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Sony reveals QX10 and QX100 camera modules for smartphones

By dpreview staff on Sep 4, 2013 at 15:00 GMT

Sony has announced a pair of mobile photography camera/lens modules, the QX10 and QX100. Both units are essentially self-contained cameras that can be controlled by smartphones, using Wi-Fi. The QX10 ($250/£179/€199) features a standard compact-camera 1/2.3" sensor and a 25-250mm equivalent zoom lens. The QX100 ($250/£399/€449) uses the 1" sensor and 28-100mm equivalent zoom used in its high-end RX100 II compact. Both are NFC-compliant to make connection to some smartphones even easier.

Although designed primarily for use with smartphones, both modules include their own batteries, memory card slots, zoom controls and shutter buttons, allowing their use remotely from (or entirely unconnected to) a phone.

What does this mean for mobile photography? Check out the links below to read's take on the QX concept, and also a first impressions piece covering both modules and an in-depth look at the higher-end QX100 model.

Jump to:

Press Release:

New Sony QX100 and QX10 “Lens-Style Cameras” Redefine the Mobile Photography Experience

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2013 – Merging the creative power of a premium compact camera with the convenience and connectivity of today’s smartphones, Sony today introduced two “lens-style” QX series cameras that bring new levels of fun and creativity to the mobile photography experience.

The innovative Cyber-shot® QX100 and QX10 models utilize Wi-Fi® connectivity to instantly transform a connected smartphone into a versatile, powerful photographic tool, allowing it to shoot high-quality images and HD videos to rival a premium compact camera. It’s an entirely new and different way for consumers to capture and share memories with friends and family.

With a distinct lens-style shape, the new cameras utilize the latest version of Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application (available for iOS™ and Android™ devices, version 3.1 or higher required) to connect wirelessly to a smartphone, converting the bright, large LCD screen of the phone into a real-time viewfinder with the ability to release the shutter, start/stop movie recordings, and adjust common photographic settings like shooting mode, zoom, Auto Focus area and more.

For added convenience, the app can be activated using NFC one-touch with compatible devices. Once pictures are taken, they are saved directly on both the phone and the camera*, and can be shared instantly via social media or other common mobile applications.

“With the new QX100 and QX10 cameras, we are making it easier for the ever-growing population of ‘mobile photographers’ to capture far superior, higher-quality content without sacrificing the convenience and accessibility of their existing mobile network or the familiar ‘phone-style’ shooting experience that they’ve grown accustomed to,” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony. “We feel that these new products represent not only an evolution for the digital camera business, but a revolution in terms of redefining how cameras and smartphones can cooperatively flourish in today’s market.”

The new compact, ultra-portable cameras can be attached to a connected phone with a supplied mechanically adjustable adapter, or can be held separately in hand or even mounted to a tripod while still maintaining all functionality and connectivity with the smartphone. They can also be operated as completely independent cameras if desired, as both the QX100 and QX10 cameras have a shutter release, memory card slot and come with a rechargeable battery.

Premium, Large-Sensor QX100 Camera

The Cyber-shot QX100 camera features a premium, high-quality 1.0 inch, 20.2 MP Exmor® RCMOS sensor. Identical to the sensor found in the acclaimed Cyber-shot RX100 II camera, it allows for exceptionally detailed, ultra-low noise images in all types of lighting conditions, including dimly lit indoor and night scenes.

The sensor is paired with a fast, wide-aperture Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 3.6x optical zoom and a powerful BIONZ® image processor, ensuring beautifully natural, detail-packed still images and HD videos. As an extra refinement, the QX100 sports a dedicated control ring for camera-like adjustment of manual focus and zoom.

Several different shooting modes can be selected while using the QX100 including Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto, which automatically recognizes 44 different shooting conditions and adjusts camera settings to suit.

High-Zoom Cyber-shot QX10 model

Boasting a powerful 18.2 effective megapixel Exmor RCMOS sensor and versatile 10x optical zoom Sony G Lens, the Cyber-shot QX10 camera allows mobile photographers to bring distant subjects closer without sacrificing image quality or resolution, a common problem in smartphones. It’s also extremely portable and lightweight - weighing less than 4 oz and measuring about 2.5”X2.5”x1.3”, it’s a great tool for travel photography.

