Sony QX smart lens

Sony announced a new series of lens cameras, designed specifically as smartphone attachments. Each QX lens has no screen and no body. The camera smarts are inside the lens housing, communicating with the smartphone via WiFi. There’s an attachment that connects the lens to your phone, though that is not strictly necessary. The QX app converts your smartphone screen into a realtime viewfinder. When you press the shutter release on the lens, a compressed version of the image is sent to your phone’s image library. The full-size images are stored in a memory card on the lens.

I really like this idea, though it is hard to imagine mounting the lens on my phone every time I want to take a picture. Something you might get used to, I suspect, and worth it if the images are significantly better than any I can capture with my phone’s built-in camera.

One aspect that I find most intriguing is the fact that the app can control the lens remotely, with the ability to release the shutter, start/stop movie recordings, and adjust common photographic settings like shooting mode, zoom, Auto Focus area and more. This means I can mount the lens on a tripod, move to a comfortable position, make all my adjustments, then take my shot, all remotely. In addition, this lets me take my shot without touching the lens, avoiding vibrations that might affect focus.