Sony unveils Xperia Z1 (Honami) and QX lens-style cameras

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Sony officially unveiled the hotly anticipated Xperia Z1 that has become well-known under the internal petname Honami. The Z1 brought friends on stage – the QX line of lens-style cameras and a number of other accessories.

Sony Xperia Z1

The Z1 is undoubtedly the star of the show – measuring just 8.5mm in thickness, the Xperia Z1 houses a large 1/2.3″ sensor – that’s about 70% larger than the sensors on most phones and Sony achieved it without a hump on the back like most other handsets with large sensors.

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The camera uses all-Sony tech – an F/2.0 Sony G Lens, a Sony Exmor RS sensor and a Sony BIONZ image processor.

The camera shoots 20.7MP stills and records 1080p video (sorry, no 4K). Sony has developed a custom camera app that offers manual controls and impressive augmented reality features. Third-party devs will be able to use the advanced features of the camera to make their own apps as well.

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The Xperia Z1 justifies its name by borrowing the best features of the Xperia Z – slim, water resistant body with OmniBalance design, a sharp 5″ 1080p screen and powerful Snapdragon chipset. However, the Z1 is certified to go deeper underwater, it has a new, higher-quality screen and it packs the latest Snapdragon 800 chipset running a Sony-customized version of Android 4.3. And the battery capacity has been bumped up to 3,000mAh.

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The new flagship has 4G LTE connectivity, along with Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and NFC, which are used to connect with the next couple of gadgets.

The Sony Xperia Z1 will be available this month in Black, White and Purple.

Sony Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10

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The Sony Cyber-shot QX line of lens-style cameras launches with two models – the QX100 and QX10. Both have their own optics and image sensor and can use an Android or iOS device as viewfinder (pairing is done with NFC if available then the image is streamed over Wi-Fi).

The QX100 has a huge 1″ Exmor R sensor with 20.2MP resolution, F/1.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonar T* lens, 3.6x optical zoom and stabilization – the same specs as the acclaimed Sony RX100M II. The QX10 is more compact and features a longer zoom range – 10x – and has a Sony G Lens coupled with a 1/2.3″ 18.2MP Exmor R sensor.

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Both lens-style cameras shoot 1,440 x 1080p video at 30 frames per second and have enough juice in their batteries for 230 shots (or 55-65 minutes of video recording depending on the model). The QX cameras can attach to smartphones of various sizes and some Xperia phones will get dedicated cases that protect the phone and offer an attachment point for the camera. Both QX100 and QX10 can work separately from the phone, while still streaming to the viewfinder, which makes framing in tight spots a breeze.

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The Sony Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10 are available for pre-order in the UK starting today and will go on sale in Europe by the end of September. The QX100 will cost you $500 and the QX10 is half that at $250. For comparison, the RX100M II that has the same lens and sensor as the QX100 is $750.

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