Sony QX1 and QX30: Bringing real and interchangeable lenses to your smartphone (hands-on)

Sony has added two new lens-style cameras to the QX range at IFA 2014, the QX1 and QX30.

Just like the QX10 and QX100 - launched at last year's IFA - the new lenses will connect to your smartphone. The idea is to give you a high quality sensor with proper optics, which will in turn enable you to take better pictures when you are out and about.

The QX30 adds a 30x optical zoom and 60x Clear Image zoom option to the QX mix, while the QX1 works as an adapter to allow you to use your Sony E-mount lenses with your phone.

READ: Once again: What are Sony's lens-style cameras?

The QX30 follows the same design path as the existing QX10 and QX100 with a good solid build that features the mount to secure it to your smartphone.

There is a 20.4-megapixel 1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor and Sony G lens, as well as a Bionz X processor under the hood.

The QX30 also has Optical SteadyShot to try and keep everything stable through the 24-700mm range, and there is lock-on AF as well as Full HD video recording.

There are zoom controls, a shutter button and a front control ring to allow you to use the lens independently. 

The mounting clamp is secure and it is compatible with most smartphones on the market so if you don't have a Sony smartphone this isn't a problem. NFC pairing makes connecting it to your device really simple.

Once you have tapped, if you have a Sony smartphone, the PlayMemories Mobile app will launch and it was really quick to load. This is an updated version of the app, but we didn't have the chance to fully test it on the stand at IFA: it promises more controls and faster connections than previous versions.

Next up is the slightly more exciting QX1. This allows you to couple up your Sony E-Mount lenses with your smartphone.

This model follows the same design as the other QX models but it comes with a built-in flash and the E-Mount fitting to enable you to attach any E-Mount lens to it. It is also compatible with A-Mount lenses and any other manufacturer's lenses through conversion kits that you can buy separately. This can lead to some amusing looking options.

There is a 20.1-megapixel APS-C-type Exmor CMOS sensor on board, along with NFC to make pairing to your smartphone nice and simple.

We tried it on the Sony stand with a number of different E-Mount lenses from small to larger ones, all of which worked well enough.

With a device like the QX1 the proof of the pudding is really in the eating and we didn't have nearly enough time to put this quirky device through its paces.

Both the QX30 and the QX1 will be available from Sony retailers shortly for £249. Of course, with the QX1, you'll need to supply your own glass.

To make these lens-style cameras more adaptable, Sony has also released a free-angle mount, pictured here with the QX30.