Skip to navigation

Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10 review


A bold experiment to improve smartphone photography, but its failings are manifold

Review Date: 7 Oct 2013

Reviewed By: Barry Collins

Price when reviewed: £150 (£180 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £115
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
2 stars out of 6

Features & Design
2 stars out of 6

Value for Money
2 stars out of 6

Image Quality
4 stars out of 6

The Cyber-Shot DSC-QX10 adds to what's been an extraordinary year for smartphone photography. We've seen phones with 41-megapixel sensors, 10x optical zoom lenses, and now the QX10 – an external camera that clips to your smartphone. It forms a wireless connection with the phone over Wi-Fi, using the phone's screen as a viewfinder.

Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10

Sony's aim is to improve on the tiny sensor and sub-par optics found in most smartphones, without forcing the owner to upgrade to an expensive handset. In that regard, the QX10 certainly succeeds: its 18-megapixel images are well exposed and more detailed than those output by the vast majority of handsets (Nokia's 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 excepted), and it excels in Macro mode.

The 10x optical zoom matches that of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, without forcing you to carry a bulky handset round with you.

Yet, the QX10 has a long list of drawbacks. Clipping the camera to a smartphone is awkward and time-consuming – you can unmount the camera from its clip, but resulting phone/clip arrangement is awkward to slip into your pocket.

Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10

Battery life is limited, at only 220 shots. The viewfinder app showed considerable lag on both the iPhone 4S and Alcatel Android handset we tested it with, with the zoom lens reacting a half-second or more after we tapped the onscreen button.

Worse, the app routinely froze, and several times the phone was unable to establish a connection with the camera at the first attempt. The lack of manual controls is equally disappointing: you can tap the screen to adjust the focus point, alter the level of zoom and adjust exposure compensation, but that's it.

Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10

The ability to save full-resolution photos to the phone's photo library is a boon, making it easy to edit and share photos with the phone's standard apps. Alas, that doesn't apply to the crisp, 1,440 x 1,080 video captured by the device, which can only be extracted by removing the memory card from the camera or hooking it up via micro USB.

In short, we can think of no good reason to choose the QX10 over a regular compact camera. It's only marginally more portable, offers only a fraction of the features, and doesn't blow a compact away in terms of image quality.

Author: Barry Collins

Best Prices

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

What about the DSC-QX100

The better version so to speak?

By bet1001 on 9 Oct 2013

I've got to admit - for a generation 1 device, the potential is shown and has me interested for g2/3.

By khellan on 10 Oct 2013

Review missed the most important point

I have been using this camera for about 4 weeks. I agree that as an enhancement to a phone camera, that it adds little. However, the camera is revolutionary in that you can place the camera anywhere then frame and take photos from your phone. You can raise the camera over a crowd to see a famous person. You can photograph a party from a 10 ft spot on the wall, etc. You can mount it on an RC car and take video. I am waiting for a serious version of this camera (manual controls) in this format.

By Manutea on 11 Dec 2013

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.


Latest Digital cameras Reviews
Samsung NX30 review

Samsung NX30

Category: Digital cameras
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £899
Canon PowerShot G16 review

Canon PowerShot G16

Category: Digital cameras
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £539
Pentax K-500 review

Pentax K-500

Category: Digital cameras
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £349
Canon EOS 70D review

Canon EOS 70D

Category: Digital cameras
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £1,079
Samsung Galaxy NX review

Samsung Galaxy NX

Category: Digital cameras
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £1,162
Compare reviews: Digital cameras


Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features


Sponsored Links


Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.