm

        Okay, so the main advantage is sharing the viewfinder/screen. I shall have to ponder this.

  • Sergio

    I don't think this has much market. Smartphones have been so successful because you can do almost everything and you always have it in your pocket. This is a junk and the common user is not going to carry it around to make better photos. Optical zoom is the only important difference between a compact camera and a good mobile phone and with recent improvements being made in liquid lenses, probably next year we see mobile / watches / glasses with optical zoom without attaching anything. Sony should focus on creating these things to compete face to face with an SLR, something like the quality of the RX1 but in this format. That would be a success.

    • dextersgenius

      Well until we have those liquid lenses with optical zoom, I'll gladly buy this Sony lens. Also, zoom isn't the only important factor - there's also sensor size, sensor quality, noise, image stabilization etc. Marrying these features with smartphones is a genius idea, in my opinion.

      • Primalxconvoy

        For about the same money, you could just get a camera. That way, you've got more storage and battery life.

        Having a clunky lens is like carrying around a moga controller for gaming; all the bulk of a dedicated device yet totally dependent upon your phone.

        Peripherals need to be integrated into the phone so that users don't need to install them whenever they want.

        The only thing I would say is the mass market exception are earphones, but they are light and can fit in our pockets.

    • Primalxconvoy

      They should also stop trying to link their hardware with their own exclusive software (which is nearly always buggy).

      I wouldn't be surprised if it only saved photos to psv style memory sticks over Wifi only...

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    I want Sony to do something cool like add it in the framework as an extra camera.

    Imagine doing a photosphere with one of these!

  • Primalxconvoy

    You lost me at "sony, 250 dollars" and more importantly, " play memories".

    That garbage software was responsible (after the awful Web browser) for most of the crashes/freezes on my ps3 and that was dedicated Sony hardware.

    God-knows what it would do to my Samsung.

  • Paul

    So it doesn't use your existing camera? Just basically attaching an external sensors and lenses to the back of your phone, to be controlled by your phone. Neat idea. I guess it works out, gives you real point and shoot capabilities, more than the standard camera on your phone, and it can be removed when not using it. I like it, I may just get one.

  • Matthew Fry

    A neat concept. I hope it succeeds. On the other hand, $600 dollar phone + $450 lens = Instasteal. Hold on to it tight folks.

  • Raphael

    Bad times to be called Cameron ^^