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Sony’s new Xperia Pro-I sports a 1-inch sensor

The new Xperia PRO-I smartphone.

Earlier this week, Sony unveiled an enticing new “professional” smartphone, the Xperia Pro-I. It should be particularly intriguing to photographers and videographers since it sports a large 1-inch-sized sensor, the same one found in the Sony RX100 VII premium compact.It also offers quite a few impressive features, sure to appeal to content creators, including 20 fps burst shooting with AF/AE, 12-bit RAW recording, and 4K/120p video capture.

However, it’s worth pointing out, the Xperia Pro-I is only using a 12-megapixel crop from this 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor, utilizing about 60% of the total surface area of the chip. And so, while image quality should still be excellent, it won’t be a match with the RX100 VII.

Let’s take a look at some of Xperia Pro-I’s key specs.

Here’s a quick video tour of the new Xperia Pro-I smartphone.

Xperia Pro-I camera key specs:

  • Main camera uses a 12-megapixel crop from a 20-megapixel 1-inch stacked CMOS sensor
  • 1-inch sensor is paired with a 24mm f/2 equivilent Zeiss lens
  • 315 phase-detect AF points cover 90% of the frame (main camera)
  • 16mm f/2.2 equivilent ultra-wide angle lens paired with 12-megapixel 1/2.9-inch sensor
  • 50mm f/2.4 equivilent portrait lens paired with 12-megapixel 1/2.9-inch sensor
  • 4K/120p video capture
  • 20 fps burst shooting (with AF/AE)
  • AF tracking with eye detection (stills and video mode)
  • 12-bit RAW output (from all three cameras)
  • 512GB of built-in sotrage + a Micro SDXC memory card slot (for memory cards up to 1TB in capacity)
  • Compatible with mobile 5G

Main camera & features

The new Xperia PRO-I smartphone.
The sensor in the Xperia Pro-1 is borrowed from the RX100 VII compact camera. Sony

While the Xperia Pro-I is Sony’s first 1-inch sensor smartphone, it’s not the first smartphone to use a sensor this size. For instance, earlier this year, Sharp introduced the Aquos R6, which uses a 1-inch sensor. And if you want to go all the way back to 2014, the Panasonic CM1 also made use of a 1-inch sensor.

By comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro’s main camera uses a smaller, 1/1.65-inch sensor, though the iPhone offers a faster f/1.5 lens, compared to the Xperia’s f/2 lens.

But what really sets the Xperia Pro-1 apart is that it has a 1-inch sensor with integrated phase-detect AF. This is the same type of AF you find in high-quality Sony cameras like the recent Sony a7 IV, as well as the RX100 VII.

Both of these cameras offer outstanding AF performance, with highly-accurate AF tracking and eye detection. And we expect the same excellent level of autofocus reliability from the Xperia Pro-I. It’s also worth noting, the phone’s AF tracking+ eye detection can be used during both stills and 4K video capture.

The new Xperia PRO-I smartphone.
The phone offers 3 cameras: a 16mm ultra-wide, a 24mm wide-angle (main camera), and a 50mm portrait camera. Sony

Ultra-wide & portrait cameras

The Xperia Pro-I also offers a 16mm equivalent ultra-wide camera and a 50mm equivalent portrait camera. Both of these cameras use a 12-megapixel 1/2.9-inch sensor, which is quite a bit smaller than the sensor used by the main camera. And neither sensor offers phase-detect AF. That being said all three of the smartphone’s cameras can output 12-bit RAW files.

Physical design

The Xperia Pro-I offers a large, 6.5-inch OLED HDR 4K display, that has a refresh rate of 120Hz. This should provide a smooth user experience when you’re composing stills and/or videos. And video playback should also be smooth. The display is made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, and so it should be relatively scratch- and shatter-resistant.

The smartphone itself is just 3.5mm thick and it offers an IP65/68 waterproof rating. Other design elements content creators will appreciate: a physical shutter-release button and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The device is powered by a 4500 mAh battery with rapid charging capability (50% in 30 minutes). And users can transfer files quickly thanks to a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port.

The new Xperia PRO-I smartphone.
The phone offers a large 6.5-inch OLED HDR 4K display. Sony

Video features

Xperia Pro-I shoots up to 4K/120p video and Sony’s Optical SteadyShot should help keep hand-held footage looking smooth (there’s also electronic IS). The unit features both a stereo microphone as well as a mono microphone next to the camera module, meant for capturing human speech clearly.

The camera also has new “Video Pro” and “Cinema Pro” shooting modes. The former is geared toward content creators looking to share videos from the field, including vloggers and journalists. This mode allows users to adjust basic settings like focus, exposure and white balance on the fly and with ease. The latter takes inspiration from Sony’s more professional-level video cameras and offers advanced cinematic features including focus pulls and more.

Accessory “Vlog Monitor”

Sony's new Vlog Monitor attaches to the back of Xperia Pro-I.
Sony’s new Vlog Monitor attaches to the back of Xperia Pro-I. Sony

Sony also introduced a new $200 “Vlog Monitor” to go along with the Xperia Pro-I. It attaches to the back of the device and communicates with the Xperia Pro-I via USB-C cable. The unit adds a 3.5-inch display (1280×720 resolution), 3.5mm microphone jack and a hot shoe mount. It’s also Bluetooth enabled and can be paired with Sony’s GP-VPT2BT Bluetooth shooting grip (shown here).

Sony Xperia Pro-I: Pricing and availability

The Sony Xperia Pro-I is available for preorder now, unlocked, and ships in December 2021 for ~$1,800. The new Vlog Monitor and leather cover will also be available in December 2021, for approximately $200 and $90, respectively.

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Sony Xperia PRO-I Smartphone Features A 1.0-Type Sensor With Phase Detection Auto Focus

Sony Xperia PRO-I Smartphone Features A 1.0-Type Sensor With Phase Detection Auto Focus

The Sony Xperia PRO-I smartphone combines a 1.0-type sensor, a 24mm ZEISS Tessar Optics, advanced image processing and AF (autofocus), 4K 120p video recording and much more.

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Sony Xperia PRO-I in Camera Phones

Sony Xperia PRO-I
 

Sony has introduced the Sony Xperia PRO-I which, from looking at the specs, looks like a smartphone that’s been specifically designed with photographers in mind. 

The Sony Xperia PRO-I is the World’s first smartphone to include a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor with phase-detection AF (autofocus) which means its low light performance should be excellent and the bokeh it produces will look great. Sony also says the inclusion of the image Exmor RS image sensor will also mean the device offers a high dynamic range. 

