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Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-QX100

Large-sensor, smartphone-attachable lens-style camera with bright 3.6X zoom lens

1 Review | 3 questions - 3 answers

Item # 158QX100

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Our take on the Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-QX100

Smartphones have revolutionized photography, and made the exchange of images a whole new form of language these days. But picture this scenario: it's dusk by a lake, and you're on family vacation. You exit the house just as your son, at the shore, feels a tug on his fishing pole. You pull out your phone and... oh, forget it, it's too dim and you're too far away.

The Sony QX-100 lens-type camera in action (smartphone not included)

The Sony 'QX100 lens-type camera in action (smartphone not included)

Ever miss a photo opportunity with your smartphone?

Smartphones have revolutionized photography, and made the exchange of images a whole new form of language these days. But picture this scenario: it's dusk by a lake, and you're on family vacation. You exit the house just as your son, at the shore, feels a tug on his fishing pole. You pull out your phone and... oh, forget it, it's too dim and you're too far away.

Or, there's this: You touch your new Cyber-shot®; DSC-QX100 lens camera to your NFC-enabled smartphone and pull both up to your eye-line so you can zoom in with a bright, sharp, image-stabilized lens. In seconds, you've captured the thrill on his face and the result is almost instantly available on your smartphone for upload or emailing to the grandparents. The difference between owning just a smartphone and owning the 'QX100 and a smartphone is capturing this classic moment and untold others.

It's a self-contained camera — without the bulk

The 'QX100 is equipped with clip-on extensions so you can fasten it directly to your smartphone — or, once wirelessly connected, the camera and your phone can be separated by a few feet. It has a 3.6X zoom, so you'll be able to get in nice and close on your subject. The built-in, large 1" sensor has a detailed 20 megapixels and remarkable sensitivity. And the bright Zeiss lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8, so that subject will be crisp and clear, even in low light. Everything you missed from your smartphone camera is available now from a self-contained camera that can clip onto your belt for easy storage.

There's a slot for a memory card, so you can store full-size pictures redundantly with your phone. It shoots crisp, smooth video as well, and even has a built-in microphone and tripod screw thread so your next production will be rock-stable and easy to hear.

    • 20.2-megapixel effective recording
    • Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* 3.6X optical zoom (7.2X with Clear Image interpolation)
    • records photos and video onto optional Micro SD and SDHC memory cards, and Memory Stick® Micro media
    • delivers 1440 x 1080/30p HD video in web-friendly MP4 format
    • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 29-105mm (16:9 still mode)
    Special Features:
    • NFC/Wi-Fi® allows one-touch connection with smartphone
    • control and monitor your camera via Sony PlayMemories camera apps
    • light-sensitive Zeiss lens provides superior low light performance
    • Optical SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active mode for blur-free movies, even while walking
    • intelligent auto (iAuto) mode chooses perfect scene mode for your shooting situation
    • 1" "Exmor R" CMOS sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm) for sharp photos even in low light
    • face detection controls focus and exposure for accurate portraits
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB interface (also charges via USB)
    • 2-1/2"W x 2-1/2"H x 2-1/8"D
    • weight (without battery or memory): 5.8 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery (NP-BN14)
    • AC adapter
    • micro USB cable
    • wrist strap
    • smartphone attachment/belt clip
    • manual

    The DSC-QX100 is everything I would have hoped. All of the features I would want in a DSLR now in a very compact, easy to carry, easy to access device. The picture quality is a significant improvement over my iPhone 5. Better color, better clarity.

    patrick, Valley Forge

    What's in the Box:

    • Lens-style digital camera (black)
    • Smartphone attachment (black)
    • NP-BN Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6V 630mAh 2.3Wh)
    • 27" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and microUSB on other end)
    • Wrist strap
    • Quick Start Guide (En)
    • Quick Start Guide (Fr/Sp)
    • Reference Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty sheet
    • Product Registration promo sheet (English)
    • Product Registration promo sheet (Canada)
    • Wrist Strap recommendation

    Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-QX100 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (1 Review)

    Love it!

    patrick from Valley Forge on 12/6/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The DSC-QX100 is everything I would have hoped. All of the features I would want in a DSLR now in a very compact, easy to carry, easy to access device. The picture quality is a significant improvement over my iPhone 5. Better color, better clarity.

