Review: Sony QX10 For Street Photography

The DSC-QX10 works seamlessly with your smartphone, allowing you to shoot beautiful images, edit them on your phone and then share them online.

 – Sony

The above is what SONY have to say about their own product – for more information on what Sony have to say about the QX10, please click here. However, I am going to write this review from my point of view – a hobbyist street photographer living in a Spa Town in the north of England.

SONY QX10

SONY QX10

Well, how does it handle?

Lets get the bad (and there is very little of that) out of the way: the start up time in agonisingly slow. I have it charging up in the kitchen now, as I type, and that does not seem to be helping matters much. So, if you wish to just crank it up and take a quick candid portrait I recommend maybe purchasing a RICOH GR – the start up time on the Ricoh is legendary, yet the Ricoh is 3x the price.

The full spec of the lens is that it is a 1/2.3″ type (7.76mm) Exmor R™ CMOS sensor – a real beauty. It shoots in 18.2MP and for a clue as to the finished result, please scroll down to the bottom of this post. My major gripe with this camera is that is only shoots in JPEG – not RAW, losing a lot of data in the compression. However, the lens is fixed and is a SONY G Lens! The G Lens is known for standing shoulder to shoulder with the Carl Zeiss Lens’ – hue and colour were faithfully reproduced thanks to the BIONZ™ image processor.

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How is it in action? I unhooked it from its Smartphone mount and walked around my town centre documenting the hubbub. It fits nicely yet loosely in my left hand (no need for a right hand to operate a shutter as the shutter can be pressed with the thumb of my left hand). It really is shooting from the hip – there was no way of knowing if the photos would all be headless or blurry – I had it detached from the smartphone screen so there was no way of knowing how the images were composed. Bang, bang, bang – image after image. Of course, when I got home the images were all upside down – but batch rotating helped that.

The images are stored on a MicroSD card and it is connected to a mac / pc through a Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0), Multi/Micro USB Terminal. There is the option to sync your photos and videos with your smartphone using Wifi, or NFC on the Android platform. PlayMemories is the app that allows you to control the camera (I come down on the side of that this is a bonafide camera with smartphone attachment rather than an attachment for a smartphone).

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This is a review for a QX10 inline with Street photography and Candid Portraiture – the 10x Optical Zoom is unnecessary for the majority of street photography – plus with the QX10 the zoom is quite sluggish and not all that. With a fully charged battery I can easily get over 200 shots in a day – meaning a full day out with this camera.

So, as a walking-around-town camera for candid photography I cannot recommend this camera enough. It sits mid way between a GoPro Hero (5MP 🙁 ) and a top end RICOH GR. I have heard RICOH GR’s billed as the ultimate street photography camera – I am not here to disagree. Just I motion that the SONY QX10 is an excellent budget candid alternative.

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