The 1.0-type Exmor RS sensor is actually the same one used in the RX100 VII camera but it’s been optimised for smartphones. 

Sony Xperia PRO-I

Other features photographers will be interested in include 315 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the frame, Real-time Eye AF, Real-Time Tracking, 20fps AF/AE burst shooting, dual aperture (f/2 and f/4) for improved low light performance, RAW shooting and ZEISS Tessar Optics with T* anti-reflective coating.

The Xperia PRO-I also features a dedicated shutter button that boasts the same shutter switch module as Sony’s RX100 series cameras and requires similar button strokes to operate AF and shutter release. The user can also long-press the shutter button to quickly launch Photography Pro and start shooting immediately, even when the display is off

Another World’s first found in the Sony Xperia PRO-I is its ability to record 4K video at 120fps and there’s a built-in strap-hole as well as a dedicated shutter button for easy, quick control. The Sony Xperia PRO-I is also the first Xperia smartphone to support Eye AF and Object Tracking during video shooting. For those who shoot video on a regular basis, there’s a new Videography Pro mode, too. 

Sony Xperia PRO-I
 

Other features include a 4K HDR OLED 120Hz refresh rate display, 4500mAh battery, 3.5mm audio jack and Full-stage Stereo Speakers.

As for the cameras, there are 3 rear optics built-in with a newly developed 24mm lens capturing better images with less peripheral image distortion and improved contrast/sharpness. Supporting the 24mm lens is a 16mm and 50mm lens along with a 3D iToF sensor. 

Pricing and Availability – The new Xperia PRO-I will be available in Early December for approximately £1,599.

Take a look at these sample photos captured on the Sony Xperia PRO-I. 

 

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample Photos


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Sony Xperia PRO-I has 1inch sensor with Zeiss lens

Sony Xperia PRO-I has 1inch sensor with Zeiss lens

October 26, 2021

Sony has announced the new Xperia PRO-I, a high-end smartphone with a large 1inch sensor main camera featuring Zeiss optics, and an f/2.0 and f/4.0 aperture range.

Sony Xperia PRO-I

Sony Xperia PRO-I

The Sony Xperia PRO-I will be available from early December with a price of £1599. The optional 3.5inch screen is priced at £169, and there’s an optional leather case available for £69.99.

The smartphone is designed to give excellent image quality, as well as high-speed 20fps continuous shooting, and 4K 120fps video. We’ve uploaded full-size sample photos from Sony, which you can see below.

Sony Xperia PRO-I Cameras

Sony Xperia PRO-I Cameras

Sony Xperia PRO-I Cameras:

  • 16mm f/2.2 ultra-wide, 1/2.5inch 1.4um
  • 24mm f2/4 wide Zeiss Tessar T*, glass asperhical lens, OIS
  • 50mm f/2.9 telephoto 1/2.9inch 1.2um, OIS

The main 24mm equivalent wide-angle camera is joined by a 16mm equivalent ultra-wide angle camera, as well as a 50mm equivalent telephoto camera. All cameras are 12MP, and there’s a 3D iTOF sensor to aid focus.

Sony Xperia PRO-I 3.5inch Vlogging Screen

Sony Xperia PRO-I 3.5inch Vlogging Screen

The front selfie camera is an 8MP f/2.0 camera, which is lagging behind much of the competition offering only FullHD video recording. However, Sony has a solution to this, they have produced an optional 3.5inch vlogging screen that you can attach to the back of the smartphone, letting you use the main camera for vlogging.

Sony Xperia PRO-I Aperture Range

Sony Xperia PRO-I Aperture Range

The smartphone also features a large shutter release button on the side, as well as a new Videography Pro app to allow high-quality video recording that can be shared straight away. It gives you an easier to use interface, when compared to the Cinematography Pro app, which is designed for producing content that you edit later.

We recently reviewed the Sony Xperia 5 III, and think that the introduction of the Videography Pro app is a good idea, as we found the Cinematography Pro app overly complicated for general video recording.

The smartphone features a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, as well as a third microphone for clearer audio recording.

View Sony Xperia PRO-I sample photos below!


Sony Redefines Mobile Imaging with the Introduction of the Xperia PRO-I Smartphone

The New Xperia PRO-I is the World’s First Smartphone to Include a 1.0-type image Sensor with Phase Detection Autofocus[i], Bringing Industry-leading Imaging Technology to Sony’s Advanced Smartphone

  • World’s First Smartphone to include a 1.0-type Exmor RS® image sensor with phase detection AF (autofocus)i for outstanding low light performance, high dynamic range, and beautiful bokeh. The 1.0-type Exmor RS® sensor is the same one used in the award-winning RX100 VII camera and optimised for smartphone
  • BIONZ X™ for mobile imaging processor and a front-end LSI for clear and noise-free images even when shooting in the dark
  • 315 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the frame, allowing users to continue to capture subjects at high speed with high accuracy – even in scenes where focusing is difficult
  • Advanced AF capabilities to support “Real-time Eye AF” and “Real-time tracking”[ii] that keeps track of moving objects with high accuracy, using AI
  • ZEISS® Tessar Optics with T* anti-reflective coating and dual aperture F2.0/F4.0 for outstanding low light performance, high dynamic range, and beautiful bokeh
  • World´s first 4K video recording at 120fps High frame rate in a smartphone[iii] and includes a built-in strap-hole and a dedicated shutter button for easy, quick control
  • New Videography Pro feature combining creative flexibility with ease of use
  • First Xperia to support Eye AF and Object Tracking during video shooting
  • High-quality video performance and crystal-clear audio recording
  • 4K HDR OLED 120Hz refresh rate display
  • High quality audio features, including Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm audio jack, Full-stage Stereo Speakers, 360 Reality Audio
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™
  • Introduction of a new Vlog monitor accessory for selfie-style shooting
  • No Plastic in the individual packaging[iv][v]to support a more sustainable footprint

26th October 2021, Weybridge, United Kingdom: Sony today announced a new Xperia smartphone developed specifically for today’s content creators, the Xperia PRO-I. Combining a 1.0-type sensor, a 24mm ZEISS® Tessar Optics, advanced image processing and AF (autofocus), 4K 120p video recording and much more, the Xperia PRO-I delivers professional imaging quality from an ultra-slim 8.9mm form factor.

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample photo - Bokeh at f/2

Sony Xperia PRO-I Bokeh at f/2, 24mm lens

“We remain committed to building tools that empower creators to capture, create, and share like they’ve never been able to before,” said Nobuki Asahina, Head of Mobile, Sony Europe.

