Sony's QX line is interesting to say the least--they're essentially cameras without screens, instead, they operate with a smartphone and wi-fi or NFC. Last year's QX10 offered a solid 10x zoom--but the 2014 QX30 triples that, offering a 30x zoom you can use right from your smartphone.
QX cameras have their own sensors--essentially, they have everything except the screen and operating system, the phone does that. The Sony QX30 has a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor--it's a typical size for basic point-and-shoots, but larger than what's inside a smartphone, so you'll see a better resolution than typical phone shots have. One of the biggest perks is that nice 30x zoom, again, something a smartphone can't achieve.
But perhaps an even better upgrade from the QX10 is the 10 fps burst speed. When we reviewed the QX10 last year, our biggest issue was the speed--everything is communicating wirelessly, so it takes quite a bit longer than working with a typical camera. The QX30 still communicates by wi-fi, so we still expect that delay from when you use the touchscreen until the camera actually snaps the image. There's a shutter button directly on the camera if the shutter lag bothers you, and now the QX30 can take a group of burst shots at 10 fps, an excellent speed. If you use the smartphone instead of the shutter button to take those shots, you'll still get that initial delay, but the sequential images should be quick.
The QX30 allows you to do everything you would with smartphone images--you can import them into editing apps, or share them pretty much just as quickly as the ones you take directly from your phone. The downside is, again, the screen is communicating with the camera wirelessly, which is going to be slower than if you were using a camera with a built-in screen. If you don't want that delay, go for something like the Sony WX350, with a 20x zoom and the same fast burst speed, plus wi-fi so you can still share those images. The WX350 will take longer to share images on Facebook, but will be quicker snapping those photos in the first place. If fast online uploads are more important to you and you just love smartphone photography, then you're likely to enjoy the Sony QX30.
The Sony QX30 will be available beginning Oct. 5, 2014, with a list price of $349.