The rumors, we're thrilled to see, are true. Sony's unique lens cameras are now official, and they're coming to a smartphone or tablet near you beginning later this month. As expected, there are two models on offer. Both cameras lack the display and controls of an ordinary point-and-shoot -- instead, you'll pair your Android or iOS handset or slate with the camera via WiFi, and use that device to adjust settings and frame each shot. Naturally, we expected lag to be a major issue here, but the feed was delayed by only a fraction of a second, and it was perfectly sufficient for this type of shooting. To get started, you'll power on the camera then connect to the device's ad-hoc access point. Then, launch the PlayMemories Mobile app and start shooting. You can also zoom and capture images using a toggle and shutter release on each camera, so they can be operated independently, if you're willing to roll the dice with framing and exposure. Images can only be saved to the camera's microSD or Memory Stick slot when you're not connected to a smartphone or tablet -- when the devices are paired, you can save images to either, or both.
There are two flavors on offer here, and while they look similar, internally they're quite unique. The DSC-QX10 is the "high-zoom" model, with a relatively compact 10x optic. That 18.2-megapixel model will ship in black or white for $249, but it's specifically geared toward entry-level shooters, with mid-range optics and limited manual control. Advanced photographers are going to want to focus on the "quality" QX100, which features the same 1-inch 20.2-megapixel sensor and 3.6x f/1.8-4.9 lens as the $750 RX100 Mark II. It's no surprise, then, that this chunkier lens camera will retail for $499. With it, you'll have access to advanced modes like aperture or shutter priority, but Sony opted to exclude access to a full-manual mode, so you'll need to use exposure compensation to make any tweaks. We weren't able to review image quality in detail with either model, but both performed quite well during our hands-on. Expect more in-depth analysis after the QX100 and QX10 launch in a few weeks, but you can snag a sneak peek now in our hands-on video after the break.