Leaked Sony 'lens camera' range is literally a camera for your phone

Last month we reported on rumors that Sony was preparing a new type of camera accessory for smartphones, which incorporated full camera hardware into a lens-shaped add-on. Today the source of that leak, SonyAlphaRumors, has published detailed leaked renders and photos of the add-on, which looks just as crazy as was described.

Dubbed DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100, the two lenses are said to incorporate almost all the camera hardware into the lens body itself -- so sensor, image processor, Wifi and NFC connectivity and an SD card slot. As previously reported, the accessory attaches to the back of smartphones and connects over Wifi (after being paired through NFC), allowing you to use your phone as an oversized viewfinder. Significantly, today's report says the lenses will support both Android and iOS, meaning you won't necessarily need a Sony phone to use these camera add-ons.

In terms of optics, the high-end model will feature the sensor from Sony's latest RX100 Mk. II top-level compact, along with a Zeiss lens. The entry-level version (pictured) is said to feature a 1/2.3-inch 18-megapixel sensor behind an f/3.3-5.9 Sony G lens with 10X optical zoom.

As we said last month, this kind of product could be significant for Sony, which has identified cameras and smartphones as two of its main areas of focus. Certainly nothing like these "lens cameras" exists on the market today, and if they support the two largest mobile platforms at launch, then Sony could have a niche hit on its lands. There'll be the question of pricing to address first, though.

Any takers? Shout out in the comments. More pics after the break.