    Pros: Form factor (size, weight), Ease of USe

    Cons: You have to charge it (or have extra batteries that are charged). No bluetooth but I knew that when I bought it.


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size Smartphone
    Adjustable-angle LCD No
    Wi-Fi Built-in
    Touchscreen No
    Waterproof No
    GPS-enabled No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 29 - 105mm
    Optical Zoom 3.6x
    Digital Zoom N/A
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Manual Exposure No
    Built-in Flash No
    HDMI Output No
    Internal Memory None
    Memory Media MicroSD/SDHC
    Sensor Size 1" CMOS
    Megapixels 20.2
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Highest Resolution 5472 x 3648
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1440 x 1080
    Width (inches) 2-1/2
    Height (inches) 2-1/2
    Depth (inches) 2-3/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 6.3
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research


    Overview: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 is a unique lens-style camera that attaches right to your smartphone. It has a high quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* (T-Star) lens with 3.6x optical zoom, and can take still images up to 20MP and High Definition videos. Images can be stored on an inserted memory card, or the smartphone's memory, or both. The QX100 is less than 2-1/2" in diameter and approximately 2-3/16" in length (2-7/16" with the smartphone attachment), and can be easily carried in a pocket or purse.

    Image Sensor: The QX100 is equipped with a back-illuminated, 1" Exmor R CMOS image sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 20.9M total pixels, and 20.2M effective pixels. Coupled with the BIONZ image processor, the QX100 can produce much higher quality photos than smartphone cameras, even in low light.

    Lens: The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* F1.8-4.9 zoom lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28-100mm for 3:2 still images, 30-108mm (4:3), 29-105mm (16:9), and 36-127 (1:1). For 16:9 movies, the equivalent focal length is 33-120mm with SteadyShot in Active Mode. The QX100 offers Auto and Manual focusing, and offers One-touch AF focusing if the subject is not in the center of the frame. Focus Range in Auto Focus Mode is 1.92" to infinity (W) and 21.6" to infinity (T).

    Manual Control Ring: The QX100 features a SLR-style control ring that allows you to manually control focusing and zoom.

    Optical Steady Shot: The camera is equipped with Optical SteadyShot to help prevent blurring due to camera shake. Optical SteadyShot is most effective when shooting in low light situations, or when zoomed in. It is available for both still image and movie recording.

    Still Image Recording: The DSC-QX100 can record JPEG still images in two sizes and four aspect ratios:

    • 3:2 Aspect Ratio: Large 20M (5472 x 3648), Small 5M (2736 x 1824)
    • 16:9 Aspect Ratio: Large 17M (5472 x 3080), Small 4.2M (2720 x 1528)
    • 4:3 Aspect Ratio: Large 18M (4864 x 3648), Small 5M (2592 x 1944)
    • 1:1 Aspect Ratio: Large 13M (3648 x 3648), Small 3.7M (1920 x 1920)

    Movie Recording: You can record high quality HD video in MP4 format with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and 2-channel AAC audio recorded by the built-in microphone. Movies are recorded in 4:3 aspect ratio (12M: 1440 x 1080) at 30 fps.

    Smartphone Attachment: The QX100 has no viewfinder or LCD monitor of its own, but instead, uses your smartphone's large LCD screen for composing and viewing your photos. The included smartphone attachment lets you clamp the camera onto your smartphone. The camera can be operated while attached to, or separate from, the smartphone. A standard 1/4" thread is provided for tripod mounting, if desired.

    Wi-Fi/NFC: No cables are required to connect the camera to your smartphone. Through the use of the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app, you can wirelessly connect via Wi-Fi. The QX100 also allows One-touch connection with compatible smartphones via NFC (near-field communication).

