Lens in one hand, smartphone in the other: Is this the future of photography?

Whether you're a camera snob or a smartphone photography enthusiast —  or a little of both — Sony's new QX100 and QX10 are intriguing. 

The pair of "digital cameras" are unlike anything we've seen in the DPReview offices before, proving tricky even for us to categorize and anticipate how our readers may react. We've seen manufacturers blend smartphone and compact camera before, with Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom probably hitting closest to the target thus far. Smartphone manufactures continue to make valiant efforts to make their products more camera-like as well: Nokia's offering a grip accessory that makes it hard to remember the Lumia 1020 is a phone and Oppo is teasing sensor-equipped plug-in optics with zoom capability. Sony's thinking is truly original: the QX100 and QX10 are transformative accessories designed to become part of your smartphone. Instead of forcing you to choose between camera or smartphone: Sony's encouraging you to have both, with an innovative cross-platform approach.

We're looking at these unique devices in a few different ways today on both DPReview.com and here on Connect.DPReview.com. We've got a news story with details specifications and pricing. Our own Allison Johnson spent the past few days trying out the QX100, while Jeff Keller took on the QX10. Keller also offers up a comparison between the two, specifically aimed at mobile photography enthusiasts, here on Connect. (We're also eager to hear how these devices may interact with the just-announced 20.7-megapixel Sony Xperia Z1 smartphonewhich we hope to get our hands on soon at the annual IFA exhibition Berlin.)

Your connected smartphone serves as the LCD screen for controlling Sony's new QX100 and QX10 digital cameras, although you can still take a photo with the device alone.

There's plenty to consider before deciding if the QX100 or QX10 is the missing link in the modern photographer's mobile kit.

Will Sony's approach become the answer we've been waiting for — the connectivity solution compacts are missing and the imaging improvements smartphones are lacking? 

Consumer adoption and sales will ultimately determine the outcome here. We're crossing our fingers that enough gadget geeks and early adopter types will indicate interest, because a v2.0 of this technology might truly prove exciting.

We'd like to see a full-featured version aimed at serious photographers. After all, isn't that the point? Yet both the high- and low-end versions of this product are missing controls over shutter speed and ISO. We'd like to see AF assist, scene modes. full HD video and separate focus and metering points.

We're curious why Sony didn't explore adding on a flash. We can imagine a small xenon flash like that of the Lumia 1020 or a ring flash as we've seen pop up on Acer's new Liquid S2 would be a boon to mobile photographers.

We hope that updates to the PlayMemories App could help with some of these requests that don't require hardware updates.

But until then, we'll admit we're intrigued.