Camera360 has updated its popular camera app for Android, bringing with it support for the Sony QX10 and QX100 lens-style cameras.Sony announced that the API would be available for these devices alongside their announcement at IFA 2013 and Camera360 quickly followed-up saying it would be offering such support.
The QX10 and its big brother, the QX100, are missing a built-in LCD. Instead, framing, image review, configuration and even storage are all handled on another device: your smartphone. These “lens cameras,” as they’ve become unofficially known, mount directly on a handset you already own, pairing with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app via WiFi. The benefits are considerable. The absence of a display allows for a more compact body, improved power efficiency and a lower price tag. The QX100, for example, includes the same optics as Sony’s flagship RX100 Mark II, but retails for $500, compared to $750 for its fully equipped counterpart.
Controlling the Smart Lens is done via the Sony PlayMemories Mobile app – available for Android and iOS. Given that it’s working over a wireless connection it’s pretty responsive. There’s a small delay, around half a second, between pressing the shutter button on your smartphone and the camera actually taking a picture (presuming that it’s already focused). Of course, you can always use the shutter release on the Smart Lens when not shooting remotely.
It supports NFC, so you can simply tap the two devices together to turn on the lens and launch the app on your smartphone. Even then it has to set up a wireless network before you can start framing your shot, which took around 7 seconds in our experience. This is a big point against the Smart Lens as it’s not ideal when you just want to pull out a camera, take a quick snap, turn it off and put it away again. Without NFC you have to open the app yourself and then press connect, which adds further faff and time to the process.
Photos you take are saved at the cameras full resolution to a micro SD card in the Smart Lens. There are also various options for how images are sent to the smartphone as you shoot, so you can have a downscaled image sent (perfect for quick uploads and sharing), a full resolution one, or none at all. You can shoot HD video too, which is then saved to the memory card.