“The capabilities of the Xperia PRO-I are unlike that of any smartphone that has ever been brought to market. This phone combines the power of the 1.0-type image sensor found in our RX100 VII compact camera, the speed of our fast Alpha interchangeable lens cameras that is further enhanced by Xperia’s high-speed processing, and a similar video shooting experience as our Professional Video Line. All in a device that slides easily into your pocket.”

He continued: “We carefully chose this name to include the ‘I’, which stands for ‘imaging’ and accurately represents Sony’s efforts to completely redefine the standards of imaging performance across our entire product line-up.”

Professional Level Photography

Xperia PRO-I is developed with the same advanced imaging technology from Sony’s award-winning mirrorless Alpha brand cameras and is the world’s first smartphone to include a 1.0-type sensor with phase detection AFi. The newest smartphone includes a 1.0-type Exmor RS® sensor with a 2.4µm pixel pitch[vi] for stunning low light performance, RAW 12-bit shooting for incredible dynamic range, and dual aperture (F2.0/F4.0)vii to easily change the depth of field in line with the photographer’s intention. In addition to a 1.0-type sensor, the Xperia PRO-I features a BIONZ X for mobile image processor and a front-end LSI. This advanced processor allows the device to deliver unprecedented speed and improved image quality in a wide range of scenes, a highly-regarded feature of Sony’s Alpha cameras.

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample Photo - slow shutter, f/4

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample Photo – slow shutter, f/4, 24mm

The Xperia PRO-I includes three lenses, all enhanced with ZEISS® T* anti-reflective coating and a 3D iToF sensor for total creative freedom. The newly developed 24mm lens adopts ZEISS® Tessar Optics and delivers high-resolution images with less peripheral image distortion and more intense contrast and sharpness. The Xperia PRO-I’s 24mm lens is complemented by two further lens options, 16mm and 50mm, enabling the user to get creative with composition. The device’s 3D iToF sensor instantly calculates the distance between the camera and the subject, ensuring fast, accurate autofocus in any scene.

Additionally, the Xperia PRO-I features 315 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the frame, as well as industry-leading AF technology including Real-time Eye-AF in humans and animalsvii, Real-time tracking[vii], 20fps AF/AE burst shooting[viii], and anti-distortion shutter for a cleaner capture of fast-moving objects.

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample photo, 24mm, Real-time tracking

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample photo, 24mm, Real-time tracking

With Photography Pro on the Xperia PRO-I, users can customise manual settings or easily access automatic settings and shoot in RAW format. When shooting in RAW, the Xperia PRO-I supports 12-bitvii which creates smooth and rich tonal gradation of the colour without banding. Photography Pro also offers Basic mode for fast access to a range of easy-to-use photography features including a touch shutter button. Like previous Xperia devices, the Xperia PRO-I supports Imaging Edge™ Mobile.

The Xperia PRO-I features a dedicated shutter button that boasts the same shutter switch module as Sony’s RX100 series cameras and requires similar button strokes to operate AF and shutter release. The user can also long-press the shutter button to quickly launch Photography Pro and start shooting immediately, even when the display is off. In this new model, there is also a strap hole[ix] to help secure the device, even in challenging environments.

Sony Xperia PRO-I sample photos, portrait, 50mm lens

Sony Xperia PRO-I sample photos, portrait, 50mm lens

Advanced Capabilities for Video Shooting

The new Xperia PRO-I delivers high-quality video performance and easy to use post-production features for a stress-free workflow. For greater creative flexibility, the Xperia PRO-I is the world’s first smartphoneiii to enable the user to shoot high quality video in 4K 120fps, which allows users to capture and playback fast-moving scenes and slow-motion video at up to 5x. Capturing smooth, shake-free video is easier than ever thanks to the latest Optical SteadyShot™ with FlawlessEye™v. Xperia PRO-I is the first in the Xperia line-up to introduce outstanding Eye AF technology and object tracking in videomaking, allowing the user to keep sharp focus on the subject and spend more time composing their shot.

In addition to stereo microphones, the Xperia PRO-I features a built-in monaural microphone next to the main camera, enabling the user to focus on recording speech clearly while other sounds remain in the background. In addition, The Xperia PRO-I includes Sony’s industry-leading audio separation technology to effectively filter wind noise, both for stereo and monaural microphones.

Sony Xperia PRO-I sample photo, low-light

Sony Xperia PRO-I sample photo, low-light

Xperia PRO-I also includes two new video features for video and filmmaking. For quick, high quality videos and vlogging, the new Videography Pro feature, inspired by Sony’s long history of imaging technology that supports video production and direct feedback from videographers, includes creative settings in a single location. Users can intuitively and accurately adjust settings such as focus, exposure and white balance even while shooting a movie, to fit to the shooting environment. In addition, Xperia PRO-I adopts a high-precision Level meter that has been calibrated one-by-one at the factory. By assigning the “Videography Pro” application to the “shortcut key” on the side of the 217 body, you can start shooting video immediately like a dedicated camera. You can also assign other applications or features to the shortcut key. For filmmaking, the Cinematography Pro feature pulls from Sony’s professional video camera technology to easily create a cinematic look with eight different colour settings inspired by the Sony’s VENICE digital cinema camera, a 21:9 recording ratio and more.

The Xperia PRO-I lets the user edit and share video content directly from the device. With its wide 6.5” 4K HDR OLED display and accurate, professional-level colour reproduction with creator mode, editing from a mobile device is now easier than ever. In addition, excellent white uniformity and stability are achieved by correcting the colour shift of the display. As an added benefit, the colour setting of the display can be adjusted according to the user’s monitor or printed photos. Sharing video files are also a breeze using a 5G network[x] or by connecting the Xperia PRO-I to a computer by USB 3.2 Gen 2 to transfer data twice as fast from the Xperia PRO-I to a PC[xi].

Vlog Monitor to Level-up Mobile Vlogging

Users can improve their mobile vlogging kit with the new Vlog Monitor, a new accessory to pair with the Xperia PRO-I, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 on a 3.5-inch LCD (1280×720) screen and a metal holder. This new accessory also features a magnetic detachable design, making it easy to attach and detach to the holder.

By attaching the Vlog Monitor[xii], the Xperia PRO-I’s 1.0-type sensor lets the user film themselves with outstanding imaging quality for vlogging, sharing videos with friends, family and more. The user can see exactly what they’re recording to create truly memorable content.

