The black plastic cylinder shown above is not just a lens but a camera that features a 18.2 million pixel 1/2.3 inch sensor and a 10x optical zoom. The Sony QX10 doesn’t have a screen, mounts directly on your smartphone and is paired to Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app through WiFi. This pocket-friendly compact camera is meant to complement just about any smartphone and enables users to take high quality and more versatile photos and instantly share them on Facebook or Instagram.
I’ve been using the QX10 for 3 weeks now and I’m quite impressed by the ease of use, the image quality and the performance of the camera as a whole. The setup is quite easy, the camera options are simple and straight to the point yet the most appealing thing is the size and weight (around 100g) of the QX10 and the ability to place it anywhere you like and control it remotely. It’s something that you can really have fun experimenting with at gatherings, outdoor events, parties, street photography and I’m giving away one to one lucky reader 🙂
I prepared a brief review of the QX10 to help you understand how to set it up, how it works, how good is the image quality and other useful information. Enjoy it and make sure to check the competition details at the end of the post:
Ease of Use, Performance & Battery Life:
The QX10 is very easy to set up and start using. You will find in the box the lens camera, a detachable smartphone mount with an extending arm, a wrist strap, a battery pack and a micro-USB cable for charging and transferring images. You will only need to buy a microSD card but you can already start using the camera without it. The QX10 has three main controls, the power (on/off) button, a zoom and a shutter button. There’s also a small screen that shows you the battery life. I tried the small smartphone mount with an iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6, Galaxy Samsung Note 4 and LG G3 and it fit them all perfectly. Personally speaking, the ability to shoot without the lens attached to the smartphone is the QX10’s biggest advantage. You can hold it overhead, place it almost anywhere you like and take unique pictures. Moreover, and since the camera has a flat bottom surface (bottom also includes tripod socket), you can easily rest it for long exposures or videos.
Whether you wish to mount the lens on your smartphone or use it remotely, you will need to download the Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app to connect through WiFi to the camera. The application is also straightforward and gives you the option to automatically store pictures on your smartphone, which is very practical if you want to upload them right away on Instagram for example.
In order to connect the camera to the app, you will need to turn the lens on, open the application from your smartphone and then wait around 5-6 seconds for the connection to be made between the two devices. If you don’t want to wait that long and wish to snap instant photos at a race or event, then you can always leave both devices on all the time but this will quickly drain the battery life of both the camera and the smartphone.
In terms of battery life, I’ve only recharged the camera 3 times in the past 3 weeks but I haven’t been using it heavily. From what I read, you can take up to 200 images before battery dies out, which is more than enough even for a full-day shoot. What you should worry about though is your smartphone’s battery as using the display for long hours will drain the battery even if you’re not using your smartphone’s camera, so keep a battery pack with you just in case.
There are three modes that you could use on the QX10, the Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto and Program Auto. If you are an experienced photographer and know how to play with the camera’s settings, you can always opt for the Program Auto mode even though the menu is quite limited but the Superior Auto is more than enough for everyday use. All the sample pictures in this review were taken using the Superior Auto mode (18 megapixel Fine JPEG setting), which gives an average image size of around 6MB. If you don’t want to save the original image on your smartphone, you can always change the image quality from inside the app. As you can see, the pictures are great, even the ones in low-light and the action shot. As far as night photography is concerned, it’s not that good to be honest. Image stabilization, noise reduction and macro performance are excellent on the other hand.
PS: When the camera fires off three sequential shots, it means that it switched automatically to Twilight Mode to reduce noise.
The idea from the QX10 is to produce pictures that are better than your smartphone and enable you to share them instantly, so don’t expect SLR quality images. It’s a great every-day camera that you will enjoy experimenting with it and snapping shots in weird spots and different angles.
The camera has become an essential component of any smartphone but it still has limited capabilities, which is where the QX10 comes in handy. It’s a tiny camera that you can mount on any phone or set it up anywhere remotely and connect to it within seconds. Whether you want to snap group photos at a party, in the wilderness or at the beach, or want to experiment with street photography or just want to take nice selfies with your friends and share them instantly, the QX10 was specifically designed for that. More importantly, it’s only priced at $269 which is very affordable when compared to the competition. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything quite like the QX10 in the market as Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom only works with Samsung and the GoPro is much more expensive and aimed at different uses. All in all it’s an intriguing new prospect that Sony is introducing and I’m sure the QX10 will improve with time.
The Sony QX10 is currently available at Sony World Lebanon and all Virgin Megastores.
If you want to win the Sony QX10, here’s what you need to do:
The competition will end on Friday morning where we will draw the winner’s name.