Sony QX100 review

Sony QX100 review

T3 3
  • Can this smart lens add-on for your iOS or Android handset replace your smartphone camera? Find out in our Sony QX100 review

    Sony QX100 review

    Love

    • Simple to use
    • Very good images
    • Great for group shots

    Hate

    • Very expensive
    • Slow to use
    • Limited battery life

    Like it's lower-specced sibling, the Sony QX10, the Sony QX100 smart lens aims to supercharge your smartphone's imaging abilities. You can either clip it onto your handset or use it as a remote lens, snapping away from more interesting angles.

    Sony QX100: Size and build

    The Sony QX100 is about the size of a standard lens from an interchangeable lens camera, so while it won't fit in your jeans pocket, it's portable enough to sling in your jacket pocket or a small bag. It won't weigh you down too much either, tipping the scales at 179g. In terms of colour, it only comes in black, and it feels reassuringly solid and well-built.

    Sony QX100: Features

    You pair the Sony QX100 with your smart phone over Wi-Fi (or tap it, if your phone has NFC), but first you'll need to download the Sony PlayMemories Mobile app. This works on Android devices running Android 2.3 or later, and Apple devices running iOS 5 or later. Then just enter a password, and you're ready to go.

    Inside is a 20-megapixel sensor, which is way bigger than you'll find in most smartphones (apart from a few exceptions like the Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia Lumia 1520, and the Sony Xperia Z1). So with most mobiles, the Sony QX100 will give you much bigger and better snaps, without having to invest in a digital camera.

    It also has a 3.6x optical zoom, for getting up close and personal with your subjects.

    One of the niftiest features is that it acts as a roving camera - just set it up anywhere, and you can use your mobile device as a remote shutter button. It has decent range too - you can set it up in the lounge, go to another room of the house, and still fire off snaps by using your mobile as a remote. You can screw in a tripod to the bottom too, and set a timer, so it's ideal for group shots.

    It can clip onto your phone if you want to turn your handset into a heftier camera, and the bundled wrist strap will save it hitting the ground if you drop it. It does make your handset heavier though, and we preferred using it as a separate, as it allowed for more creative angles.

  • The Sony QX100 smart lens enables you to take quality snaps when used alongside almost any smartphone. T3 went hands-on...

    Sony QX100 review

    Love

    • Simple to use
    • Very good images
    • Great for group shots

    Hate

    • Very expensive
    • Slow to use
    • Limited battery life

    While the Sony DSC-QX100 smart lens was leaked prior to its officially announcement, we didn't truly believe it existed until we saw it with our own eyes.

    Unveiled alongside the more compact Sony QX10 smart lens, the QX100 attaches to the back of your smartphone with a built-in adjustable clip and connects via built-int NFC or Wi-Fi.

    First things first, it may be called lens and look like a lens, but it's actually a standalone camera. While you can clip to your smartphone, it doesn't actually use the camera on your phone. Instead, there's a sensor inside, the same one from the high-end Sony RX100 II compact, to be precise.

    It can also be used when detached from your phone (as long as it's still connected over Wi-Fi) with your smartphone screen acting as the viewfinder.

    Sony QX100: Size and build

    The device will fit pretty much any smartphone as long as it measures 54-75mm wide and is no more than 13mm thick.

    We tried it out on a Sony Xperia Z and an iPhone 4S and it fitted with no problems, although the weighting of the lens on front of the camera took a little getting used to - just as it does on a lightweight CSC.

    You'll also find a standard tripod mount on the underside for setting up steadier shots.

    Sony QX100: Features

    Along with the 1-inch Exmor-R CMOS 20MP sensor from the RX100 II, the QX100 also packs a 3.6x optical zoom. The smart lens needs to be used through Sony's free Play Memories Mobile app - available for both iOS and Android.

    According to Sony, the QX100 will have 110 minutes of battery life and 25 minutes for video.

    Sony QX100: Controls

    Controls are kept to a minimum, along with the power button, you'll also find a shutter release button plus a zoom lever in case you prefer the feel of manual controls over using your smartphone's touchscreen.

    Sony QX100: Picture quality

     

    The products that we saw weren't final and we only got to view the snaps on the smartphone screen, so we can't really comment on the picture quality just yet, but seeing as it uses the same sensor as the RX100 II, we're expecting good things. Stay tuned for our full review.

    Sony QX100: Verdict

    So far, we've only had a quick play with the Sony QX100 but its certainly an interesting product. Calling it a smart lens could cause some confusion, as although it looks like a lens, which you would think should be used through the smartphone's camera, it's actually works as a camera on its own, independent of the phone camera. We look forward to testing it our more thoroughly in our full review...

    Sony QX100 release date: Late September 2013

    Sony QX100 price: £399

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

    • Sony QX10 and QX100 smart lenses hands-on
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony-QX100-lead-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony-QX100-1-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony-QX100-2-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony-QX100-3-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony-QX100-4-624.jpg
  • Sony QX100

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