Xperia PRO-I Real-time Eye-AF sample photo

Xperia PRO-I Real-time Eye-AF sample photo

When shooting with the Xperia PRO-I and the Vlog Monitor, the user can easily connect a Bluetooth shooting grip, such as the GP-VPT2BTxiii to easily start/stop recording without touching any buttons on the Xperia PRO-I itself.

The Vlog Monitor also features a 3.5mm 3-pole microphone jack[xiii] enabling the user to connect their own external microphone by simply mounting a microphone on the accessory shoe mount on the top of the holder.

The user can also display the screen when using “Photography Pro” or “Videography Pro” by connecting the Vlog Monitor to a smartphone with the supplied connection cable. In addition, since it is equipped with a USB Type-C port for supplying power from an external power source, users can shoot while supplying power to both the smartphone and accessories.

No Compromise for Movies, Music and Games

Users can enjoy watching their favourite content on the new Xperia PRO-I thanks to its 4K HDR 10-bit equivalent OLED display with 120Hz Refresh rate and X1™ for mobile for more contrast, colour, and clarity. The Xperia PRO-I also includes Dolby Atmos for an immersive audio experience. A 3.5mm audio jack to deliver a high-quality listening experience. When not using headphones, the device’s Full-stage stereo speakers deliver a powerful and balanced true stereo sound. The Xperia PRO-I is compatible with 360 Reality Audio and 360 spatial sound with three free months of TIDAL[xiv] and it supports High-Resolution Audio and High-Resolution Audio Wireless via LDAC. The new device also features DSEE Ultimate, taking each track close to High-Resolution Audio quality.

Sony Xperia PRO-I (Raw post production)

Sony Xperia PRO-I (Raw post production) sample photo, stars in night-sky

Xperia PRO-I gives mobile gamers an edge on their competition with 120Hz Refresh rate display[xv] with 240Hz motion blur reduction so that fast-moving objects are rendered clearly for seriously smooth gameplay. The device also offers Game Enhancer to improve gameplay with superior touch response and assist function for winning. Using Heat Suppression power control, the Xperia PRO-I powers the phone systems directly rather than charging the battery to reduce thermal stress and keep the battery healthy. The Xperia PRO-I is also optimised with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ processor[xvi] for superior gaming performance.

Performance and Design

While the Xperia PRO-I includes the same large 1.0-inch image sensor used in Sony’s premium RX100 VII compact camera that has been optimised for a smartphone, it maintains a slim form factor with a length of approximately 6.5 in (166 mm), a width of approximately 2.8 in (72 mm), and a thickness of approximately 8.9 mm. The new Xperia PRO-I is durable and reliable to meet the demanding needs of today’s content creators with its frosted glass back panel and matt finish for an authentic camera feel and a blast-treated metal frame for strength and style. It is water and dust resistant[xvii] with an IP65/68 rating and features Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™, the toughest Gorilla® Glass yet – with improvement in both drop and scratch resistance.

With a 4,500mAh battery, the Xperia PRO-I offers plenty of power to keep going through the day. The user can fast charge the device up to 50% in just 30 minutes with the included 30W charger XZQ-UC1. Xperia’s charging technologies also keep the battery healthy for longer[xviii] even after three years of use by preventing the device from overcharging.

Sony Xperia PRO-I, front bokeh sample photos, f/2 main camera

Sony Xperia PRO-I, front bokeh sample photos, f/2 main 24mm camera

The Xperia PRO-I is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platformxvii to deliver a premium experience. The Xperia PRO-I also has a large internal memory, with 12GB RAM to handle intensive computing tasks and 512GB ROM offering ample storage for photos, videos, and other files to support micro SDXC media up to 1TB.

The new device offers optimised connectivity with the latest 5Gxi or Wi-Fi 6[xix], all the while utilising smart connectivity to continually analyse and assess the Wi-Fi signal quality to prioritise Wi-Fi or mobile data based on the best connection.

To easily multi-task, users can take advantage of the multi-window features for a wide range of handy views that are tailor-made for multi-tasking.

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample photo, low-light

Sony Xperia PRO-I Sample photo, low-light

An additional accessory is the new leather back cover that captures the popularity of the material in today’s camera industry. The genuine leather design is unique, fits the smartphone body snugly, and the texture of the surface has a grip and finish suited for the shooting experience. The cover has been certified at the “Gold” level by the Leather Working Group, an international organisation which aims to protect the global environment, while safely and securely supplying leather to consumers. In addition, an antibacterial coating is applied to the cover’s surface to suppress the growth of specific bacteria such as staphylococci by up to 99.9%[xx].

Road to Zero

The Sony Group has set an environmental plan “Road to Zero” aiming for zero environmental load by 2050. As part of this, Sony has set a medium-term target from 2021 to 2025 as “Green Management 2025” (GM2025). In GM2025, one goal is to “totally eliminate plastic packaging materials” in our portable products, and Xperia has so far reduced the use of plastic in packaging, eliminating plastic components or replacing them with paper materials. Examples include replacing plastic film lamination with abrasion-resistant varnish.

As a culmination of this, Xperia PRO-I is the first Xperia ™ to use no plastic in the individual packaging vvi by using paper as the packaging material that directly wraps the product itself. Sony will continue to work toward zero environmental impact.

Pricing and Availability

The new Xperia PRO-I will be available in Early December for approximately £1,599 RRP. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK.

The new Vlog Monitor and back cover will also be available in Early December for approximately £169 RRP and £69.99 RRP respectively. They will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers throughout the UK.

Sony Xperia PRO-I - raw sample photos (post production)

Sony Xperia PRO-I – raw sample photos (post production)

A variety of exclusive stories, videos and exciting new content shot with the newest cameras and other Sony products can be found here. Sony’s European photography hub is available in 22 languages and details product news, competitions and an up-to-date list of Sony events in each country.

A product announcement video on the new Xperia PRO-I can be viewed HERE (YouTube).

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Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 1

Sony has launched the Xperia Pro-I, the world’s first smartphone to feature a one-inch sensor equipped with phase-detection autofocus. It is positioned not just as a phone, but as a member of the Alpha series family of cameras.

The Xperia Pro-I (that’s a capital “I” and not a numeral “1” which is no doubt confusing given the company’s use of numbers through its camera line), combines Sony’s one-inch sensor found in its RX100 line of high-end point and shoot cameras along with the advanced processing and autofocus found in its camera line with a 24mm Zeiss Tessar optic and compresses it all into a smartphone that is only 8.9mm thick.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 2

Sony says that the Xperia Pro-I is developed with the same imaging technology found in the Alpha line, hence the insistence that it is just as much a camera as it is a smartphone. While there are other cameras that are available that leverage a one-inch sensor, Sony is the first to bring that size to a smartphone along with full phase-detection autofocus. Additionally, those smartphones aren’t easily available in the west, and the Pro-I will be launched with full support in the United States (it will not be sold in Canada).

