THE LOW-DOWN: This device is a 20 megapixel camera with a 29-105mm (film equivalent) image stabilised Zeiss branded lens. Except that it is not exactly a complete camera. It doesn’t have any sort of viewfinder. The idea is that you attach it to your smartphone, make a connection with either WiFi or NFC, and use the phone as viewfinder and control panel. Sony provide a free connection and control app for Android and iPhone but not Windows phone. Images are stored simultaneously on a Micro SD card or Sony’s Memory Stick Micro in the “camera” and in the phone’s storage in a more compressed form, ready for sharing. The unit clamps onto the phone with spring-loaded arms. It is large – 60X60mm – heavy and conspicuous.
LIKE: The image quality is very good with good resolution and colour. Auto focus is fast but there is small but perceptible shutter lag.
DISLIKE: It is expensive and a little clumsy in operation.
VERDICT: This device is as curious as Sony’s digital recording binoculars. Perhaps the designers at Sony have been given total freedom to try anything they can think of and see how it flies. So right now the company offers the best mirrorless cameras – the a7 twins – and the best compact camera – the RX100II – and the weirdest gadgets that you never knew you needed. We’re going to have a bit of a lie down and see if we can think of any possible situation in which the QX100 would be a solution to any imaginable problem. There is a cheaper version, the QX10, at about $270. It has an 18mp sensor and a lesser Sony-branded lens.