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Sony updates 'lens camera' lineup with QX30, interchangeable-lens QX1

Zach Honig
09.03.14
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At last year's IFA in Berlin, Sony announced its first two "lens cameras," a pair of point-and-shoot cams that clip onto your smartphone. You use your phone's display to control the camera, and while you can technically fire off shots using the integrated zoom toggle and shutter release, there's no built-in LCD. Given the limitations, they're not for everyone, but there's apparently been enough interest for Sony to keep the QX line going, with a 30x zoom version and a unique interchangeable-lens model that accepts any E-mount optic now making their debut here in Berlin.

Gallery: Sony QX30 lens camera hands-on | 15 Photos

Gallery: Sony QX1 lens camera | 25 Photos

The first model, the QX30, sports a 30x, 24-720mm f/3.5-6.3 optical zoom lens. There's a 20.4-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor, a 12,800 top ISO and 1080/60p video support. You can store shots both on the camera's microSD card and on your smartphone as well -- images and videos can be transferred instantly via WiFi, and you can push pics to the web straight from your phone. The replaceable battery can keep you going for 200 shots or 45 minutes of HD video, and you can charge up the camera via micro-USB. The QX30 ships next month for $350.

Sony's QX1 is by far the most interesting model of the bunch. There's an interchangeable lens mount and a large 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, essentially giving your smartphone DSLR-like image quality. You'll have access to many of the same features as Sony's mirrorless camera lineup, including a 16,000 top ISO, 1080/30p video, advanced shooting modes and support for RAW captures. There's also a pop-up flash and a much beefier battery (the same pack that Sony ships with its mirrorless cams), letting you capture up to 440 stills or 150 minutes of video on a single charge. The QX1 is expected in stores in November for $400.

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