Sony ILCE QX1 Test: System Camera In The Modular Construction Principle

Sony has an interesting solution for those who are no longer satisfied with the camera in your own Smartphone or it was never with the SmartShot plug-in cameras QX10 and QX100. Now, Sony is pushing this principle of the camera Pimpens with the QX1 on the tip. We have tried the Sony Kit set for ambitious Smartphone photographers and tell you what it is good.

For a year, Sony QX10 and QX100 was able to gain experiences. Apparently, interest in the plug-in cameras is big enough but that now the QX1 an advancement on the market comes with, that should clear up with the weaknesses of its predecessor.

APS-C Sensor And Interchangeable Lens

Instead of a fixed installed objective as QX10 and QX100, the QX1 now actually consists of two components: the sensor and the lens. To connect both Sony is of course on the in-house E-mount bayonet system, that already at the NEX cameras and also with some entry-level alpha models is used. Through the E-mount system all lenses can be of course with this system use, are designed for the APS-C sensor of the QX1. The trade comes the ILCE-QX1 Sony as a kit with a 16-50 mm lens, which has an aperture of 3.5-5.6 and an optical image stabilizer.

The Japanese of their own Alpha 5000 system camera have taken the APS-C sensor of the QX1. He is much larger than the sensor of the QX100. While this has a total area of 13.2 x 8.8 mm, the APS-C sensor with 23.2 x 15.8 mm pumps up to almost double in size. Thanks to this larger area Sony accommodates almost the same number of pixels with 20.1 mega pixels like in the QX100 their 20.2 megapixels – but the pure megapixel count is not relevant. The more pixels of the QX1 can absorb more light than the QX100, and should therefore provide better images.

Large Capacity And Simple Handling

At furnish of QX1, Sony has not changed much compared to previous models. A separate trigger can be found behind the back cover also the slot for a microSD card is located next to the battery directly on the housing. For some dimly lit environments, the QX1 still has a fold-out Flash. This equipment allows already, to use the QX1 without a Smartphone as a camera – but only with a Smartphone a full system camera is from the QX1 only.

The camera has an own Wi-Fi chip that allows you build a connection with an Android or iOS device. In addition still the play memories app must be installed, because without this, you may indeed have built a connection to the QX1, but has no access to the camera settings, the store, or even the control of the camera. The information also via NFC between Smartphone and camera can be exchanged to facilitate teaching. Plus I could not pair while an iPhone 6 per NFC with the QX1, but also the manual set up went quickly out of hand.

As also with the QX100 and QX10, a bracket with two retaining hooks fold-out is available at the back of the plug-in camera. Between the two grippers can you fix your Smartphone, it then but not be wider than an iPhone 6 plus should. A Samsung Galaxy note 4 for example would no longer fit in the standard bracket.

But since it is connected to the camera via WLAN with the Smartphone, it is not mandatory to attach them to the back. You can screw the SmartShot camera on a tripod for example – a thread exists – and comfortably raise the image from a distance of up to five meters. This is also a weakness of the system revealed: you pressed the shutter via Smartphone, it takes something too long, fired up the photo. Meanwhile, the stability of the combination of Wi-Fi has become better: there were still problems, here with its predecessors the QX1 during my test in this respect be behaved perfectly.

Play Memories, The App To Rule The QX1

Nothing new there is in the play memories app is used to control the QX1. The white balance, image size and of course also the exposure can be adjusted via the app. The desired focus point is chosen and implemented quickly from the camera by tapping the touch screen. Who wants can completely switch to manual mode: all lenses usable with the QX1 have a focus ring. Friends of RAW images can look forward, because the QX1 stores also in RAW format. That remain as dropped file, but would take on the memory card of the camera as a transfer on the Smartphone is much too long.

Speaking of pictures transmitted: after an image has been shot, the QX1 via Wi-Fi transfers a reduced resolution version on the Smartphone, so you can distribute them directly in the social networks. If you prefer videos records, then that works with the QX1 finally in full HD. The so recorded clips can be sent manually after recording via Wi-Fi on the Smartphone.


The Sony QX1 is a brilliant gadget for the ambitious photographer of the Smartphone. The images are better quality than any camera which is installed in a Smartphone. Also will still increase the quality, because you can use other lenses with high-quality lenses thanks to the E-mount system. A disadvantage is that the response time is not the shortest. QX1, as also the sister models QX10 and QX100, still not suitable for spontaneous snapshots and subjects in fast motion.

It remains to be answered only the question of the price – and here Sony has worried actually with me and in the editorial positive surprise for. The kit with the 16 – 50 mm lens is priced at 449 euros.