    Smartphone Compatibility: The PlayMemories Mobile app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices:

    • Android: PlayMemories Mobile is available from Google Play for Android OS v2.3-4.2. Android 4.0 or later is required to use One-touch functions (NFC).
    • iOS: PlayMemories Mobile is available from the App Store for iOs v4.3-6.0.

    Image Storage: The QX100 has a memory card slot that will accept microSD or Memory Stick Micro (M2). You can not record movies without a memory card inserted. Still images can be saved to the memory card or wirelessly transferred to your smartphone's memory, or both. The image saved to the smartphone can be the original recorded size, or reduced to 2M. Approximately 1200 still images or 1 hour 20 minutes of movie footage can be stored on an 8 GB memory card.

    Camera Control: Through the PlayMemories Mobile app, you can control many functions of the camera. Not only can you activate the shutter release, you can zoom in and out, change shooting modes, choose the still image size or activate the 2-second or 10-second self timer.

    Exposure Modes: You can choose from the following Exposure Modes:

    • Intelligent Auto: Shoots still images with the settings adjusted automatically. The camera automatically recognizes the shooting scene and conditions, and makes the appropriate settings. Scenes that the camera can recognize include Portrait, Infant, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Backlight Portrait, Backlight, Landscape, Macro, Low Light, or Spotlight. The camera can also recognize if the camera is set on a tripod or moving.
    • Superior Auto: Shoots still images in higher quality than with Intelligent Auto. Superior Auto can also recognize if the camera is moving in bright or dark surroundings, and will make exposure settings accordingly. This mode takes longer to record because the camera overlays images to create a high-quality image with less subject blur and noise.
    • Program Auto: Shoots with the exposure adjusted automatically--both aperture and shutter speed settings. You can adjust the EV value and white balance in the Settings Menu.
    • Aperture Priority: Shoot with your choice of aperture setting and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed (8 to 1/2000 sec) for the optimum exposure.

    White Balance and EV: When shooting in Program Auto, you can adjust the White Balance and Exposure Value. White Balance settings make the colors appear natural, and include Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (warm white, cool white, day white, daylight), and Color Temperature. Exposure Value can compensate for over- or under-exposed photos, overriding the camera's metering results. You can adjust the EV manually in a range of -3.0 EV to +3.0 EV in 1/3 EV intervals.

    ISO Sensitivity: The ISO Sensitivity is set automatically between ISO 160 and ISO 25600 for recording still images, and between ISO 160 and ISO 3200 (equivalent) for movies.

    Transferring Images: Images and movies stored in the camera's memory card can be transferred to your smartphone and/or computer:

    • Smartphone: Images can be transferred wirelessly via Wi-Fi from the camera to the smartphone. Using your smartphone to view your image files, and select the image(s) you want to copy. You can copy them in their original size or change the size, if desired.
    • Computer: Using the included micro USB cable, you can transfer images from the camera's memory card to your computer (Mass Storage mode). You can also transfer the images wirelessly through the downloadable PlayMemories Home image management software. If connected in Mass Storage mode, you cannot connect via Wi-Fi.

    Power Requirements: The DSC-QX100 is powered by the supplied NP-BN Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6V / 630mAh / 2.3Wh). The battery charges in approximately 115 minutes using the supplied micro USB cable. You can also charge the battery using the optional AC-UD10 or AC-UD11 AC Adapter.

    Still Images Movies
    110 minutes or 220 images 25 minutes (typical)
    55 minutes (continuous)

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    3 questions already asked

    The Galaxy Note with os 4.0 was tested and worked with this. Feel free to call an advisor on 1-800-324-9695 for further assistance. [ Paul  Jan 20, 2016 ]  Staff
    Yes. This is compatible with the iPhone 5s. [ Jeff  Jan 05, 2014 ]  Staff
    Yes, it connects via wifi (not bluetooth) and requires the Sony Play Memories app (free). [ patrick  Dec 30, 2013 ]