Just this week I was getting the lowdown on Smart Lenses, something a lot of people were buzzing about at CES earlier this year. And now…voila. They’re here, courtesy of our friends at Photojojo. And yes I am getting one. Because, wow.
The Sony QX10 and QX100 Smart Lenses are just that: lenses. They look like someone pulled one right off of a DSLR. However they don’t work with a DSLR body–they work with smartphones and tablets which is pretty revolutionary.
This really is the next generation of smartphone photography. Attach the lens to your phone, which will then act as a live viewfinder to see what the lens is picking up, while a dedicated WiFi signal (as opposed to Bluetooth) sends the digital images right to your phone’s camera roll when you shoot. It’s just as if you were shooting Android or iPhone pics, only way way better.
(Hello? Sony lens!)
However because the camera bits are built right in, you can even use Smart Lenses separate from your phone or tablet, and just use your device’s photo app as a control.
The more compact QX10 may be all you need, with 18 megapixels, a DSLR quality Sony G lens, and a 10x zoom, plus a sensor comparable to a high-end point-and-shoot. I like that you can adjust the zoom either through the lens itself or the app, if you’re working right off your phone.
The QX10 will run you $250–still way less than a full camera with those features.
If you’re a serious digital photographer though, splurge on the QX100 for $500 and you’ll have 20MP, a 4x zoom, a sweet Zeiss lens, and a 1″ sensor comparable to a DSLR that’s great in low light. It’s a bigger lens for sure, and a little more to carry around, but with a manual focus option as well as the auto and presumably, way more impressive results if you’re the type for whom megapixels make a big difference.
(In other words, if your photos go somewhere besides the purgatory that is the photo folder on your PC.)
For an example of the quality, check out the gorgeous QX100 Flickr set from Vivnsect.
The possibilities are amazing with smart lenses, especially because you can control your lens when your phone is more than 10-feet away. So it’s great for reach-around-a-corner type candids, and perfect for selfies and family portrait tripod shots–only no setting an auto-timer and running into the picture at the last second.
Plus, how genius to get to pack only a lens and not a hugemongo camera body when you’re traveling, and still know you’ll get great shots. It’s like the best of both worlds of digital photography.
My only caution is that the lens will weigh your phone down more than you’re used to, so if you’re attaching it, you have to rethink your grip. No dropping it, okay? –Liz
Preorder this very second at Photojojo for a limited supply of Sony Smart Lenses that ship Sept 30. Plus, free shipping!