These days, with the ever-increasing popularity of photo-sharing applications such as Instagram, it wouldn’t be too much of a gamble to say that your camera application holds hot real estate on your smartphone. But despite our huge dependence on cameras, all the innovation in the world can only make them so good while still fitting in that sleek device you call your phone.
Photographs taken with a smartphone are sometimes pixilated, unclear and just not up to the mark; making them good enough for just your social media display pictures, Snapchats, and even your Instagram posts, as long as they’re not much bigger than your smartphone’s screen. Shame, isn’t it? A waste of all that classy resolution packed away in your display.
So, when you’re struck by the most beautiful sunset, a bird’s magnificent flight, or just any other one of nature’s glorious moments, does your phone suffice? If you’re as much as a semi-professional photographer, your DSLR might just save your day. But even then, do you carry that bulk around with you, everywhere you go? To the likely majority of you who don’t, you might just have a guardian angel after all; for in Sony, comes your respite.
A year ago, at IFA 2013 in Berlin, Sony announced its first two smartphone-attachable, ‘Lens Style Cameras’ – QX10 and QX100. Essentially complete cameras minus the viewfinder, these lenses wirelessly connect with your phone through an app, which allows for your phone to add the final piece to this makeshift DSLR, with the added flexibility.
One year later, at this very event, Sony just took this initiative a step further. Adding to the QX series, are the new kids on the block – QX30 and QX1. Much like its elder brothers, the QX30 stays the course of an in-built lens/sensor while merely adding more muscle; along with a bumped-up 30X optical zoom. The QX1 however, came with a more refreshing take, with its interchangeable lens setup.
The fact that the QX series is being targeted towards a demographic that would largely consist of DSLR users, while partly even trying to eat into that market, it is quite likely that a large portion of them would like their flexibility to extend to the option of upgrading and changing their lenses. This feature, absent in the previous generation, is finally addressed with the QX1.
The QX1, unlike the rest of the series, does not come with a lens. In the absence of that, in addition to the mount, it has a Mirrorless APS-C type Image Sensor, which allows for compatibility of a bulk of lenses, not just Sony. Additionally, the Image Sensor is E-mount ready, allowing for the use of all lenses that would work on a Sony NEX-series camera.
With the ability to work both affixed and detached from a Smartphone, the QX-1 wirelessly communicates with your phone (iOS or Android) using NFC/Wi-Fi. Upon taking a photograph, the camera saves the highest resolution picture to its own memory card, while transferring a lower resolution version to your phone automatically.
Complete with its own battery, memory card, flash and shutter button, this device when coupled with a lens, could work independently as a camera, as long as you don’t mind the absence of a screen. And with the capability of shooting 20 Megapixel stills and 60p videos, there isn’t much more you could ask for, from such a portable camera.
For all the DSLR owners out there, the only difference you will face with this camera is the viewfinder, which when sourced through your smartphone’s screen, will provide for the most spectacular display that you could possibly use to capture photographs with such a camera. And, it really doesn’t hurt to be able to point your lens in any direction whilst keeping your eyes comfortably in front of you now, does it?