Sony’s QX1 Looks To Bring Interchangeable Pro Lenses To Your Smartphone

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Sony’s QX series of cameras is an oddity, but one that the company is apparently still committed to – a new leak from Sony Alpha Rumors reveals a treasure trove of press images depicting a so-called “QX1″ model, which takes the basic concept of the QX10 and QX100 smartphone camera accessories and adds interchangeable lenses.

The QX10 and QX100, for those unfamiliar with Sony’s strange forays into the world of snap-on lenses, are standalone cameras (complete with a sensor and lens combo) that connects to your smartphone via an app for viewfinder and image review functions. Essentially, it replaces the body and controls of a camera, while keeping the essential bits in an external hardware accessory, with the aim of offering serious image quality in a more convenient form factor that takes advantage of the devices we all carry around with us anyway.

SmartShot-ILCE-QX1_14_zpsa7ccef19The QX1 would apparently build on this by allowing owners to swap out lenses on a smartphone sensor mount base, with the range of Sony’s E-mount interchangeable lenses being compatible with the device. This means any lens that you could use on a Sony NEX-series camera would work here. The sensor in the companion unit is also said to be an APS-C, which is the same size as those found in most entry-level DSLRs, and it will also include a built-in pop-up flash.

The mount can operate both affixed to a companion smartphone, or controlled at a distance from a device while the sensor/lens combo are positioned separately or placed atop a tripod, for instance, meaning this could actually be a pretty versatile accessory for genuine photogs, possibly with better value than a dedicated camera because expensive parts like the LCD viewfinder display are left to the companion smartphone. Sony Alpha Rumors says it’ll be announced in Berlin tomorrow, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to get a price and date.