Sony’s 2G lens-style cameras have arrived, including the curiously quirky QX1, which features the ability to use E-mount lenses. Richard Sibley tries it out for our Sony QX1 field test
One of the most interesting aspects of the Cybershot QX1 is its ability to ‘shoot without lens’. What this means is that the camera doesn’t need to have a recognised lens attached in order to enable it to take images. In real terms, this means that you can use lens adapters on the QX1, enabling third-party lenses to be mounted, just as they can on other Sony E-mount cameras.
In terms of functionality, the QX1 operates largely as normal, although obviously without the ability to change the aperture or autofocus. I tried the QX1 using a 1962 Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens and was able to take some nice floral shots utilising the f/1.4 aperture to create a very shallow depth of field.
Being able to use virtually any SLR lens on the QX1 via adapters is a neat trick, and it offers a very different experience to using such a lens on a more conventional compact system camera. Instead of holding the camera, I found that you hold the lens with two hands, one to use the manual focus ring and the other to hold the QX1 and fire its shutter. This leaves the smartphone floating on the back, almost like a DSLR does when using a large telephoto lens.
So is there a real benefit to using the QX1 with a third-party lens and adapter? If you have a camera that doesn’t have Wi-Fi and you want to be able to use your current lenses, then the QX1 does offer this feature, and, at £249 body-only, it is a fairly inexpensive way of doing so, given the price of most CSC cameras with Wi-Fi.