Sony unveils two phone-optimized Smart Lens cameras, priced between $250 and $550 [Updated: Canadian availability]

In addition to the company’s newest flagship smartphone, Sony has unveiled two “lens-style” cameras, which use an Android or iPhone as viewfinders.

The cameras were leaked extensively before their announcement, and the functionality stands alone as a unique way to take photos.

The QX10 sports a point-and-shoot sensor, similar to the one in the Z1 smartphone, and 10x optical zoom lens, and will cost $250 CDN. The QX100 shares the 20MP sensor with its RX100M2 counterpart, so the $550 accessory, if you can call it that, promises to take sharp, detailed photos with the help of a smartphone.


Using a companion app, users will be able to use their smartphones as a live viewfinder and shutter, and the lenses will come with attachment straps to fit over a smartphone in order facilitate one-handed shooting.

A combination of NFC and WiFi Direct helps the new cameras talk to a smartphone, and they operate independently as well, with their own batteries, storage slots and shutter buttons. Without a viewfinder, however, one cannot see what he or she is shooting, so that’s where the phone part comes in. Users can either store the photos directly on the device, using a smartphone as a mere viewfinder, or transfer the photos directly to the PlayMemories app, which takes a couple seconds per shot.

The QX10 and QX100 will be available at the end of September for $250 and $550 CDN respectively in select Sony stores in Canada.