Additionally, the camera has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to combat camera shake, keeping handheld pictures and videos steady and blur-free. It has Program Auto, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto modes to choose from, and will be available in two different colors – black and white.

Pricing and Availability

The new Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10 lens-style cameras will available later this month for about $500 and $250, respectively.

The cameras and a range of compatible accessories including a soft carry case and dedicated camera attachment for Sony Mobile phones like the Xperia™ Z can be purchased at Sony retail stores ( and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Please visit for a full video preview of the new Sony Cyber-shot QX Series cameras and follow #SonyCamera on Twitter for the latest camera news.

Sony QX10 and QX100 specifications

 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX100
Body type
Body typeCompact
Body materialComposite
Max resolution4896 x 36725472 x 3648
Other resolutions2592 x 1944 (4:3), 4896 x 2752 (16:9), 1920 x 1080 (16:9)3:2: 2736 x 1824; 4:3: 4864 x 3648, 2592 x 1944; 16:9: 5472 x 3080, 2720 x 1528; 1:1: 3648 x 3648, 1920 x 1920
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:91:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels18 megapixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors19 megapixels21 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
White balance presets68
Custom white balanceNo
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsNormal
File format
  • JPEG (DCF)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–250 mm28–100 mm
Optical zoom10×3.6×
Maximum apertureF3.3 - F5.9F1.8 - F4.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampNo
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusNoYes
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDNo
Touch screenYes (via smartphone)
Screen typeDepends on connected smartphone
Live viewYes (via smartphone)
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1600 sec1/2000 sec
Built-in flashNo
External flashNo
Flash modesNone
Drive modes
  • Single
Self-timerYes (2, 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1440 x 1080 (30 fps)
Storage typesmicroSD, microSDHC, microSDXC, Memory Stick Micro
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-BN, NP-BN1
Battery Life (CIPA)220200
Weight (inc. batteries)105 g (0.23 lb / 3.70 oz)179 g (0.39 lb / 6.31 oz)
Dimensions62 x 62 x 33 mm (2.46 x 2.43 x 1.31)63 x 63 x 56 mm (2.46 x 2.46 x 2.19)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Additional images

Sony QX10

Sony QX100

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX100


Total comments: 131
By BaliPeter (2 months ago)

Dear Sony,
I like the concept, but what if you don't have a WiFi connection?
I live in Indonesia and wifi is not available everywhere.
Bluetooth could be a handy addition.

By skinnymakespretty (7 months ago)




By SRT3lkt (7 months ago)

I like the concept, if the performance is not up to expectation, sure will improve in the next iteration (Japanese are good at improving things) .

This is how Japanese High School students are taught (military style).

By Digitall (7 months ago)

I still put in doubt whether this type of camera is really practical. In principle, to use this lens / camera it takes two hands, one to hold the lens, one to hold the phone or tablet, it will not be practical in its true use. Many consumers call for practical things, which are lightweight and easy to maneuver. This type of device I doubt it's as practical as we want to convince. I find it interesting and innovative idea, but not practical for casual photography I think, and this context will be very hard to frame the image with some precision too. Perhaps more specific situations for its use is better exploited, but not a compact equivalent, such as for example RX100. The RX100 will in my view, more practical to use than this concept, or any other compact camera.

By philowerx (7 months ago)

Yes!!! You can use it with tablets and iPads!!! Mount the camera on a helmet, monitor with the iPad for unbelievably smooth pans.

By fastglass (7 months ago)

I'm seriously liking this concept.

Too bad though ... there's no SONY dealers nearby likely to offer these super flexible cameras ... & too bad too that SONY has their MSRP mindset.

Still ... I like the possibilities ...



1 upvote
By kayone (7 months ago)

These devices, while new and prohibitively expensive for a lot of ppl, are important because they open up a lot of new photography potential, especially being able to mount and position the camera on a tripod or mini tripod in awkward locations and then control remotely UP TO 30 FT AWAY from the master control unit (smartphone) via NFC or wifi. I think a lot of ppl question the value because they don't understand these two components do not have to be in physical contact to actually work.

By hyperionus (7 months ago)

Hey DPR editors, correct the mistake in the body of the article.

"The QX100 ($250/£399/€449) uses the 1" sensor and 28-100mm equivalent zoom...".

I wish it was $250, but unfortunately it sells for double of that - $500.


Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (7 months ago)

Can anything out there look uglier and make less sense then these two Baron von Frankenstein creations? What was Sony thinking here, OMG?

1 upvote
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

So what’s ugly about a telescoping zoom lens?

You do realize a couple of things: That these systems don’t have to be in physical contact with the smartphone running them? And that what you may think of as ugly is simply a clip that Sony has supplied? (I’ll bet the clip can be replaced with velcro if that suits your aesthetic.)

I think this idea portends interesting things in remote still and video shooting–particularly since the sensor from the RX100 is decent in lowlight.

Is this the final and only execution? No, likely not.

These modules don’t send raw data to the computer/smartphone for recording, which means that anyone interested in having a good small still camera at hand is going to have to carry something else, eg the Sony RX100ii, Olympus XZ2, or the very small raw capable Panasonic LF1.

1 upvote
By GordonAtWork (7 months ago)

Could I use one with my wifi laptop and capture images that way, it would make a good covert observation tool.

1 upvote
By Nukunukoo (7 months ago)

Is RAW output too much to ask?

1 upvote
By forsakenbliss (7 months ago)

guess they crippled the QX100 so as to protect RX-100 II

mp4 video.. no Raw...

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
By rocklobster (7 months ago)

I bet Ricoh would have liked there GXR to work like this.

If the optics in the QX100 are as good as the RX100 then I am interested and hopefully the price will come down.

Good work Sony.


1 upvote
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

Zoomed out the RX100 has some optical problems, it's not the greatest Zeiss.

The Olympus XZ2 on the other hand is excellent throughout the zoom range.

Why am I bringing up cameras, well because likely say the Olympus XZ3 will be have the option of smartphone control--like, believe, the Panasonic LF1.

By 88SAL (7 months ago)

The application of this as a smart phone upgrade is irrelevant, the remote controlled compact module is what has the potential.

By kayone (7 months ago)

Exactly, that's the revolutionary aspect of this technology. Some people don't seem to get that because they only see pictures of the smartphone and lens attached to each other, and assume that's the only way it can work.

1 upvote
By B1ackhat (7 months ago)

Gimmicky, but kind of intriguing as well.

By PhotoPhart (7 months ago)

my first reaction was that this is dum but Sonyalphrumors says that this just may be the most preordered camera in Sony's history. Many average people like using their smartphones, these cameras will put far better pics on their phones.
They will probably be a lot of fun too since the screen and the camera don't need to be connected.

1 upvote
By forsakenbliss (7 months ago)

this unit allows very easy water proof case design. which means cheaper price to get to do under water shoot.
one can even DIY one easily. just a tube.

and I can use it on 10 inch tablet for instant focusing check.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
By zodiacfml (7 months ago)

Works for home projects.....but you'll have to waterproof your tablet outdoors.

By forsakenbliss (7 months ago)

it's already water proofed. :)

By SulfurousBeast (7 months ago)

DP Review - Make this these 11th in the list of Back to the future: ten one-of-a-kind cameras from the 21st century !

Innovative, Niche, but the initial 'soda pop' enthusiasm will fizzle away soon.

May be use this as a spy camera somewhere!!

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
By superstar905 (7 months ago)

Look, to those saying they'd simply buy the RX100, thats completely missing the point. You are getting RX100 quality on a device that can do almost everything, vs the RX100 that can only make calls.

While it remains to be seen if smartphone users who are snap happy would adopt such a large add on, clearly Sony is leading the way with innovation and that is something to be commended.

By rpm40 (7 months ago)

The prices at the top summary says $250 for both models, you should fix that. I almost ran for my credit card to find the QX100.

1 upvote
gerard boulanger
By gerard boulanger (7 months ago)

Hmmm. Will phone users will accept the bulk and the cost?
Interesting new concept anyway.
The day a Co. will make a APS-C sensor, I would consider it, but not that small.

By Karroly (7 months ago)

I hate Wifi and all that microwaves that are more and more polluting our environment... So I will never buy such a device.

By ET2 (7 months ago)

What nonsense. Wifi uses lower frequency wave length than visible light. Is visible polluting over environment too? What about the radio waves that come to earth from billions of other stars and galaxies? That must be pretty bad "pollution" (sarcasm).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By T3 (7 months ago)

Get Karroly a tin foil hat, because he's nuts.

