Sony's focus at the moment seems to be innovation, and it's done it once again with the QX range. For some time, camera manufacturers have struggled to keep up with camera phones in terms of instant connectivity and ease of use. This time we've seen something designed to work with your phone, rather than beat it.
We're intrigued by the concept of something you can easily slip into your pocket but use it in conjunction with your phone. In reality, the camera does deliver as well as a standard point and shoot camera, but it has the added advantage of instant connectivity and a nifty way to attach it to your phone.
That said, there is a lot more work to be done to make this the perfect solution, especially with regards to the app which has a fair number of problems for now. It'll also become more appealing should other app developers choose to make their apps compatible with the device – which hopefully they will. The existing PlayMemories app could do with some tweaking as well, for instance making it so the preview window doesn't flip around when shooting a landscape images.
Ultimately, as you're relying on your smartphone battery, the camera does remain limited – which is not strictly the QX10's fault, but it is worth considering if you're planning to use it a lot, on holiday for example.
The QX10 represents a genuine innovation in the way we think about compact cameras and is an intriguing prospect. The ability to clip it to your phone and connect instantly is the most appealing thing, but it's equally fun to have it roaming free and controlling from elsewhere. It's a lot of fun to experiment with at parties and outings and so on.
As it stands, the biggest let down of the QX10 at the moment is the PlayMemories app which seems to be in dire need of an update to make it more functional. A standalone compact camera generally offers more functionality than the QX10, including the option to change various settings, shoot panoramas and so on. Hopefully the app will be developed and improved upon and more developers will get involved too.
Overall, the QX10 is an excellent camera which produces great images which are on a par with similar point and shoot compact cameras. If you're looking for more control and even higher image quality, then it's worth taking a look at the QX100, which is more expensive but does give you more options.
There are a few downsides to using a QX10, mainly the fact that you're reliant on your smartphone or tablet to take (compose) the picture, so you'll be at the mercy of its battery life – unless of course you can charge it up during the day or via a portable battery charger.
Where the camera perhaps really comes into its own is when you want to shoot from an awkward angle or distance, as you can control it from up to around 10 metres away. Great for selfies, parties and perhaps even wildlife photography, it's something that you can really have fun experimenting with.
All in all it's an intriguing new prospect that will hopefully improve with age and app development.