Sony QX10 mod for remote wire shutter trigger

The Sony QX10 is a nice lightweight 18 MegaPix camera for very little money (mine cost less than 100$ online, shipping included). It looks like a good one for aerial mapping missions. Unfortunately, it does not support USB cable remote triggering (unlike the much more expensive models in the QX family). Also, a smartphone app allows to trigger the camera via Wifi but that does not allow a direct shutter trigger control via Pixhawk, which was the purpose for getting this camera. Therefore I decided to modify my QX10 to see how trigger wires could be directly hacked on it...

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Comment by Mauricio García on February 25, 2016 at 11:19am


I made a similar mod to a DSC-Wx220 and it works great (I understand it has the same lens and OIS and a very similar sensor if not the same). I'm just starting on mapping but the initial tests are really good for me.

Can you make a test about the shutdown of the camera in absence of phone connection ? How many time it stay ON. ??

How do you connect it to the pixhawk ??... I understand the pixhawk has a trigger signal that is normally tied to cero and pull it up to 5v when trigger, but the camera works at the inverse. (I never found if the Pix can be configured reversed and made a custom board with a N-mos transistor ). 

I found that the wx220 refuses to trigger if focus is not tied to gnd so I wired the trigger signal to the focus too. 


Comment by Hugues on February 25, 2016 at 11:34am

Hi Mauricio,

Thx for sharing your setup. You can't connect a pixhawk directly to the wires, that won't work. You need an intermediate "relay" circuit. I personally use a three way video switcher like this one:

Comment by Mauricio García on February 25, 2016 at 11:45am


The switcher looks interesting but on that case I dont need to switch between cameras ...just invert levels.

I aso wired the zoom .. maybe I need it on the future ;-)

I found the battery bay is a good place to fit a voltage reg and forget about the battery too.

How about converting it to NDVI ??

Comment by Hugues on February 25, 2016 at 11:45am

For that you may read this forum topic which gives you very simple circuits to build with a transistor to invert signals:

Comment by Mauricio García on February 25, 2016 at 11:48am

Comment by Mauricio García on February 25, 2016 at 11:57am

It´s true ... I made that for a Canon sx260 and it's working. But the canon need a positive pulse on the USB and the SONY a negative one on the wired shutter. Anyway it's working and I started to make mapps.


Comment by Simon Wood on February 25, 2016 at 4:42pm

Back to the software side of this :-)... for those who prefer Linux and/or python, there's a python script to rip open the update package to it's contents.

This lead me down a 'late night rabbit hole' on Tuesday...

The QX10 is running a Linux kernel with a few Sony specific modules and (of course) their app(s). Notes around the topic state that there's a hardware UART on the NEX camera which has a Linux command console active on it and the config for QX10 mentions a UART allocation.

Did anyone see an unpopulated header on the board? It's possible that this actually shares the USB connector, many cellphones use this trick to provide a manufactures test access... normally need some funny pull ups to active.

Also the camera will accept 'odd' USB commands via a custom SCSI interface, not fully understood.

Comment by Waladi on June 13, 2016 at 2:25am

After hunting the camera, modified the shutter button (with sweat and tears...) and also buying several pack of extra power batteries... and testing... blurrrr.... because no manual shutter speed setting available :(

Any suggestions?

Very frustrating...

Btw that white blurry blob is me :)

Comment by Mauricio García on June 13, 2016 at 4:57am


I don't have that camera so ..  no guarantee ;-)

The exposure time is too low and the ISO to.

Try increasing the ISO, or if you can use a "Sport Mode", normally they try to set the shutter speed as fast as posible.


Comment by Simon Wood on June 13, 2016 at 11:27am

The QX-10 does not offer a manual mode (via remote API), only various auto modes

getSupportedExposureMode :
{'id': 1, 'result': [['Intelligent Auto', 'Superior Auto', 'Program Auto']]}

It does appear to have an ISO setting, but I have not tried adjust ISO and don't know whether the setting is 'sticky' across power cycles.

getSupportedIsoSpeedRate :

{'id': 1, 'result': [['AUTO', '100', '200', '400', '800', '1600', '3200']]}

I wonder if cranking it all the way to 3200 would work for you,



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