Sony Announces Two Mobile Lens-Style Cameras for Better Smart Phone Photography: the QX1 and QX30 (Hands-on Photos)

Sony just expanded its lens-style camera line with the new 30x zooming DSC-QX30 and the E-mount interchangeable lens ILCE-QX1 models. The odd-looking devices combine compact lenses and image sensors into one hybrid unit and are designed to be clipped over your smart phone for better image quality when snapping mobile photos.

The Sony lens cameras interface with your phone via built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, letting you utilize your phone’s large display and its mobile connectivity and apps for image sharing. The new Sony QX1 and QX30 lens-style cameras are follow-ups to the QX10 and QX100 from last year. They add several key upgrades to those models.

The compact, 20-megapixel Sony QX30 gives your smart phone what is, in effect, a 30x optical zoom lens with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to minimize camera shake. There’s also lock-on autofocus and fast continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second. The QX30 can also shoot full 1080p HD at 60p frame rate with just the press of a button. The Sony QX30 goes on sale in September for $350.

The E-mount ILCE-QX1 lens-style camera gives photographers a new way to use their Sony Alpha mount lens collection. (It requires a Mount Adaptor when attached with A-mount lens.) The QX1 is compatible with Sony’s E-mount lenses such as zoom, portrait, wide-angle, and macro glass, and features a built-in 20.1MP APS-C size CMOS sensor. It’s powered by Sony’s Bionz X processor and offers area-specific noise reduction.

Other features of the QX1 include Raw image shooting and a pop-up flash. The Sony QX1 will go on sale in November for $400.