The Xperia Pro-I is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, is compatible with 5G, features 240Hz touch scanning rate and heat dissipation (designed for gaming), features 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage capacity, and supports SDXC media up to 1 TB. It also still offers a headphone jack and uses a 4,500mAh battery that can fast charge to 50% in 30 minutes with the included 30W charger. The phone is also IP 65/68 water and dust-resistant.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 3

Photography Features

The Pro-I uses the 1.0-type Exmor RS sensor with a 2.4µm pixel pitch that Sony says will result in “stunning” low light performance. It also supports RAW 12-bit shooting and a special dual aperture (f/2 and f/4) iris system that allows photographers to physically adjust the depth of field instead of relying on software. In addition to a 1.0-type sensor, the Xperia PRO-I features a BIONZ X for mobile and a front-end LSI. Sony says that this advanced processor allows the device to deliver unprecedented speed and improved image quality in a wide range of scenes.

That main sensor features the aforementioned 315 phase-detection autofocus points that feature 90% coverage of the sensor. Sony points out that in addition to a larger sensor, that 90% is an improvement over the 70% found on the Xperia 1 III. That coverage allows the Pro-I to support real-time eye-AF for humans and animals, real-time tracking, 20 frames per second AF/AE burst shooting, and an anti-distortion shutter that allows for cleaner capture of fast-moving objects.

While the main camera is a one-inch type, it is supported by two additional cameras with smaller sensors: a 16mm ultra-wide with a 1/2.5-inch sensor and a 50mm with a 1/2.9-inch sensor. Sony chose not to add a telephoto lens to this camera because it says that based on feedback, the majority of its users would rather have access to the three focal lengths it provided instead. In short, it says its users do not generally use a telephoto even when they have access to it. In addition to the three image-capturing sensors, the Pro0I also has a single 3D iTOF sensor.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 4

It should be noted that all three sensors capture 12-megapixel photos, despite the fact that the one-inch main sensor is a 20-megapixel sensor. In short, Sony is using a 12-megapixel crop of the 20-megapixel sensor because of the space limitations between the sensor and the lens. The quality of the photos it can take will still be dramatically better than smaller sensors because it is using a larger surface area to capture images than typical smartphone sensors, but it’s not using the full one-inch sensor here.

The photo app on the Xperia Pro-I allows for customized manual settings, easily accessible auto settings, and the ability to shoot in RAW that supports 12-bit photos. The app is designed to have an interface that is reminiscent of the Alpha line of cameras, and the aperture of the main sensor can be adjusted between f/2 and f/4 through the app.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 5

The Xperia PRO-I also includes a dedicated shutter button that features the same shutter switch module as Sony’s RX100 series cameras and requires similar button strokes to operate AF and shutter release. The user can also long-press the shutter button to quickly launch Photography Pro and start shooting immediately, even when the display is off.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 6

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 7

Video Features

Sony says the Xperia Pro-I is the world’s first smartphone to allow users to shoot high-quality video in 4K 120p, which is to say the footage is actually captured and stored in full 120 frames per second rather than interpolated down to 24 frames per second after capture. It is also the first in the Xperia line to offer eye-AF technology and object tracking in video capture.

Video is captured in HDR H.265 .MP4 and HLG bt2020 10-bit with 4:2:0 bit depth.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 8

Stable video is made possible thanks to a combination of Optical SteadyShot and Sony’s “FlawlessEye” technology. The combination enables a reduction in shake even in low light conditions.

In addition to stereo microphones, the Xperia PRO-I features a built-in monaural microphone next to the main camera which allows for the clear recording of speech while other sounds remain in the background. In addition, The Xperia PRO-I includes Sony’s audio separation technology to effectively filter wind noise, both for stereo and monaural microphones.

Sony Unveils the Xperia Pro-I: First Smartphone with 1-Inch PDAF Sensor 9

Sony is also launching an optional 6.5-inch 21:9 4K OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, the same screen as the one on the Xperia 1 III. It and the smartphone can connect to the Sony Bluetooth grip (GP-VPT2BT) to easily enable vlogging.

Below is a hands-on video by Ted Forbes:

The new Xperia Pro-I will be available in December for $1,800 and will ship in packaging that is devoid of plastic materials and instead replaces them with paper. The new vlogging monitor will be available for $200. Pre-orders for the new Pro-I will begin on October 28 at 10 AM EDT.


Image credits: Header image by Ted Forbes and used with permission.

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Sony Xperia 5 III Smartphone Review

Sony Xperia 5 III Smartphone Review

P1010020 | 1/125 sec | f/3.5 | 17.0 mm | ISO 200
 

 

Quick Verdict

The Sony Xperia 5 III smartphone shares some of the excellent features found on the more expensive Sony Xperia 1 III but in a smaller, easier to hold body that’s also got a better price tag. The camera is great, taking true-to-life photos and if you have the patience to learn how to use the Pro Mode then you’ll capture even better shots. If you can get on with the unusual dimensions and want a smartphone with premium tech that’s not priced at over £1000, the Xperia 5 III could be for you. 

+ Pros

  • Good screen 
  • Good image quality 
  • A useful line-up of cameras 
  • Compact shape
  • Excellent battery life 

– Cons

  • Still quite expensive
  • No wireless charging
  • The design won’t be for everyone

 

 

The Sony Xperia 5 III updates the Sony Xperia 5 II and as its predecessor did with the Sony Xperia 1 II, The Sony Xperia 5 III shares quite a few of the specs found on the Sony Xperia 1 III but as a price point more of us can afford.  

It’s priced at around £899 which is still quite expensive and £100 more than the Sony Xperia 5 II was priced at launch so we’re going to be taking a close look at this new smartphone to find out if the price equates to good value for money or if your cash will be better spent elsewhere. 

 

Sony Xperia 5 III Features

P1010011 | 1/125 sec | f/4.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

The Sony Xperia 5 III features the same cameras as the Xperia 1 III but there’s no time-of-flight sensor for judging depth and it has a 6.1-inch screen as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. A new 30W charger is included in the box of the Xperia 5 III, too. 

