Sony QX1 brings a huge sensor and pro lenses to the smartphone market

Lens style camera teams up with your phone via Wi-Fi or NFC

The new Sony QX1 lens-style camera promises to transform the photographic ability of your smartphone by teaming it up with a large, APS-C sized sensor and interchangeable lenses.

As with last year's QX100 and QX10, the QX1 doesn't have a screen, and instead relies on your smartphone or tablet for composition.

The big difference here though is that for the first time, the QX range features an 20.1 million pixel APS-C sized sensor and allows you to use E-mount lenses with the camera for different effects - whether that's wide angle, macro or telephoto. A mount lenses can also be fitted to the camera via an optional adapter. A Bionz X processor - the same as found in the top-of-the-range full frame A7 range of cameras, is also included for superior noise reduction during low light, high sensitivity shooting.

Also present for the first time is the ability to capture images in raw format for maximum flexibility in post-capture processing. A pop-up flash is also included.

Zoom zoom

Alongside the QX1, Sony has also announced the QX30, which is a 30x optical zoom lens-style camera. Giving a 35mm equivalent range of 24-720mm, the QX30 features a 1/2.3 inch type, 20.4 million-pixel Exmor R CMOS sensor. Again, there's no screen included, relying on your smartphone or tablet for composition. The QX30 also has a Bionz X processor.

Last year's QX10 will now also be available in two additional colours - pink and copper.

All of the cameras connect to your phone via Wi-Fi, or if you have a compatible device, via NFC. You will need to download the free PlayMemories app for iOS or Android in order to use the cameras.

The Sony QX1 price will be £249, (about US$409, AU$439) while the Sony QX30 price will also retail for the same price.

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Amy (Twitter, Google+, blog) is a freelance journalist and photographer. She worked full-time as the News Reporter / Technical Writer (cameras) across Future Publishing's photography brands and TechRadar between 2009 and 2014 having become obsessed with photography at an early age. Since graduating from Cardiff Journalism School, she's also won awards for her blogging skills and photographic prowess, and once snatched exhibition space from a Magnum photographer.