SONY QX "ATTACHABLE" CAMERAS
Sony has announced their QX-10 and QX-100 "smartphone-attachable" cameras. These cameras include the lens, optical zoom motors in the lenses (like in DSLR's) and the large (1") sensor...i.e., the hardware portion of a complete camera. Which, for DSLR's and point-n-shoot cameras in general, is normal.
These new Sony QX cameras rely on your NFC/wifi-linked smartphone, held in your other hand, for post-process editing, filing, sharing, etc.
A typical current "smartphone camera" is really in two parts (the lens, sensor, circuitry hardware, and the separate post-process editing, filing, sharing software/apps). The strengths of smartphone cameras is often in their software/apps', while their weaker parts are the tiny lenses and sensors. But the heavy-metal DSLR's, especially professional versions, tend to be just the opposite, i.e., strong on lens & sensor hardware and weaker on editing, filing and sharing software.
Since Nikon, Canon, et al have generally failed as an industry to bring their DSLR's along the digital-deluge of "the internet of things" (IOT), then this QX design approach is one way to tag along with the much more robustly innovative post-process features of smartphones...rather than re-invent the Android/IOS-app wheels by incorporating downloadable app's into DSLR's.
It appears this "detachable" model of bifurcated cameras can bring high quality lenses, zoom and resolution to highly mobile photography (f/1.8-4.9, 10x zoom, image stabilization, 1" sensor). But, that slight added mobility, if any, comes with the price of tieing up both hands, more weight, more pieces to juggle, etc.
Frankly, we regard this QX model as not so much a "camera attached to a smartphone," as a "smartphone attached to a camera." Basically, the QX is a point-and-shoot consumer camera (QX-10 for about $250, QX-100 for about $650), with a smartphone short-leashed to it to provide access to apps and network mobility. This "unbundles" the camera into one piece for image-capture, and another, networked piece for image-management.
Guess that's just one more approach to committing the act of photography. But, we are still holding out for DSLR's to get smart, or smartphones to get more visual. Meanwhile, we continue to demonstrate that, in many situations, a smartphone can out perform a DSLR...as shown by galleries on this web site, and @ProMobilePhoto.
NOTE: In the photo at left, the QX-100 is just physically dangling from the camera bezel. The image sensor is inside the round lens, and makes no use whatever of the lens and sensor of the smartphone's camera. In fact, due to wireless link between the phone and QX camera, the photographer will often hold the phone in one hand and the camera in the other.