As for the cameras, you get a 16mm ultra-wide, 24mm wide and a 70-105mm telephoto lens (all 12MP) with 20fps continuous shooting on offer as well as Sony’s Dual PDAF technology. There’s a 6.1-inch, tall and long 21:9 ratio screen (a USP of Sony smartphones), a 3.5mm stereo jack and a 4500mAh battery (improved over the Xperia 5 II). You also get 4K video, a Pro video mode, two memory options that are expandable with a MicroSD, water/dust resistance and an 8MP 24mm selfie camera. 

If it’s all sounding a bit familiar, that’s because quite a few of the specs are shared with the Xperia 5 II:

 

SpecsSony Xperia 5 IIISony Xperia 5 II
Rear Camera12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.3, 70mm – 105mm f/2.8 (telephoto) with Dual Pixel PDAF, 3x/4,4x optical zoom, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide) with Dual Pixel PDAF12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto) with PDAF, 3x optical zoom, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide) with Dual Pixel PDAF
Front Camera8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens
Display6.1″ OLED display6.1″ OLED display 
Video4K, FullHD (5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS)4K, FullHD (5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS)
USBUSB-CUSB-C
Battery4500mAh (no wireless charging)4000mAh (no wireless charging)
Weight168g163g
Dimensions157 x 68 x 8.2mm158 x 68 x 8mm
Memory128GB/8GB RAM or 256GB/8GB RAM (microSDXC slot for expanded storage)128GB/8GB RAM or 256GB/8GB RAM (microSDXC slot for expanded storage)

 

Sony Xperia 5 III Key Features:

  • Triple Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.3, 70mm – 105mm f/2.8 (telephoto) with Dual Pixel PDAF, 3x/4,4x optical zoom, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide) with Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens
  • Display: 6.1″ OLED display
  • Zoom: 3X-.4X optical zoom (telephoto lens)
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • Pro video and camera modes 
  • Video: 4K 24/25/30/60/120fps and HDR,1080p (5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Type-C USB
  • 4500mAh battery with fast charging but no wireless charging
  • 128GB/8GB RAM or 256GB/8GB RAM (microSDXC slot for expanded storage)
  • Dimensions: 157 x 68 x 8.2mm
  • Weight: 168g

 

Sony Xperia 5 III Handling

P1010022 | 1/160 sec | f/4.0 | 17.0 mm | ISO 200
 

As mentioned, if you’ve read our review of the Sony Xperia 5 II or have held it in your own hands, you may be experiencing some deja vu as they are very similar in looks and specs. In fact, the Sony USP of a 21:9 aspect ratio display has been around for some time now which means you get a narrow smartphone with a big screen but the dimensions still won’t suit everyone. It does fit well in the hand, though, and you can easily control the smartphone one-handed. It’s also easier to hold and use than the Xperia 1 III it it shares specs with. 

The rounded edges/corners remain which makes the smartphone comfortable to hold and there’s still a chin as well as a slight bezel where the selfie camera sits at the top but along the sides, it’s pretty thin. 

On the right side of the smartphone, there are volume controls, a Google Assistant button and a shutter button for when you’re taking photos in a landscape orientation. There’s also a fingerprint sensor sandwiched in between these buttons as there’s not one built into the screen.

Turn your attention to the bottom of the Xperia 5 III and you find a USB-C port and on top is a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can charge your smartphone and use your headphones at the same time. 

On the back sits the triple camera housing which sits pretty flush to surfaces so there’s no rocking when it’s placed down but the back is a magnet for fingerprints (it doesn’t have the lovely matt finish the Xperia 1 III has) and its slipperiness means it has a habit of sliding so we recommend popping a case on it for added protection. 

 

P1010014 | 1/100 sec | f/3.2 | 26.0 mm | ISO 200
 

As for the display, it’s covered in Gorilla Glass 6 so it’ll be slightly more prone to scratches/cracks than the Xperia 1 III which has Gorilla Glass Victus but brightness levels are good and colours are accurate. There’s also a 120Hz refresh rate available for selection in the settings which will improve your viewing experience. For those creating visual content, there’s a Creator mode that will provide even better colour reproduction. 

It’s good to see an official IP rating which means the smartphone will survive a dunking up to 1.5m for 30 minutes and the 4,500mAh battery is impressive, providing plenty of power for a day’s use and improving on the 4000mAh battery found in the Xperia 5 II but it’s a shame wireless charging is still missing from a device at this price level. 

The camera set-up is similar to that on the Xperia 1 III with just the time-of-flight sensor which is used for judging depth missing but this didn’t cause any problems. However, as we’ve come to expect from Sony, you get some nice camera features built-in including Phase Detection Auto Focus, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), ZEISS optics and eye-tracking. 

Sony Xperia 5 III Camera Features:

  • 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.3, 70mm and f/1.8 105mm (telephoto) with PDAF, 3x-4.4x optical zoom, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide) with Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens
  • Zoom: 3X and 4.4Xoptical zoom (telephoto lens)
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • 20fps burst mode
  • Pro video and camera modes 

 

The camera app is very similar to other camera apps you’ll have used with basic modes such as panorama, selfie assistance and creative filters built-in. There are also round buttons to switch to the different lenses, modes found across the top of the screen and a big shutter button. You can click the screen to focus and adjust the exposure of an image, too. You’ll occasionally see a symbol pop up which is the AI looking at the scene in front and ensuring the optimal settings are selected to capture the best photo. 

To access the many Pro modes that are built-in you have to click the ‘basic’ wording that’s found top right. When you do, a wheel with various options such as P, S, M and Auto will appear along with explanations of what they’re used for. The tools on offer are in abundance and it can take some time to get used to how they all work but if you have the patience to harness their power, your photos will improve. The only mode you can’t access is aperture priority (there isn’t one) and you won’t find a dedicated night mode either. 

The two zoom lenses on the telephoto sensor is a different approach but there’s no real difference in speed when you compare with other smartphones that have separate telephoto cameras. 

 

P1010025 | 1/160 sec | f/4.0 | 17.0 mm | ISO 200
 

Video is captured in 4K at 24/25/30/60/120fps and HDR,1080p with 5-axis gyro-EIS and OIS to keep footage steady and you get access to a Pro video mode should you want more control over the settings used. 

Some will be impressed with the Pro modes on offer and use them all of the time but for most, the normal auto mode will be their go-to choice as it’s simpler to use and produces great results without too much effort. 

Battery life – The 4500mAh battery is really great and you’ll easily get a full day’s use out of the smartphone. It does support fast charging but not wireless. 

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Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution

Often described as a technical marvel, Sony’s latest flagship packs a unique combination of notable features, such as a physical shutter button, a high-quality manual camera app, and a 120Hz 4K HDR OLED display.

