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Sony QX100 Smart Lens review

Smart telephone photography has come about inside leaps plus bounds with ever-increasing camera resolutions along with a riches of modifying choices accessible preinstalled, or inside apps. The bodily size of camera units has to be kept pretty little though, inside purchase to suit into a skinny mobile, plus tiny sensors can't take inside because much light because their heavier counterparts.

The Sony QX100 smart lens hopes to bridge which gap by providing a telephone with a 1-inch sensor, together with a big Carl Zeiss lens along with a 3.6x optical zoom. The lens has all of the components of the usual compact digital camera, except a show. It rather links to the smart telephone over Wi-Fi, making we write the shot about screen individually to the lens, plus permitting we to swiftly edit plus share a shots utilizing the information connection.

It functions with any Android or Apple device utilizing the Sony PlayMemories application plus is picked up today for £399.

Should I purchase the Sony QX100 Smart Lens?

If we completely crave top image standard nevertheless nevertheless wish To be capable to edit plus share snaps instantly from a telephone, the QX100 is value checking out. Its big sensor plus top quality glass provides greater images than a general smart telephone may achieve, as well as its screenless shape lets we shoot inside more creative methods than to do with a standard camera.

Sony QX100 close up
Sony QX100 close up

It has a 3.6x optical zoom along with a 1-inch sensor -- substantial improvements about many telephone cameras.

It absolutely won't suit everyone. If you wish instant-on shooting plus greater power existence, Sony's RX100 compact camera is a greater bet. It has the same sensor plus lens because the QX100, however has its own screen. We don't need to tether it to the telephone plus you are able to choose it up about Amazon for a small beneath £400.

If we need advantageous image standard yet don't like to invest thus much, there's a small adaptation accessible, the QX10. It has a physically small sensor, yet packs a 10x zoom plus costs a more fair £180.

Design

In terms of its looks, the QX100 may be the many boring thing you've ever invested 400 quid about. It's just a plain black cylinder, searching merely like among the lenses you'd purchase for Sony's interchangeable lens NEX cameras. It's 53mm lengthy plus 60mm broad -- somewhat too big to match into a typical jeans pocket, however, simple to drop into a bag -- as well as its 165g fat won't bog we down.

Sony QX100 open
Sony QX100 open

It's a well-built small fella.

The body of the lens is metal, plus feels well-built plus must place up with a limited knocks. On the best is the energy switch, with a shutter switch plus zoom lever about 1 side along with a power signal found on the alternative. A standard tripod fuck thread sits underneath. What we won't discover is a flash, neither is there a hotshoe mount to utilize an outside flash thus you need to remain inside well-lit regions. The front of the lens is house to a manual focus ring.

Features plus usability

The lens links to the telephone over Wi-Fi, that you may set up manually or allow it do it automatically utilizing NFC by tapping a NFC-enabled telephone to the lens. I tried this about my Samsung Galaxy S4 plus it worked perfectly each time. Turning the lens about plus connecting it to the telephone does take longer than it might take a usual compact to receive willing to shoot though -- in the event you have time to stop plus write the shot it aren't an problem, nevertheless for fast snaps, a phone's camera is the greater way.

A removable back panel lets we clip the lens to the telephone like a regular camera, however, the Wi-Fi connection signifies you are able to just hold the lens anywhere we desire, that I found to become the many enjoyable technique of shooting.

It lets you conveniently test with different angles plus low-level shots without to crouch down found on the ground. It's also brilliant for carrying excellent above a head -- to take photos of crowds possibly -- however nevertheless being capable to frame a shot with a telephone.

Sony QX100 about a phone
Sony QX100 about a phone

It'll function with any Android telephone, not only Sony's, plus you are able to connect it whenever we wish, or not at all.

You may use the lens with any Android or iOS device, however you need to download the Sony PlayMemories application initially. It's this application which provides we control over the camera as well as its settings -- we can't employ the phone's existing camera application or shoot utilizing apps including Instagram or Snapseed. (At minimum, not yet.) The application itself is straightforward plus lets we change conveniently between shooting images or movie, change standard settings or tap to focus.

It'll automatically transfer the pictures to a telephone either inside full resolution, or inside a reduced size, for faster sharing. You are able to then go regarding applying all types of vintage-style filters plus posting it to any social network you've ever finalized up for.


