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Sony's New QX Cameras Add Zoom, Let You Change Lenses

Thought the experiment was over? Think again.


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Today Sony unveiled two new additions to its oddball QX-series mobile camera lineup: the travel-zoom QX30 and the interchangeable-lens QX1. Somehow, these new cameras are even more radical than their predecessors.

Like the originals, both models clip to and pair with your smartphone to take better pictures than what you can get from the built-in shooter. You can then quickly share photos using the PlayMemories Mobile app on your phone.

Undoubtedly the star of the show, the QX1 is a bold experiment. Essentially, it's an interchangeable lens (E-mount) camera you strap to your smartphone. The QX1 offers a 20.1 megapixel APS-C sized sensor backed by a BIONZ X processor. A pop-up flash, RAW shooting, a microSD card slot, and a tripod mount are all there, too.

While we can't imagine many lenses—even APS-C primes—will balance well on your average phone, it's certainly an interesting camera and a testament to the faith Sony has in the QX concept.

A render of the Sony QX30.

The QX30 is easily one of the most versatile travel zooms available.

If you're more of a casual shooter, the new QX30 may appeal to you. The smaller, less expensive new QX model offers a 30x zoom in a lightweight package. In addition to its impressive telephoto capabilities, the camera also boasts a 10fps burst mode and 1080p/60p video.

Image quality won't be as impressive as what you'd get from the QX1 or earlier QX100, thanks to a tiny 1/2.3" imaging sensor. But the sheer convenience of having that kind of zoom range on a phone should win it plenty of converts.

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For those looking to take the plunge, the QX30 will be available this September for $350. The QX1 will follow in November, asking $400 online.

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