In terms of audio, the Xperia 1 III, in collaboration with Dolby, promises a powerful, immersive and clean playback through its speakers, and a 360-degree Spatial Sound upmix with headphones. Customized microphone and speaker settings are also available to enhance the gaming experience, as well as a good old headphone jack to keep the audio latency to a minimum. An audio mixer allows the user to balance voice and game levels separately when recording gameplay videos.

Finally, in some regions, the pinnacle of the Xperia 1’s third generation comes with a pair of WF-10000XM3 — a truly excellent model in the wireless noise canceling earbuds market.

Audio specifications include:

  • Stereo speakers (bottom center and top center)
  • Headphone jack
  • Intelligent wind filter
  • Hi-Res Audio

About DXOMARK Audio tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone audio reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled lab conditions. This article highlights the most important results of our testing. Note that we evaluate both Playback and Recording using only the device’s built-in hardware and default apps. (For more details about our Playback protocol, click here; for more details about our Recording protocol, click here.)

Test summary

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 10
Sony Xperia 1 III

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 11

66

audio

65
playback

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67
recording

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Playback

Pros

  • Clear and natural tonal balance
  • Appreciable stereo wideness
  • Precise attack and unaltered dynamics
  • Very well centered stereo balance

Cons

  • Lack of low-end and low-midrange body
  • Below average punch
  • Below average localizability
  • Volume performances below expectations
  • User-induced artifacts

Recording

Pros

  • Natural frequency response in life and selfie videos with clean mids allowing a good vocal reproduction

Cons

  • The frequency response as well as dynamics are considerably impaired when recording in loud environments.

With an overall score of 66, Sony’s cutting-edge flagship only secures a mid-pack position in our DXOMARK Audio ranking. That said, the Xperia 1 line’s audio quality has improved over the generations, starting from an overall score of 45 for the first iteration and then reaching a 57 for its second iteration.

The Xperia 1 III speakers deliver a clear tonal balance, natural midrange, appreciable stereo wideness, an exceptionally well-centered balance between left and right channels, and well-preserved dynamics overall. On the other hand, playback would benefit from more presence in both the high-end and the lower part of the register, which would have provided more brilliance, warmth, and punch, as well as an improved localization of the sound sources within the sound field. Although its speakers are supposed to be “40% louder,” the phone’s volume performance is disappointing: maximum volume isn’t loud enough, minimum volume isn’t well-tuned, and volume steps aren’t evenly distributed. In terms of use cases, the phone’s speakers are best suited for gaming.

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 13
The Sony Xperia 1 III fared best in recording life and selfie videos.

Life and selfie videos fared best in our recording tests, thanks to a natural tonal balance, clear midrange, correct signal-to-noise ratio, good spatial attributes, and very few artifacts. Meeting room recordings (content mainly vocal in calm environments) also scored above average. The type of situation for which the Xperia 1 III is less adept at is certainly recording in loud surroundings (for example a concert) because of the phone’s inability to handle high sound pressure levels, which induce strong compression and bass distortion.

Sub-scores explained

The DXOMARK Audio overall score of 66 for the Sony Xperia 1 III is derived from its Playback and Recording scores and their respective sub-scores. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at these audio quality sub-scores and explain what they mean for the user.

Playback

Timbre (61)

Timbre tests measure how well a phone reproduces sound across the audible tonal range and takes into account bass, midrange, treble, tonal balance, and volume dependency.

The Xperia 1 III delivers a natural yet somewhat thin tonal balance. As shown in the graph below, the speakers’ bass and low midrange responses (up to 600 Hz) are weaker than that of both its competitors. The lack of both high- and low-end extension and power result in a relatively flat and neutral rendering, which would have benefited from greater brightness and strength.

Music playback frequency response

What the phone lacks in the extremes of the spectrum, it makes up for in the midrange, which sounds open and natural, despite a slight lack of warmth procured by the low mids — it may be noted that a clear high midrange is the main signature of the Xperia’s line. As the volume increases, the lower register gradually disappears, which emphasizes the midrange prominence, and thus a more nasal overall sound.

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 14
The Sony Xperia 1 III’s sound field is pleasantly wide.

Dynamics (65)

DXOMARK’s dynamics tests measure how well a device reproduces the energy level of a sound source, and how precisely it reproduces bass frequencies.

Dynamics attributes are average, with fairly precise (and even sometimes predominant) attack, decent punch, and a laudable volume consistency overall.

Attack can occasionally be impaired by minor distortions, and punch is a bit lacking due to the recessed low-end energy. This also makes it hard to assess the bass precision, which seems nevertheless to remain rather accurate.

Spatial (60)

The sub-attributes for perceptual spatial tests include localizability, balance, distance, and wideness.

Thanks to the speakers’ position, the balance between left and right channels is perfectly centered. While the sound field is pleasantly wide, it does not rotate accordingly in inverted landscape, when using the music app.

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 15
Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 16

While decent, the sound source localization within the field could be more precise. Further, due to the lack of precision in the low midrange register, they are generally perceived to be a bit farther than they are.

Volume (49)

Volume tests measure both the overall loudness a device is able to reproduce and how smoothly volume increases and decreases based on user input.

Hip-HopClassical
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra75.3 dBA70.4 dBA
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon)73.9 dBA71.2 dBA
Sony Xperia 1 III74.2 dBA67.9 dBA

Despite Sony’s claims in this area, the Xperia 1 III’s volume performance leaves much to be desired. To begin with, at maximum volume, loudness isn’t above average, on the contrary.

Music volume consistency

As shown in the graph above, the volume steps distribution is far from being consistent from softest to loudest levels. Finally, minimum volume isn’t well tuned: all types of content — that is, regardless of their dynamic characteristics — aren’t intelligible enough.

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 17
Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 18

Artifacts (88)

Artifacts tests measure how much source audio is distorted when played back through a device’s speakers. [glossary_exclude]Distortion[/glossary_exclude] can occur both because of sound processing in the device and because of the quality of the speakers.

In the artifacts department, Sony keeps its promise: sounds played back through the Xperia 1 III’s speakers exhibit very few artifacts, aside from slight, occasional distortion at maximum volume. The overall reproduction is thus very clean, whether in respect to spectral or temporal artifacts.

User-induced artifacts are less discreet. For instance, pressing play after idle time will cause playback to start again with only the right (or bottom, depending on how the phone is oriented) speaker working for the first few seconds. Further, pressing the pause button generates a metallic sonic artifact. Finally, when using the video app, playback resumes automatically, whether when switching back from another app or waking the device — even if the video had been paused beforehand. Overall, the phone fares best when playing games, with absolutely no noise, temporal or spectral artifacts perceivable.

