Sony recently introduced the QX10 and QX100 which are photography lenses with a sensor – a digital camera in it’s most stripped-downform. IMHO, these as the future of digital photography.
We have seen massive developments in digital camera’s; starting with a few very low-res at the end of the previous century to, approx. 20 years later, where nearly all new camera’s are digital and analogue phased out or a niche at best.
With all modern camera’s, like most products, the evolution is accumulative upon previous versions. This means they are getting faster, better sensors, better lenses and new features, but they never really change.
One of the big differences on the DSLR’s for example, apart from the sensors, are the screens. Where the first cameras had a 2” 300K-pixel display, it’s pretty common to see 3” with 1.040.000 pixels displays nowadays
And the recent advancements in mobile phones brought screen resolutions rocketing quickly past those of cameras. Now a 4 or 5” display with full HD is already about to be replaced with even sharper screens.
This is where the new cameras of Sony really start to make sense. By connecting the camera wirelessly to your phone all of a sudden a compact camera with HD+ screen is born.
Although these cameras can’t yet compete with a DSLR, as compact cameras they can stand their own. The QX100 is, at almost half the price, a stripped down version (less buttons, no raw and no screen) of the Sony RX100 II compact camera.
You may find it annoying to have an extra device in your pocket and you are partly right. Carrying it around requires a bag because it does not fit really in your pocket. But the quality of photos is much better than those from the camera on your phone. Phone cameras will always lag behind compact camera’s due to lack of optics and space issues.
Looking to the future, the choice of Sony makes more sense when taking in account that devices like the Google Glass are coming. Now you will be able to see where you aim your camera in the top right corner of your view. This while having both hands free to aim, steady and even shoot from angles you could not achieve with a normal camera or smartphone.
Sony just took the next step in the path towards the disappearing of the phone.
After Glass we will welcome devices like the Intel Edison and various wearables that are on the way. These devices will all interconnect and eventually will probably replace our phones as we know them today.
With these devices you can imagine that what we know now as a smartcomputercamerainternetphone is like the fax machine was to the internet. Just not in the same league.
The modular phone is happening, just not in the way some think.