Review: Sony QX100 vs. QX1 vs. Moment Lenses

I took my shiny new Sony QX1 for a walk recently to see if it's a suitable replacement for the Sony QX100 attachable lens style camera I already own. So I went for a walk along a small creek and tested the QX1 with a Sony SEL18 and a Sony SEL70300 lens. If you're interested in my opinion about the Sony QX100, I've previously written about that.

The QX1 is an advancement from the QX100 with a few major differences. First, it supports interchangeable lenses. You can mount any lens with an e-mount connector from Sony. That basically includes the entire range of lenses that work e.g. with Sony NEX mirror-less cameras. Second, it comes with a built in flash light. But that flashlight only works with very short lenses and will produce a notable shadow in the photo if the lenses are longer. Third, it can shoot RAW.

Like the QX100 [Amazon Link], you control the QX1 [Amazon Link] entirely with your smartphone using the PlayMemories app. Despite the better image processor and image quality over the QX100, and the capability of shooting RAW, I won't keep the QX1 and go back to the QX100 for two reasons:

  • The QX1 is too heavy.
  • The QX1 is too big.

The QX100 weighs roughly 500 grams, whereas the QX1 weighs 900 grams. Together with a Sony SEL 1650 the QX1 would weigh 1.1kg, with a SEL1018 the weight is 1.4kg and with a Sony 70-300mm it weighs almost 1.8kg. Try to hold that steady when it's attached to a smartphone.

I switched to mobile photography to avoid carrying heavy and bulky photo equipment. With the Sony QX1, I would have to do that again. I'd need a camera bag for 1-2 lenses and when I mount the QX1 even with a "lightweight" wide angle lens, holding the smartphone with the QX1 attached is a pain. So I will stick with the Sony QX100 for the time being for those rare cases where I need more than 8 megapixel and an optical zoom.

Furthermore, I can mount the QX100 to a very thin handheld monopod and can get all kinds of interesting perspectives that way. Watch the faces of people when you photograph above their heads with a Sony QX100 on a stick and control it from your smartphone. You'll hear a lot of "whoa, I want that too".

And what about the Moment lenses? Are they are replacement for the QX1 with a wide and/or tele? Well, if the quality of the iPhone camera is good enough for you (like it is for me), then the Moment lenses (Read my opinion on them) are a valuable add-on whenever you want to shoot a wide landscape or get closer to something with a tele. If you want pixel perfect 20 megapixel photos, then the QX1 oder QX100 is probably a better choice for you.

You might want to checkout the neat little trick I wrote about on how to shoot 16 megapixel wide angle photos with the native iOS camera. It works particularly well with landscapes.