Richard Sibley explains why we should get over our fixed ideas of what a camera should look like. Read the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 and QX10 review...
That said, alternative designs have appeared recently – the Lytro Light Field Camera was launched earlier this year and now we have new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 and QX100.
If you have missed our coverage of these innovative devices, they are cameras that consist simply of a sensor and a lens. There is no screen or viewfinder with which to compose and view images. Instead, the cameras connect to a smartphone or tablet and utilise the screen of the secondary device. Many people now have a smartphone or tablet with a sophisticated computer and a large, high-definition screen that is often more powerful and of a better quality than that found on a camera. The idea of using a large screen is also appealing, as using a tablet to compose images on a 7-10in screen is similar to using a 5x4in or larger format camera. A tablet has an even greater advantage in that the exposure, colour and contrast can all be previewed live while composing the image.
One of the complaints concerning smartphone cameras is the lack of quality and the absence of a zoom lens. The Sony QX cameras are designed to solve both these issues, providing a larger sensor and an optical zoom. With the market for smartphones and tablets around six times bigger than the digital camera market, and sales of consumer compact cameras declining, Sony’s reasoning behind the new QX range is clear. The concept is certainly innovative, but what are the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 and QX100 like to use?
Image: Taken at sunrise, this image was shot on a new, rather unconventional camera