Sony QX1

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS - The QX1 is ca­pa­ble of cap­tur­ing images with vi­brant colours and plenty of de­tail.

The cam­era that clips on a phone

ony’s QX100 and QX10 dig­i­tal cam­eras look like lenses that you would fit onto a cam­era body, but th­ese cylin­der­shaped bod­ies ac­tu­ally have built-in im­age sen­sors. They’re de­signed to at­tach to your smart­phone and com­mu­ni­cate with it wire­lessly, with the phone act­ing as the cam­era’s screen to com­pose your im­age.

While a cam­era that needs another de­vice for its viewfinder might seem like a strange con­cept, ap­par­ently it has proved rea­son­ably popular, as Sony has now taken it fur­ther to pro­duce the QX1. Here we have an APS-C sized sen­sor and, in place of the QX100 and QX10’s built-in lenses, a mount which means you can change the lenses on the unit. The mount uses Sony’s E stan­dard, with a wide choice of op­tics. Sony’s kit lens for the QX1 is a 16-50mm zoom.


That sen­sor is a 20.1-mil­lion-pixel back-il­lu­mi­nated CMOS de­vice, the same that’s found in Sony’s range of com­pact sys­tem cam­eras. There’s also a Bionz X pro­ces­sor - the company’s most ad­vanced, used in top-of-the-line cam­eras such as the Al­pha 7R. Un­like pre­vi­ous QX cam­eras, the QX1 can shoot in raw for­mat as well as JPEG.

To com­mu­ni­cate with your phone, the QX1 has Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity and an NFC chip. Images may be trans­ferred to the phone or stored on a Mi­cro SD card. Cam­era con­trol is achieved via the Sony PlayMe­mories app, a free down­load avail­able for iOS and An­droid.

Build and Han­dling

You’d be for­given for mis­tak­ing the QX1 for a stan­dard lens - and this per­haps makes it more ap­peal­ing than a tra­di­tional cam­era if you’re try­ing to save on space. The prob­lem is that once a lens of pretty much any size is at­tached, us­ing the unit at­tached to a smart­phone makes it fairly un­wieldy.

As you don’t con­trol set­tings via the QX1, but­tons on the cam­era are few and far be­tween. There’s sim­ply an on/off switch, a but­ton to ac­ti­vate the built-in flash and a shut­ter re­lease but­ton to deal with.

Us­ing the QX1 with an NFC-en­abled phone or tablet is more sat­is­fy­ing than us­ing Wi-Fi. You sim­ply tap the two de­vices to­gether at the rel­e­vant point to con­nect them. If you don’t have the PlayMe­mories app al­ready, the in­stal­la­tion will be started

lens cam­era

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