Source: SonyAlphaRumors (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • I'd buy!
  • Phonekenstine! This looks awesome/terrifying! Oddly enough, google didn't recognize phonekenstine as a misspelled word.
  • If the price (and picture quality) is right I'm in the market Posted via Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • Wow, this is a great idea. This opens up a world of possibilities if this succeeds.
  • Same here. If the price point is where it should be then Id be willing to add this sorta as a backup to a real DSLR.
  • Probably a silly question, but would these accessories only be usable with Sony phones or just any phone with NFC?
  • It says in the article Android and IOS. Posted via Android Central App on Sprint LTE. Seriously.
  • Ah. Cheers mate. Must have missed that part. Thanks!
  • Any phone it said it and not just phones with NFC as they said it would work with the iPhone. But you know its all rumors Posted via Android Central App on the Nexus 7 (2013)
  • Am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous? The point of a nice camera on a phone is you always have it with you. I would not always have this accessory with me. This solves no problems for me. Might as well just take my actual camera at this point. I think Nokia has the right idea, improving the camera on the phone itself. If it ran Android I would've already bought one, and despite that fact I'm still on the fence about buying one. I'm hoping the Sony i1 Honami has a solution that's well enough to keep me in the android platform with a great camera.
  • I'm with you. A solution in search of a problem. What does this solve? My Canon Elph powershot is about the same size as that "lens". Posted via Android Central App
  • I think you're missing the point. This is OPTICAL zoom! You want something silly looking like the Samsung thing with a huge lens incorporated into the back? The point of this is if you want quick shooting but aren't that concerned with high quality or zoom, use your phone's camera. If you want zoom and/or higher quality (because of the optics not just the MP count) use something like this. The idea is not that you would walk around with this attached all the time, but rather would use when you need it. Posted via Android Central App
  • Nah, I think you're missing the point. Why not take a camera instead of this attachment? One with an OPTICAL zoom!
  • Because it's a lot smaller, and packs a bigger punch without the need for an Lcd viewer. Posted via Android Central App
  • Phone + Camera is larger than Phone + Lens
  • not really... http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId... think about it, a compact camera would be thin and abit longer on length, but that lens would be thick and about 2/3 of that phone (from picture) so the compact would actually fit in your pocket, that lens is not going...
  • Because there are plenty of situations where a DSLR camera may not be the best-street photography for example or in a work or class setting. Even with a DSLR, often it is nice to have a second camera with you. I always have my phone with me so don't bother carrying a point and shoot anymore. Those lenses look like they could easily fit in a pocket so I could have them with me at work for quick photos without having to carry my DSLR.
  • Pretty much this The honami is more than likely (if you follow the rumors) going to be 20 MPs which will be nice I suppose but digital zoom will be as ordinary as the others. I would rather have this thing than the Galaxy one. Attach or detach as needed. For instance on vacation I would more than likely put it on and leave it on for the duration. For everyday, it would be off. On special occasions, I would carry it with me. OPTIONS, I haz them
  • ^^This. Also, there's a whole sh*tload of us that do not have a DSLR, are fine with their smartphone or PAS, but could absolutely justify purchasing this if the price is right.
  • Plus then is a android camera Posted via Android Central App
  • What if there's a smartphone you really like, like everything about it except the camera (Moto X, Nexus 4, etc) and you want a nice camera at times? This gives you the option to use literally whatever phone you want and if it doesn't have the best camera, all you have to do is take an extra attachment that's about the size of a portable battery pack. The other option, of course, is that you could take a dedicated point and shoot, or buy something obnoxious like the Galaxy S4 Zoom. This isn't really a bad option. I have a few phones that I really like and the only reason I put them down is because the camera sucks. If I could just clip this on and take amazing pictures, I'd probably stick with those phones.
  • This looks like an extension of the Sony play memories mobile software that links my hx300 sony compact to my phone (you can see through the camera on your phone when they're paired in wifi). I think this device would give a flexible solution to the standard no zoom cameraphone or going the whole hog on a galaxy camera....
  • I meant my Sony wx300...the hx300 doesn't have wifi....
  • Yo dawg I herd you like cameras so I made a camera for your phone so you can take a picture of your phone taking a picture. Posted via Android Central App
  • That makes my head hurt trying to Work that out!
  • Kinda like using any other camera as needed? Don't get it. Posted From my HTC One running PlayBook 3.0 via Android Central App
  • This has the potential to the best of both worlds in terms of lens quality and smartphone connectivity. The problem with the current options are you either end up with a great lens in an average phone, an average phone in a good camera or a frankenstein combination of both that solves little. At least this gives you to option to combine the phone of your choosing with some great optics for whenever the situation suits. Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't see the Zeiss one being under $500-600. Would be pleasantly surprised if it was though. The lens and sensor are the most expensive parts of the camera, and the RX100M II still sells for about $750, so....
  • Just cause it has the name zeiss doesn't mean it's zeiss quality.
  • If, as he article states, it's the same lens and sensor as the RX100M II, the quality of the lens has been covered ad nauseum.
  • I think this is a great idea! I like it because one could get nice pictures without having to have a big, honking camera phone. It also provides the benefits of a higher zoom point and shoot without the bulk.
  • How is it "without the bulk?" This clearly adds bulk. Even if it's not attached at the time, it's bulking up your other pocket, or causing you to take a bag. Now that we're down that road, why not just take a camera? If this lens is going to be dirt cheap then I understand, but I doubt that...
  • Does that larger camera provide the connectivity options of this lens/smartphone combination? Posted via Android Central App
  • The advantage is that you'd be able to use the android/iphone interface, which includes navigation, connectivity, screen, and sharing options which will be superior to any standard camera interface.