1 upvote
By Karroly (7 months ago)

I am always wearing a German spiked helmet of World War One because it acts as a Faraday cage and as a lightning rod too...
I am happy, I have dropped one hook and catched two innocent fishes...
I am a user of wifi technology too, you know...
Apart from that, the nonsense is to believe pollution is only visible. Every electromagnetic wave that goes through our bodies induces current in our cells, superficially with micro waves, and deeply with long waves, with known and still unknown consequences.
About radio waves from the outer space, their energy is nothing compared to an operating smartphone close to your naïve brain... To catch them, astrophysicians build huge parabolic antennas, not the ridiculous one in your smartphone. Energy diminishes with the reverse of the power of two of the distance.
Radio technology is like alcohol : moderate use...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By Sarciness (7 months ago)

@ET2, yes,visible light is polluting our environment. Try going stargazing in Shanghai...

I agree with the sentiment about the tin foil hats though... microwaves aren't particularly of concern.

By segarci1 (7 months ago)

This is an incremental improvement in camera connectivity, but the real innovation here is in separating the lens from the viewfinder/monitor (I can come up with precedents, but not in this usage space). This opens up a world of possibilities beyond what articulated monitors offered in prior consumer cameras. The Sony video illustrated this well.

By SpencerPhoto (7 months ago)

I'd just get a Lumia 1020.

By T3 (7 months ago)

And be stuck using Windows Phone? No thanks.

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By dweberphotography (7 months ago)

T3, is there anything wrong with WP8? You seem to be negative about everything.

By Marksphoto (7 months ago)

I think what we need is a full frame sensor on an iphone and extended collapsible bellows with anastigmat type lens - screw this, you can even make a 2"x3" sensor on the back of the phone this will make my FF DSLR's completely obsolete...
We can now add electronics for an AF motor and we have a large format Digital camera with the smartphone capabilities.

The beauty of such system is that the iphone can slide into this system just as a film holder would - in fact the film holders, polaroid holders and iphone would be interchangeable and fully compatible with this system.

I would so buy this camera myself! Should I be calling a patent lawyer?

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
By Marksphoto (7 months ago)

at this moment I cant think clearly... hmmm maybe should this be good news to wedding photographers?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By b534202 (7 months ago)

Can I pair multiple QX cameras to a single smartphone?
Can they be used simultaneously?

By xlynx9 (7 months ago)

I honestly believe this *conceptually* is the future. But this first implementation is not that exciting.

What would excite me is a range of pancake primes with larger sensors.

1 upvote
By KariIceland (7 months ago)

FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS?! I am better off getting the damn Sony RX 100 for this price than buy this module!

1 upvote
By xlynx9 (7 months ago)

Did you overlook the $250 version?

1 upvote
By acidic (7 months ago)

I didn't see any mention of a tripod mount. If I'm going to be carrying around another device so I could take better pictures, I might as well carry a tripod for even better pictures.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By ET2 (7 months ago)

There is tripod mount. Google more pictures of the device.

By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

Not so much for smartphone still shooting, but I think this idea portends many further developments in small wireless videography, starting with security systems with good low light full colour cameras.

nic guilbert
By nic guilbert (7 months ago)

isn't a Canon 6D controled by a smartphone much better, i can't see the big inovation in this.

1 upvote
By ethern1ty (7 months ago)

You can put it in your pocket...

By hcreed06 (7 months ago)

Also, a Canon 6D is $2000, $2600 if you get it with a kit lens. The point of the QX10 and QX100 isn't amazing image quality, it's better image quality with more flexibility for picture taking in terms of zoom range + the separation of LCD and camera body.

Andrew Butterfield
By Andrew Butterfield (7 months ago)

At first it seems clever, but then you remember that a Panasonic LF1 can connect to a smartphone too (though not clip to it), has its own screen, viewfinder etc and is smaller and cheaper than this, and does raw etc. Which makes it tricky to see the point of this, fun though it might be.

By xlynx9 (7 months ago)

LF1 sensor is only half the size though (of the $500 version).

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By ET2 (7 months ago)

RX100 II connects to phone too.

By Trollshavethebestcandy (7 months ago)

Make a GoPro version and you might have something.
Helmet mounted fish eye.
Clip on to your Google/NSA Glass ;)

1 upvote
By AngryCorgi (7 months ago)

If the QX100 was the size of the QX10, it would be a LOT more attractive.

