Sony Releases Stand-Alone Imager


Less than one month ago I predicted that eventually DSLR's as we know them will disappear, and instead you will buy lenses with the imaging chip (CMOS) built right in to the back of the lens.  Then you will only attach a simple body to it that gives you IO and a viewing monitor.  This is because CMOS chips are constantly coming down in price, but the really important part, the glass, will always be expensive.

This is an interesting idea for us because it will allow us to lift only the imager section, without carrying the weight of the DLSR body, which will cut in half the weight of a quality imager.

Well, it is already starting.  Sony have just released the QX10 and the QX100.  Both are basically intended as high(er) quality imagers, for use with your existing smart phone. They sort of clip on front of the phone, and you use the smart phone as the IO system.  They can apparently operate independently as well.

The QX100 is particularly interesting, because it weighs only 179g, but gives you a 1" CMOS chip, along with some decent quality glass.  Pretty amazing.  You can imagine building a nice little brushless gimbal around this thing and have a pretty nice setup for only about twice the weight of a GoPro.

However, I must say that I am quite disappointed in some of the specs.  Sony seem to have dumbed down performance, particularly video, as it's only capable of 1440x1080 at 30 FPS whereas the RX100 which uses the same chip can do 1920x1080 at 60FPS.

But still, this is a very interesting development for aerial photography.

Otherwise, I imagine this will be a market flop as it doesn't really make a lot of sense.  It's 2/3rd's the price of an RX100, but doesn't have the same performance or features (limited manual control). Every time you want to use it, you have to pull it out of your pocket, attach it to your camera, flip to the camera app...  Meanwhile somebody with a stand alone camera could have turned it on and snapped several pics already.


Maybe the QX10 is actually a more interesting candidate for aerial photography.  The lens and imager on this is the same as Sony's mid-range point and shoots.  In reality, the image quality is quite good.  And at 105g, it's only slightly heavier than a GoPro.  You could mount this on any tiny quad, and get pretty good photos and video. (no GoPro fisheye!!!).  It also has optical image stabilization.  

I'm not sure this will be a home run product either.  But both units are signs of more interesting things to come in this market.

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  • Developer

    hmm this one is been out for ages

  • 3692821851?profile=original

    #10 is told as "Multifunctional jack", guess what?

    Wireless access:

        Wi-Fi: Send to smartphone / control with smartphone

        NFC: One-touch remote

  • Ive been looking at these but I dont think its quite right for AP stuff yet. Theres no manual exposure mode or shutter speed priority. Youd also need a way to trigger remotely without mounting an android device to your frame as well. Its also JPEG only, no RAW. Im guessing they did this because sending wireless RAW images to a phone would be a lot slower than JPEGs and maybe theres an issue with processing them for display on the phone. This might also be the reason theres no 1080P 60 modes; too much bandwidth needed.

    Instead of making this an accessory to a phone, it should be a stand alone camera with the option of adding a phone as a viewfinder.

  • I am not sold on that concept of the CMOS being built in.   My lenses will outlast many bodies because glass is glass...  heck I have seen people running lenses from the old film camera days.

    I really can't imagine lens + CMOS makes sense... unless the CMOS is swappable as well.

  • Admin


    @499 & 249  ,no  A/V !!    I will  shoot them for free  for you.  Forget  WiFi  , that is for Parrot  type work ,  me likes to  work  with   real  Watt.   Looks cute though and promising for gimble  style.

  • The QX100 is $499, and the QX10 is $249, MSRP.

    Both of these do record internally, so I don't see the need for an onboard video recorder?  Now, video Tx, that is a more interesting question.  I don't imagine there are any A/V or HDMI ports.  However, I believe both use a WiFi link to the smartphone.  So at short range, this would definitely work.  What is the range of the link, or whether or not it can be extended, are big questions.

  • Admin

    Gr8 , what about the prices? QX100 looks promising  in for training UAV if not for the professional  UAVs etc and at 100+gm  sure has few takers  :),  Now how to interface it to  on board recorder+ video switcher+ Video TX!

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