Remember when Sony thought it could convince people to leave their DSLRs at home for their smartphones?
Well, two attempts with the snap-on lens QX10 and QX100 haven't exactly seen the public being all that enthusiastic. Though being far better than the little external lens people would fix onto their iPhones, Sony's attempts seemed mere novelties and as a result, have not been taken seriously enough.
Perhaps all that will change with the new QX1 lens that will pretty much make your smartphone a smaller Alpha camera. From the leaked photos, the model even includes a tiny pop-up flash and what looks to be a decent sensor.
The latest leaked photos seem to confirm an E-mount for the QX1 which gives it a lot of flexibility for camera buffs. As for the sensor, the pictures seem to show an Exmor APC-S sensor, though its megapixel count is uncertain for the moment.
How will this work? Like the other Q-model lenses, it will probably use the same clip system and likely also fit into special phone cases made for Sony phones. With the E-mount, if you already own Sony lenses, you can just use them with your phone the way you would another camera.
Of course this kit will work primarily with Android phones. Other nifty features would be the pairing via NFC for a WiFi direct bridge and using the phone's screen as a really large viewfinder. Price? Expect the QX1 to cost around US$400 (S$505) for just the mounting system while a basic kit with the 16-55mm lens could cost you about US$590 (S$740).
If the prices seem steep, the predecessors, QX10 and QX100, weren't exactly cheap either. And you're paying for a system that is currently one-of-a-kind and gives you an option to just leave your bulky DSLR at home. If you already own Sony Alpha lenses, then this would be a way to get maximum use for your kit without the added hassle of bringing around your DSLR.
READ MORE: See our hands-on with the QX10 and QX100