  • You get the power of an Android powered camera. Plus, the lens isn't as big as a separate point and shoot.
  • Wauw! Definitely a better way of doing high end camera/phone than Samsungs Galaxy S4 Zoom.
  • If its price is way above my phones price no! If its say half then I may buy! I can not see that being tho? Sony showing promise again. Posted via Android Central App
  • Wow! With an integration with Google Glass for the image display and settings through Sony Smartwatch, this will be a killer solution.
  • You would look like the Borg. Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • I think this is awesome. Assuming it doesn't cost more than a full camera.
  • I think this is brilliant, something like this could bring a whole new market of accessory. Give me a solid lense and zoom capability this would be a great thing for the mid level photofile. My wife would love it. Posted via Android Central App
  • Also useful as a surveillance device. I'd get one.
  • Lol, I like the way you think. Posted via Android Central App
  • With that thickness of the lens, I would rather carry a compact P&S. P.S: You guys sure heard of the Nokia 1020, right?
    [And for your it runs on "Windows Phone" logic? Yes it does! You're free to cry that none of your oh-so-awesome-android OEMS could do it.]
  • Yes, we have. Too bad a camera isn't the reason I buy a phone. I'm sure the 1020 will take nice pictures for the 500 people that buy it. Would love for Nokia to cut ties with the ball and chain that is WP.
  • LMAO - nice Cheers!
  • Funny how you fail to see Amazing technological breakthroughs because of your obsession with an OS. Moreover its past the point you look at WP and Nokia separately and cry for them not supporting the Android. Suggestion : And try using even the absolutely low range Nokia 520 and you'll see what WP offers and why people at Nokia took the WP decisions. Also dig a few articles at WPCentral to see how Nokia is turning itself around. So easy to be ignorant eh?
  • Interesting but I think I'll stick to the Samsung Smart Camera. Not only does it support live syncing of photos but you can do the nice smartphone viewfinder trick to get those hard to get shots.
  • Idea seems awesome. I'd definitely get one! Though 10x zoom is barely "great". I'd love to see a version with something better than my 18x camera.
  • If they can sell this thing at around $150 then I'd grab one for sure. Posted via Android Central App
  • And I was planning to get photojojo lenses in about a month. Well this completely changed my opinion on additional lenses and hopefully this piece of equipment, which won't be overpriced, is going to make a success. Credits goes to sony who got the idea of making it first. Posted via Android Central App
  • This thing looks awesome. Hopefully it's not outrageous in price though. Posted via Android Central App
  • I agree with most that if it's a great idea and I would save up money for one as long as it's not too much. It may need to be made with cheaper pays instead of top end to keep the money down, but I'm ok with that. One thing I don't like about my SLR is I have to hook it up to the computer to get the pictures. Posted via Android Central App
  • This is innovation ladies and gentlemen! I'm down (price and software pending)
  • Now this is something. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Posted via Android Central App
  • Conceptually - how different is this from carrying a good compact camera, say a G12 Cannon? I still pick up an SLR for some things and my G10 if that too heavy or bulky. My phone is the base level compact device; I wear the thing. So where does this approach "belong"? Posted via Android Central App
  • This is actually #1 on my list of accessories I wish I had.
    Questions abound, but most salient: Obviously, in addition to having all the camera hardware and NFC/WiFi, the device will also have to be powered. I wonder what battery life will be like with so little room to have one.
  • The concept is cool, but I wouldn't want to buy it. If I have to carry a lens, then I'll stick to my GH2. If I want a point and shoot replacement, I'd get a Lumia 1020. Part of the appeal of lenses is that they exceed the life of the sensors.. I think this is an example of just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
  • I dont see a xenon flash on any of the pictures. The main reason why I would want this over my stock phone camera would be for night shots. My Note's camera does pretty well in day light.
  • this will NOT cost less than $300 why?
    first its a sony
    second the camera it shares the lense with costs $750 (rx100m2)
    third sony is soon to release the honami, they wont undercut the honami by pricing this sub $200, the honami (i3) will cost at least $700
    fourth i've yet to confirm whether or not this thing has OIS or FLASH if any of those above points ring true then this would be a horrible attempt by sony to try counter the camare phone market here is to a $50 camera attachment but knowing sony... it is only a wet dream
  • I was actually waiting for this phone! It's a niche but I'll buy it immediately. Do not expect it to be cheap. Anything with interchangeable lenses are not cheap.
  • I agree that it sounds like a good idea at first, but once you think about it, it's a dumb idea. Not only is it as a bulky as a good camera, but it's an additional thing you have to take out of your pocket and attach it to your phone before you can use it. If I've got a good camera, I can just pull it out of my pocket and start snapping.
  • I'd absolutely put some dollas down for this, assuming the price is right. Cheers!
  • This is amazing, and yes, I would buy it! Could you imagine Sense Image x Sony Lens = PHOTOGASM OVERLOAD.
  • Awesome idea, Sony. Cannot wait to see tests of this. I'm in most likely.
  • Just take my money already, I want it!
  • It depends on what the price is, but I would say that you could just buy a WiFi camera or a camera that can use an Eye-Fi card. You would still be carrying a second device if you bought this, so why not just buy a camera?
  • If the price is not greater than 200 then I'm in.
  • I'd like to try this out depending on the price.
  • Love the camera, but price is definitely a factor for purchasing it.
  • I think I'd end up leaving it at y home. I think the S4 zoom implementation is a lot more useful Posted via Android Central App
  • I think people are missing the fact that you don't have to have the lens attached to the camera while snapping photos. Independent viewfinder, anyone? You can't do that with a P&S.
  • It looks to make large bulky smart phones even larger, more bulky and more cumbersome.
    Wasn't the whole idea of the cell phone its compact size?
    With 41 megapixel camera's available now who needs this monstrosity hanging off the end of their smartphone?
    It looks like just another way to help you drop your phone and break it and now also an expensive lense ad on too! Posted via Android Central App on my Galaxy S4