Sunday, November 30, 2014

We tested the Sony QX100, smart lens to turn your smartphone into a camera

The last step between mobile photography accessories are the smart lens that turn your smartphone into a camera photography. For the past few weeks we have had the opportunity to test the camera Sony QX100, a compatible accessory with iOS and Android that you can control from your phone. Here we tell you our impressions.

Brands like Sony and Nokia are making a strong bid for mobile photography in some of their latest models, many users do not know if defined as smartphones with cameras camera or smartphone. But the last step to try to bring the user experience of mobile photography to that of an SLR lens are known as smart as the QX100 camera.

This accessory Sony is compatible with any smarpthone with NFC for iOS and Android ecosystems and must be emphasized that these devices does not matter the quality of the camera on your smartphone, since the objective QX100 operates independently and your phone only serves as a screen and camera driver through the WIFI connection to the device.

The camera does not need therefore be attached to your smartphone, it can take the photos from the target itself with the disadvantage that you have no viewfinder frame. But if you prefer to dock your smartphone to make the experience more akin to a conventional compact camera, you can also do it with a fastening system that perfectly fits different size phone. We've tested with a Xperia Z1, an iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and Xperia Z Ultra. And all been coupled perfectly with the exception of the last, which due to its size, needs a specific case, because the clips supplied accessory can be extended to a maximum width of 54-75 mm and a depth of 30 m unfit for phablets like Sony.

But how do you connect to your smartphone? Here come the ubiquitous apps. The connection is WiFi and camera phone link must download the PlayMemories Mobile app (available for Android and iOS devices) to control the target and which will access various camera functions on our smartphone as the viewfinder, shutter, zoom, focus, and other settings.

But before getting down and show you some example photos quickly reviewed the technical characteristics of the target. QX100 camera provides 20.2 megapixel sensor; 3.6x optical zoom for photos and video; the type of lens that fits is the Carl-Zeiss Vario Sonnar T coated and sensor Exmor R CMOS Sensor 1.0 (13.2 x 8.8 mm) with F1.8 brightness (G) -4.9 (T ). And recorded in JPEG (photos) and MP4 (video) formats.

Below you can see a picture taken with smart len Sony Xperia Z from Ultra, and the same scene photographed a few seconds before the Xperia Z Ultra without the smart len.

As for storage of our photos can be saved in the camera (you can insert microSD and MemoryStick) or directly on the smartphone with which we use, from which we can in turn share them on social networks, message or email directly.

Among the pros is that the QX100 allows manual focus control, with which about your experience to a camera photography. Also your weight, because if what you want is to have a good camera but not carry it, the few 165 grams (179 gs if we add the adapter) that weighs this accessory are hard to beat for a quality camera. Also allows you to record HD video (30p) enough quality, thanks to MP4 format CMOS sensor.

Moreover, zoom and focus can be adjusted manually from the screen of your smartphone or from the control ring of the lens and Optical SteadyShot function eliminates the effect of hand tremor to help the images from being always focused and crisp. Incidentally, he also was a pleasant surprise autonomy. The Sony QX100 works with rechargeable via microUSB or network adapter, but in tests we lasted several hours at full capacity. The only drawback here is that you depend on your smartphone to your days of photography and that we know the batteries last less.

Among its major weaknesses is obviously notice the difference with an SLR camera shutter speed and power, slower response in the QX100 that we enjoy in a camera to use simply because of the connection between devices . It also has no flash, but this we have solved using flashlight smartphone when we needed, and that the screen of your smartphone do not have a pictogram like yes you enjoy on the screen of a reflex to control aspects of the image before shooting. And finally, the photos can be saved in JPEG only. Big mistake. For the recording format RAW is not available for now.

In conclusion, a new step in the field of mobile photography with pros and some flaws, but it has been very interesting and we hope that will solve their failures in future releases. Most doubt the success we generated the price. We suspect that nearly 450 euros for the Sony QX100 dismayed to most amateur photographers, being a price range which can already be done with very good cameras to start experimenting and playing with photography, despite losing the advantages of mobility offered by this device.
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