Sony DSC-QX10 Camera for Smartphones

Sony recently released a pair of SLR cameras that work with your smartphone. In fact, via software and either wifi or NSC, your smartphone becomes the viewfinder and controls the camera. The QX100 is the higher end version…at $500, it has the same internals As Sony’s Cyber Shot RX100 camera, which sells for $200 more.

We tested the QX10, which runs half the price. It has an megapixel sensor, while the big brother camera has 20.9, but surprisingly, the QX10 has a great 10 power optical zoom, while the bigger one has only 3.6 power. The QX10 is half the size…you can pop it in your pocket, then clip it on your smartphone and pair when you are ready to shoot. It takes 5-10 seconds for the wifi to find it, then you’re set.

We took the QX10 to a hall of fame presentation for Bay Area radio people over the weekend. The iPhone 5 and 5S have good cameras, but no physical zoom, so distant subjects come out pretty blurred or noisy. With the QX10, I was able to shoot inductees at the podium from the back of the room, and fill the frame with them…the pictures came out nice and clear. The software is not as good as it might be, but was just updated last week…I had no trouble with it losing connection with the camera.

The QX10 has a zoom switch as well as physical shutter on the left side, so you can actually hold the camera in one hand and the phone for a viewfinder in the other, giving you the ability to take shots from angles you might ordinarily never be able to shoot.

If you are looking for something that’s a step up from your smartphone camera…particularly if you need to shoot subjects a little far away, or that are moving, the Sony QX10 is worth a look. The QX100, which costs twice as much, and is too big for a pocket is a little more iffy…you might as well get a small SLR camera, since you’ll have to haul around a camera bag anyway!

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