September 25th, 2013
You may have noticed the in the announcement that Sony made early September of the QX10 and QX100. They are basically lenses with sensors in them that talk to SmartPhones over WiFi. These things were released about 3 weeks ago, but they are still sold out everywhere.
I believe this kind of design where the lens and sensor are completely separated from the user interface of the camera have a big future because people like using their SmartPhone and tablets as a user interface rather than the comparatively lame user interfaces in most cameras. This kind of design in an indirect way acknowledges that Sony, and other camera manufacturers are not very good at interface design and software, they are good at lens and sensor design. Focus on what you are good at and everyone will be better off!
Some people may look at these camera/lenses and think, Oh, I want to clamp this on my SmartPhone. Not me, this camera says, “put me on a pole so you can do better PAP (Pole Aerial Photography)!” These cameras are the perfect cameras for PAP. The QX10 is 105 grams, that’s 0.23lbs or 3.70 oz. That’s less than the current camera bracket for my painters pole weights! Perfect for putting on the end of a pole an then controlling the thing with the SmartPhone or tablet you already have.
It would take about 20 to 30 minutes to make a bracket for these camera/lenses so they would attach to a painters pole. I’m going to have a hard time resisting getting one of these.
Update 9/26: Before you buy one of these you need to read David Pogue’s review in the NYtimes pointed out by Don Miller in the comments below. This is a great concept,but the software implementation, especially in IOS7 is kind of a disaster.