Cameras have long been one of the weakest points of our smartphones. They have certainly improved from the flip phone days, but comparing one to a standalone camera is laughable. It just isn't possible yet to stuff a truly great camera in a smartphone without huge compromises. The only device that has come close is the Nokia Lumia 1020, with it's 42 megapixel shooter. Even that paragon of smartphone cameras has no digital zoom and it still has that odd looking camera bump.
There are a few devices that attempt to merge the two segments. Samsung, with their penchant for making rather ridiculous looking devices, has their Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy Camera. They would be alright if they didn't look like somebody just threw a phone and camera at each other and decided to sell the result. Luckily a couple manufacturers seem to be taking a slightly different route. First Oppo teased us with a couple of interesting looking plug in cameras. Now we are getting more information (and great pictures!) about the Sony detachable camera's we've heard about for the last couple weeks.
We now know the 2 cameras will be branded Smartshot. (A combination of smartphone and the popular Cybershot brand.) The first camera will be the QX10 and the second will be the QX100. The QX10 has the sensor and lens from the popular Cyber-shot DSC-WX150 and the QX100 is based on the DSC-RX100m II Cyber-Shot. While the $250 QX10 and the $400 QX100 may seem expensive, their full sized counterparts retail for $400 and $750 respectively on Amazon.
The QX10 has a 1/2,3 inch 18 megapixel CMOS sensor and f/3,3-5.9 lens and is capable of shooting 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The QX100 has the best lens of all the Sony compact cameras with its 1-Inch 20.2 MP Exmor R sensor. The QX100 is again capable of 1080p, only this time it can shoot at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Both lenses feature optical image stabilization, great for people like me who are incapable of taking a non-blurry picture with our cell phones. They both have Optical zoom, the QX10 actually beats out the QX100 with a 10x zoom compared to the 3.6x found on the Qx100. The phones have separate battery and storage and pair via NFC and WiFi. While the exact method of pairing wasn't given, the lens will probably initially pair with your phone via NFC, then switch over to WiFi for quicker data transfers.
There have been a myriad of Android camera accessories of the years. Unfortunately most of them have been fairly lackluster. These two aren't. I can almost guarantee I'll be purchasing these, especially if they really do ensure compatibility with non Sony phones is smooth. The app used for pairing the cameras, PlayMemories, doesn't exactly have rave reviews on Android or IOS and that makes me nervous. These camera's offer the first real chance we've had at having a great smartphone, and a great camera without having to carry around full sized versions of both. Stay in touch with us on Google plus to keep up with this story and let us know how you feel about these attachments in the comments below!