New images of Sony ‘lens camera’ surface, show how it’d play with smartphones

actual images of sony lens camera surfaces show how itll play with smartphones 4

Well, would you look at that: Sony’s “lens camera” could be a real thing, after all. Last month, Sony Alpha Rumors reported that Sony is working on a high-end smartphone accessory that would add a camera-with-lens to the back of a mobile device. Although SAR claimed the information came from “two trusted sources,” the accompanying blurry image was a bit hard to believe. It raised many eyebrows, ours included – although we didn’t doubt such a product could exist, we had our reservations. However, the latest photos SAR has posted could put a lot of our doubts to rest.

Now, there’s a small chance that this could still be a big elaborate hoax, but judging from the quality of the photos this time around, it’s very likely this product could be Sony’s next big announcement. If real, it’s a big score for SAR. (One of the images even shows what could be the rumored Sony “Honami” smartphone, a high-end device with a 20-megapixel camera.)

sony-lens-camera-3

The information about the camera hasn’t changed much from the original rumor, however SAR has added some new important details. According to SAR, the “lens camera” is not one but two products, called the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 (launch products of a new category called the QX). The QX100 will share the 20.2-megapixel, 1-inch sensor and Carl Zeiss lens as the RX100 II. A second model won’t be as powerful with an 18-megapixel, 12.3-inch CMOS sensor and 10x, f/3.3-5.9 G zoom lens (same as the WX150), but will be more affordable and compact (from the image above, you’ll notice a zoom lever and what could be a shutter button). Both will have a Bionz processor and all the camera components inside the lens barrel, and will attach to a smartphone magnetically (we had wondered how this would be done). The cameras will work with Android and iOS, using the smartphone display as the LCD and “controller” (via Wi-Fi and NEF). However, the original rumor stated that both cameras are technically independent of the smartphone, and was reported that they could be used without a phone. No word if these cameras would have their own storage, or utilize the phone’s (which could affect capacity, considering high-resolution images take up a lot of room).

This image shows the QX100 being used with what could be the upcoming Sony "Honami" smartphone.
This image shows the QX100 being used with what could be the upcoming Sony “Honami” smartphone.

There’s no price or date announced, although SAR is guessing September 4 to coincide with the Honami i1. Although smartphones have become popular cameras for casual photography, they have always been hindered by tech in terms of photo quality. These Sony “lens cameras,” if real, could finally bring smartphones on par with traditional digital cameras. It’s also an example of how a traditional camera company could play a role in the smartphone conversation.

Besides the “lens camera,” SAR also reported that Sony is set to announce new action cameras and NEX mirrorless cameras and lenses, possibly a full-frame NEX (Sony NEX-5t, 16-70mm E-mount lens, and a third product called the ILC-3000 in late August; Sony’s first full-frame NEX camera and Zeiss full-frame lens in late September), and the aforementioned “Honami i1” smartphone on September 4. But, most likely, it’s these “lens cameras” that will steal the show. 

(Images via PetaPixel via Sony Alpha Rumors)

Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Movies & TV

Ice meets fire in HBO's latest 'Game of Thrones' season 8 teaser

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Photography

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…