rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

October 18, 2013 10:23 IST

Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

     Next

Next
Reviews42.com

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-QX10 lens is a completely separate camera with its own battery life, image processor and memory slot. Sounds ingenuous for sure, but how does it operate as a camera?

Whether we like it or not, smartphone cameras will just keep getting more powerful. The Nokia Lumia 1020's 41 megapixel camera, currently the king in this segment, is a testament to this fact despite its cost. Even if you consider cheaper devices such as the Sony Xperia ZR or LG Optimus G Pro, there’s no denying that the megapixels just keep increasing, with the sensors getting smarter and more proficient at aspects such as low-light photography and 1080p video.

However, what if you just wanted a reliable lens that could be attached to your existing smartphone?

What if you wanted all the performance that a powerful 18-megapixel sensor had to offer without dropping a bomb on an entire smartphone or even point-and-shoot camera for the same?

Sony seems to have a solution on its hands with the Cyber-Shot DSC-QX10, a camera that attaches directly to your smartphone and connects via Wi-Fi for use.

Yes, this is a completely separate camera with its own battery life, image processor and memory slot. Your smartphone’s display acts as the viewfinder in this case, allowing you to utilise this combination as a camera. Sounds ingenuous for sure, but how does it operate as a camera?


Image: Cyber-Shot DSC-QX10
Photographs: Sony's official website

     Next

Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Reviews42.com

Design

The wonder of Sony's design philosophy is apparent with the QX10, which is compact, lightweight at 164.43 grams and a mere 1.2 inches thick. It will create a slight bulge on your camera, but comes across as smaller than the more expensive QX100.

However, overall, it's easy to handle when attached to your smartphone.

You attach the lens to your smartphone using a removable tension clip, which securely fastens the lens on your smartphone. The best part is that it accommodates a number of sizes, from the smaller iPhones to the larger Galaxy Notes and can even be attached to tablets.

Keep in mind that while it is comfortable to hold and pretty tightly attached, larger smartphones tend to be more comfortable when taking pictures due to the amount of space you'll have for your hands.

There are no physical buttons to take pictures with, as you'll be using your smartphone’s keys and touch functions.

Another interesting feature is the ability to keep the QX10 connected via Wi-Fi but physically separated from your phone, thus allowing you to hold the lens in different positions depending on your requirement. This allows for more freedom when taking overhead shots, and is a welcome feature.

Unlike, say, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, you can lay your smartphone and QX10 combo flat. It won’t tip to either side precariously.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Sony's official website

Prev     Next

Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Reviews42.com

Interface

You access the QX10 by connecting to it via Wi-Fi using your smartphone and Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app. The device will take a few good seconds to boot up -- and by 'a few good seconds' we mean between 5-15 seconds. It can be annoying if you need to take a shot at a moment’s notice, though the solution is to keep the lens bound to the camera whenever you're ready to photograph.

You can also use NFC to sync the two devices together by touching the top of your smartphone with the QX10. While PlayMemories works fine with iOS and Android (minimal bugs while syncing do crop up at times), it currently doesn’t support Windows 8.

As for features, there isn't much by way of an interface to navigate. Sony opted for the bare essentials in its viewfinder layout, which a Live Preview, the Shutter button, resolution, shot details and a zoom button. You have three key shooting modes, with Sony’s Superior Auto mode which handles most of the shooting on its own through reading the environment; Intelligent Auto, which is a straightforward automatic shooting mode; and Program, which allows you to tinker with settings such as white balance as you see fit. Other than that, there’s not much more to choose from.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Sony's official website

Prev     Next

Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Reviews42.com

Specs and image quality

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-QX10 features an 18 megapixel, 1/2.3 inch BSI CMOS sensor with 10x zoom. It has an aperture of f/3.3-5.9 with a focal length of 25-250mm (equivalent to 35 mm). It can capture images at 4896x3672 and video at 30 frames per second and a 1440x1080p resolution.

As stated before, it has its own storage solution and supports both microSD and micro-SDHC. Image stabilisation is both digital and optical.

In terms of image quality, you’ll face some mixed results.

Some colours will have an unhealthy amount of saturation but for the most part, they are accurate.

Elements such as white balance and exposure are captured correctly, although some shots may come across as underexposed at times (which can be fixed using exposure compensation). Keep in mind that the QX10 doesn’t feature its own flash -- you’ll need to turn on your camera’s LED to properly light shots in the dark.

While shooting, images and videos are saved to both your camera and smartphone. You can transfer images to apps such as Instagram for filters and social sharing, but as of now, you won't be able to directly take shots within these apps using the QX10.

Another factor is the battery life, since both the QX10 and your smartphone will have their batteries depleted from use. A few hundred images and some HD recording are enough to bring the QX10’s life to the brink, and suffice to say that your smartphone’s battery won’t last long either with extended shooting.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Sony's official website

Prev     Next

Will you buy this lens for your smartphone?

Prev     More
Prev

More
Reviews42.com

Verdict

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-QX10 retails for Rs 12,990, with its more expensive counterpart the QX100 retailing for Rs 24,990.

It comes across as a good deal despite many of the limitations it faces compared to other cameras. The battery life is a major concern as is the time it takes to connect the camera and smartphone.

While picture quality is decent enough, you’ll probably benefit more from a dedicated point-and-shoot camera. For those who want an attachment to their smartphone that’s lightweight and compact enough, the QX10 is worth a look but try thoroughly before you buy.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Sony's official website

Prev     More