There's nothing to recommend that automatic mode is the greatest 1 to choose. I plumped for Superior Car, that appeared to take HDR images.

The application isn't ideal though. For 1, the shooting methods accessible include System Car, Intelligent Car plus Superior Car -- that's 3 separate automatic methods, every of that sounds like it's the greatest. It offers no indication because to why you really need to select either 1, as well as the guidebook didn't elaborate about what these did either.

Secondly, because you're unable to shoot with alternative apps, you're not currently capable to employ the lens to do items like time-lapse photography or shoot broad, sweeping panoramas.

Image quality

At the core of the QX100 is a 1-inch, 20-megapixel image sensor. That's physically much bigger than the sensor you'd usually discover inside a smart telephone, plus bigger furthermore than the sensor inside the QX10. The heavier the sensor, the more light it's capable to take in, causing a more evenly exposed image total. It's the same sensor plus Carl Zeiss glass found inside Sony's RX100 digital camera, that accomplished wonderful results inside the tests, thus I wasn't amazed to find it work effectively here.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

My initial shot of the building inside London's Borough Market is rather evenly exposed, without details lost inside the bright sky, plus just the darkest portions under rooftop being lost to shadow, that ought to be expected. The level detail is great too. Check out the fullscreen variation plus zoom into the bottom proper of the image -- we wouldn't discover that kind of detail about a usual smart telephone camera.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

My 2nd shot, nonetheless inside Borough Market, again shows brilliant detail found on the fine brickwork about the archway plus has performed a superior job of capturing the scene, provided the lower light below the bridge. There's a tiny amount of motion blur whenever we look full screen, caused by me moving. Take a time to pause to write the shot as well as come out more crisp.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

This shot of individuals at a cheese stall has come out a small dark, however, that's conveniently fixed -- there's no actual detail lost to the shadows, it's only a small underexposed. I'm especially keen, nonetheless, found on the candid nature of the photograph, that is more conveniently achievable utilizing the QX100 -- though do be sure you're cautious regarding where you're taking these photos plus that you're taking them of.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

This building outside the marketplace is evenly exposed, however the sky behind is a small overexposed plus washed out. I was shooting inside Intelligent Car mode, nevertheless flipping to Superior Car accomplished greater results.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

Superior Car mode, I believe, activates an HDR function which combines numerous images of differing exposure into 1 perfectly exposed scene. It's absolutely completed a greater job with all the sky, as well as the compare found on the building looks terrific too. The numerous images are taken very promptly, thus there's no noticeable motion blur -- or 'ghosting' -- within the moving cars.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

You could change to an aperture goal mode which lets we turn the aperture right down to f/1.8 for certain extreme level of field images. I place this to the test about this rack of Boris bicycles, where you are able to see the sharp focus found on the front bicycle is emphasised by the from focus background.

Sony QX100 camera test
Sony QX100 camera test

Sony QX100 image test (click image to enlarge).

This shot of wet autumn leaves moreover shows the superb amount of detail the lens will capture.

Battery life

It would have a chunky body, however, the QX100 doesn't allocate much of which area to its power. Sony reckons there are as much as 110 minutes (taking around 220 photos) from a single charge, that is a 3rd lower than the 330 images you'd be capable to snag found on the RX100.

It's not a very impressive prediction, thus I wasn't amazed whenever I found it to run down fast whenever I was out taking my test shots. If you're a keen shutterbug you need to be surprisingly cautious regarding precisely whenever you're firing it up for a shots if you need a complete day of shooting.

It does at smallest charge over USB, thus we may grab oneself an exterior power like the Mophie Juice Pack Duo, that will provide it a boost throughout your day. If you're utilizing the QX100 for a christmas snaps, you'll absolutely like to charge it each evening -- plus a telephone, whose power usually moreover take a battering whenever you're connecting over Wi-Fi.

Conclusion

With its 1-inch sensor plus big expanse of top-quality glass, the QX100 smart lens can capture the type of pictures we wouldn't usually be capable to receive from a standard smart telephone. Its power existence isn't perfect, yet, as well as the fairly extended time it takes to commence shooting won't appeal to people of we that wish To snag fast shots.

If we crave the greatest image standard nevertheless nevertheless wish To utilize apps like Instagram to rapidly share a pictures to social networks, the QX100 is value considering. Otherwise, the RX100 -- that contains the same sensor -- usually give a more hassle-free photography experience for a vacations.


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