By vtinitus (7 months ago)

Kudos for the innovation. Best is the compatibility with iOS for my use case: I'm a frequent flyer and still like window seats for the view. Mostly I do hesitate to take a 'real' camera due to noise and bulk and end up shooting with my iPhone. I was already considering the rx100 but didn't need a second camera. This fills the gap extremely well, although I admit this is very niche.
I can see other interesting uses depending on the wifi reach too. Nice.

Edit: hope they add iso and more manual controls at least via apps though

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By Trollshavethebestcandy (7 months ago)

Charge the same for less? Brilliant for the stupid ones.
At least Hasleblad gave you wood grips while they were robbing you.

By mzillch (7 months ago)

Consumer: "If only my cellphone had the zoom range and low light capability of a larger sensor P'n'S"

Sony: "Here's a camera but it has no LCD, so you hold it in one hand and your LCD panel (phone) in the other, or use this kludge adaptor making the whole thing pretty much back to the same size you were just gripping about."

This will fail.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
By nidri (7 months ago)

Whether you buy into this concept or not, you have to give kudos to Sony for trying something different here. Will it sell? Who knows. I hope it does. And I hope it wakes Nikanon from its slumber.

By Snaaks (7 months ago)

A strong candidate for a back-to-the-future article in 2023. Kinda like that camera with a built-in beamer.

1 upvote
By CeleryBeats (7 months ago)

Sony has balls! This is simply ingenious!

After years of a market conflicting another. Sony has the balls to connect them with a clever solution.

Sorry but you cannot be negative about this kind of clever bravery.

By peevee1 (7 months ago)

Battery issues of smartphones will quadruple:
1) 2x because now 2 battery to care about/recharge (one of them will discharge just as you need to take a photo)
2) 2x because constant WiFi streaming of live view will discharge both batteries very quickly. I don't know about QX, but WiFi antennae in smartphones have low gain.

Better solution is something like Nokia 808 or 1020 plus specially made add-on lens-converters (WA, macro, tele).

By JJ1983 (7 months ago)

Sony has lost their marbles.

By photoguy622 (7 months ago)

Interesting. We will see. I thought the reason people ditched the P&S is so they wouldn't have to carry two devices. With this, they have to carry two devices again.

By Krocket (7 months ago)

Sony is definately on the cutting edge- just wait and see if they sell bucketfulls of these- I can just see teenagers with these, and alot of others too. Innovative idea, fairly cheap, Sony realizes the phone market is where its at-

Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (7 months ago)

actually i think sony made more progress witht he xperia z1 than these two cameras. We finally have a company that put a p&s-sized sensor inside a smartphone that isn't nokia/windows phone. It also has manual controls..

i think the xperia z1 just retired my canon s90

By GSD_ZA (7 months ago)

We've come to expect great ideas and great products from Sony. These are no exception. The stumbling block will be what is the single biggest problem with all smartphones: battery life.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (7 months ago)

Must pick one to try.

Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (7 months ago)

I think this might be a test if the market is ready for a phone with a real camera. Such a phone will be larger and clumsier. Are people willing to accept that? Such phones will be more expensive. Is that acceptable?

By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (7 months ago)

The samsung S4zoom... Is what i like.. Athough i would have liked my samsung Note 2 with a zoom lens as well...

By marike6 (7 months ago)

The argument in favor of using a smartphone for all your imaging needs is that you don't have to carry two devices (Not sure what's so difficult about two small devices, but OK).

With this item, you are still carrying two devices. But now you'll need to assemble the two into one camera and hope that you are not too late for that special photo op.

But innovation and testing the market is always a good thing. This device does seem to fall between the needs of the average person and those of the enthusiast photographer, but we will see.

By mick232 (7 months ago)

The advantage is that the device can be produced and therefore sold cheaper. No screen, no buttons, no EVF - all that is provided by the smartphone.

By peevee1 (7 months ago)

No, smartphone does not provide buttons and EVF. Just the screen, for the extra cost of communicating to it inefficiently (wirelessly).

By marike6 (7 months ago)

Cheaper? One of them is $500, close to the price of the Sony RX-100 that it's based on.

Rooru S
By Rooru S (7 months ago)

Based on RX100 Mk.2, not the RX100 Mk.1. The other is 250USD. Not cheap at all either.

1 upvote
Total comments: 131