Review: Sony Cyber-shot QX10

Sony QX10 (14)

Smartphones have all kinds of accessories available to them, from covers, to battery cases, to multimedia adaptors and of course the range of Bluetooth enabled devices. Now we have a wireless camera that is meant to bring extremely high end photos to mosts smartphones on the market. We don’t want to give away to much in the intro, so for now let’s just take a look at the specs.

  • 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Sony Lens G
  • Micro USB
  • MicroSDHC/M2 Memory slot
  • Removable 630mAh battery

Now it’s time to set up the device and there are two different ways of going about this depending if your phone supports NFC or not. If it does, then simply enable NFC on your phone and then touch it of the top of the Qx10 where it shows the NFC icon. Even if the camera is powerd off it will start up and connect directly to your phone. What’s even better is that you won’t have to enter in the password for the device. The phone will launch the Play Memories app straight away if you already have it installed and connect to the device, if not, you will be directed to the Play Store to download it.

That’s pretty much it for connecting to it through NFC and it works perfectly and is extremely quick. Connecting without NFC requires a few more steps. First you need to power on the QX10 and then bring up the Play Memories application. It will automatically start scanning devices, you simply click on the device when it finds it and input the password, which is under the battery cover and in the manual. Once entered you are connected to the device and up and running. On iOS devices you must search for a WiFI network and enter the password first and then bring up the Play Memories app.

That’s it for connecting to the device, so now let’s take a look at the Qx10 itself.

The Play Memories app is the software between your smartphone and the camera and let’s you control the zoom, switch between photo and video mode and of course copy photos already taken. So we are going to take a closer look at the application itself.

Above is the full gallery,but we are going to break down some sections of the app for a better idea of what it does.

Main screen
Main screen

Here we have the main screen. It will detail the current settings and mode selected as per the resolution above. The top left brings up the different Auto modes which include Supier Auto, Inteligent Auto and Program Auto. The top right allows you to choose between Photo and Video. Finally the bottom right brings up the settings for the current mode.

Photo Settings 1
Photo Settings 1

The Photo settings include Copy from Connected Device, Self-timer, Still Image Size, Review image, Save Options, Size of Review image, Beep of Connected Device. Below we have broken down what each option does. The video settings only include Copy from connected device, Beep of connected device and Format.

  • Copy from Connected Device: Brings up the menu to copy specfic images/videos directly from the Qx10
  • Self-timer: Selected timer between Off, 2sec and 10sec.
  • Still Image Size:  Select resolution, options include 4:3 18MP, 4:3 5MP, 16:9 13MP, and 16:9 2MP
  • Review image: Select between on, 2sec, and off, decided whether to show you the image you have just taken.
  • Save Options: Select whether to save the image to your smartphone directly after taking it.
  • Size of Review image:  Select between 2M and Original for Review image and Save Option size.
  • Beep of Connected Device: Select between Shutter, On, and Off sounds when taking shots.

That’s pretty much it for the Play Memories application. Will will give our thoughts on the application in our conclusion along with everything else.

Now let’s take a look at some photos taken with the camera, we include some shots taken right before and after zooming in fully, to give you a complete idea of how well the Zoom works, after that we move on to some videos taken with the Qx10.

Photos

Videos

Conclusion

The Sony QX10 is one of the first of its kind and brings a high quality camera to most Android and iOS devices, but also allows you to take shots in a different fashion by either having the camera attached to the device or using it remotely at a distance. We include a break down of both the photos and videos separately and then finally the device itself in a sort of overall type conclusion, but first let’s start with the Play Memories app that controls the entire device when using it with your smartphone.

Play Memories

The application provided for controlling the QX10 does a decent job taking picture, recording video and of course using the 10x optical Zoom, however it does lack any special features beyond the basic settings and control. You do have the option to change the resolution of the photos take, but sadly not the video which is static at 1,440 x 1080. We have been spoiled with all of the random and sometimes gimmicky features and modes that are included in smartphones now, but we do get the sense that the Play Memories app lacks anything special other than basic controls over the camera.

The App does perform quite well, with the odd freeze just to either connection or buffer, but most of the time the lag is unnoticeable and that’s a huge plus for anything camera related. Zooming may often show some jumps when recording, but rest assure the finally video won’t have it. That brings us to coying the content. The QX10 offers a memory card slot that stores the photos and video and the app has the options to either copy them over to your phone right after they have been taken or simply leave them on the card and you can manually copy them later or just leave them there.

Over all the app does great controlling the device and works well as a view finder for taking pictures and videos, but lacks any special features or modes that bring it on par with stock camera apps that feature more settings and features.

Photos

The QX10 does offer a high resolution Exmor sensor and the quality in most shots are there but we feel the biggest benefit to the QX10 is having that 10x optical zoom which is something 99-percent of smartphones are missing. Some photos did show some signs of focus issues when taking pictures of moving objects or if the camera itself was moving a but too much. The Qx10 does offer decent quality, but possibly not enough to make those with current high ends device sway from just using there built-in camera to take the pictures, but thankfully the QX10 doesn’t descriminate against lower end devices and will work will with them, The Zoom and wireless feautres the device have, we still feel it does still offer something important when it comes to taking pictures (The ZOOOOOOMMMMM)

Videos

The video side of the device lacks any resolution change and is static at 1,440 x 1080p. Technically still 1080p, but not completely. Quality wise we didn’t see anything that impressed us greatly. The videos were pretty smooth with the quality being fairly average and less than what high end smartphones have to offer,  The Zoom worked well and didn’t have any issues focusing when transitioning between zoomed in/out. There was some notice of motor noise when we were in a quiet area, but it was very faint. While quality isn’t spectacular, the ability to not only record videos, but seeing them tirelessly add some great functionalities to the QX10 and we can see some creative ways to using the Qx10 already.

Overall

We love the Qx10, we think it’s a genius device. Most people nowadays have a smartphone and having a decent spec camera with a optical zoom as an attachment just seems like it should have been done before. The QX10 may not bring high enough quality to table to compete with typical point and shoot cameras, but the functionality is clearly there and it offers something over a point and shoot camera.

That doesn’t negate the price tag the QX10 which is set pretty high at €299 and this will have more of an impact on whether users decide to get one or not and we can understand that as most of the users out there who would drop that kind of money on an accessory will more than likely have a top end device that comes with a pretty decent camera, the extra features of having an optical zoom and of course the camera being wireless should add to the list. Basically we think the QX10 is great and perhaps not the best attempt at the moment, for the cheaper counter part of the Qx100, it is definitely a great one none the less.

The QX10 still gets a gold award and while some may thing the price tag would hinder its over all award, we love the idea of the QX10 and it most areas it preforms well, the biggest draw is the fact it is one of the first of its kind, perhaps the gold award is 70-percent the device itself and 30-percent the idea behind it. Perhaps many will and possibly should wait for the second generation of these or at least more features added to the application. We do feel the Qx10 is a great step towards a brilliant accessory.

geektech gold award

Craig O'Sullivan

Creator of Geektech.ie Passionate about Technology and always looking for that next cool gadget or app

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