Recording

Timbre (71)

In life and selfie videos, the overall tonal balance is fairly good and natural, with a clean midrange allowing a good capture of voices.

Life video frequency response

Meeting recordings also sound natural, but reveal a slight lack of power in the lower register. As for recordings made in loud environments, they are outright boomy: bass notes regularly trigger a severe dynamic compression, which affects the entire spectrum.

Dynamics (67)

Again, selfie videos, life videos and meeting recordings fare best with a correct signal-to-noise ratio in both home and urban scenarios, while high SPL surrounding suffer from the previously mentioned compression triggered by bass hits. This strong compression, in turn, impairs higher percussions, such as snares, by crushing the transients.

Spatial (61)

Spatial attributes in recorded audio files are decent overall. In life videos, wideness, localizability and distance are very satisfying. In selfie videos, while distance is also accurate, wideness is limited and localizability is imprecise. In meeting scenarios, all spatial characteristics are on target, including distance rendering.

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 19
Meeting recordings sound natural on the Xperia 1 III.

Volume (73)

Unlike in playback, the Xperia 1 III’s volume performance in the recording area is well above average. The maximum level reachable without triggering perceivable sonic artifacts is excellent, and nominal loudness is satisfying across all use cases.

Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 20
Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution 21

Here are our test results, measured in LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale). As a reference, we expect loudness levels to be above -24 LUFS for recorded content:

MeetingLife VideoSelfie VideoMemo
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra-30.9 LUFS-22.8 LUFS-21 LUFS-21.9 LUFS
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon)-26.9 LUFS-19.5 LUFS-22.2 LUFS-22.4 LUFS
Sony Xperia 1 III-30.5 LUFS-22.4 LUFS-20.2 LUFS-21.3 LUFS

Artifacts (72)

In life and selfie videos, very discreet clipping can be noticed on shouting voices. In selfie videos only, they trigger a perceivable compression. When recording in loud environments, strong pumping and slight distortion are audible.

You can check for artifacts yourself in this sample recording:

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Background (44)

The phone’s background recordings are decent, thanks to the natural tonal balance in life and selfie videos. That said, both indoor and outdoor scenarios can exhibit a strange background noise, which sounds a bit like distortion.

Conclusion

Despite an impressive list of audio features,  sound turns out not to be the Xperia 1 III’s strongest point. In playback, while Sony’s latest and priciest phone makes an acceptable choice for gaming thanks to a natural and fairly wide sound reproduction and the practical low-latency headphones jack, we wouldn’t recommend it for playing music nor for watching movies. As a recording device, the Xperia 1 III is fairly good for videos (both life and selfie) and quiet meetings, but it proves to be deeply inadequate when it comes to recording in loud environments, such as concerts.

 

The post Sony Xperia 1 III Audio review: A slow but steady evolution appeared first on DXOMARK.

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Is Sony’s Xperia 1 III the Ultimate Phone for Photographers?

Is Sony's Xperia 1 III the Ultimate Phone for Photographers?

Phone cameras have become remarkably competent and versatile in recent years, to the point that they can deliver professional-level results in certain situations, particularly when the light is good and you do not need extreme focal lengths. The Sony Xperia 1 III offers some of the most impressive capabilities yet, and this great video review takes a look at how it performs.

Coming to you from Kai W, this awesome video review takes a look at the Sony Xperia 1 III phone. The Xperia 1 III comes with an impressive combination of rear cameras, sure to catch the eyes of many creatives. One thing that I particularly love is that its maximum focal length is 105mm. Most multi-camera phones’ “telephoto” lenses actually sit around 50mm or maybe 70mm, which can feel a bit limiting, but 105mm opens up a lot more possibilities. On the other hand, there is a bit of a focal length gap between the 24mm and 70mm, which may annoy some users, but still, having 16mm, 24mm, 70mm, and 105mm in a phone, with optical stabilization available at 24mm, 70mm, and 105mm is quite impressive and makes the Xperia 1 III a versatile performer. Check out the video above for the full rundown on the phone. 

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Sony Xperia 1 III Smartphone Review

Sony Xperia 1 III Smartphone Review

Sony Xperia 1 III
 

Quick Verdict

The Sony Xperia 1 III is a flagship smartphone with premium features and a price to match. Its quirky shape also means it won’t be for everyone but those who have used Sony Xperia smartphones previously or for the customer looking for something a bit different, the Sony Xperia 1 III could be the smartphone for them. We like the camera improvements, the display is great and the battery life will keep you capturing photos all day. Sony bill it as the ‘next level of Xperia’ and we have to say, we most certainly agree. 

+ Pros

  • Great screen
  • Impressive image quality 
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Great battery life

– Cons

  • Price
  • Tricky to hold
  • Pro mode still takes a while to figure out

 

 

The Sony Xperia 1 III is the latest flagship smartphone to join the Sony line-up and amongst the improvements are a better battery and a new variable telephoto camera. In fact, there are quite a few praises we want to make a camera but that’ll come further in our review where we’ll also look at the Sony Xperia 1 III’s quirky shape which has become somewhat of a USP for Sony Xperia smartphones as has the fact that the Xperia range harnesses technology developed for the Sony Alpha interchangeable lens camera line up. 

 

Sony Xperia 1 III Features

Sony Xperia 1 III
 

The Sony Xperia 1 III smartphone features a 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm wide lens, 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm ultra-wide lens and an adaptive telephoto camera that features 2 lenses – an f/2.3 70mm telephoto lens and an f/2.8 105mm lens giving you access to 2.9-4.4x optical zoom. You also get access to Sony’s fast autofocus Dual PDAF technology as well as Optical Image Stabilisation. On the front of the Xperia 1 III, is the same selfie camera found on the Xperia 1 II (8MP f/2.0 24mm). 

Previously, we’ve seen Pro modes that are separate from the main camera app on Sony Xperia smartphones but on the Xperia 1 III, the apps are all-in-one so you access the Pro modes from the same place as the auto camera. 

What is obvious is the smartphone’s size which it inherits from previous Sony Xperia smartphones as it’s long and tall measuring 165x71x8.2mm. This is because it frames a 21:9 aspect ratio 6.5″ display – something which has turned into a bit of a USP of Sony Xperia smartphones that some will be attracted to. It’s also a tiny bit thicker than the Xperia 1 II but that’s because it’s housing a better battery with more power. 

Other features include 4K video, a 4,500mAh battery that’s fast-charging, a headphone jack, Zeiss optics, Zeiss T* lens coating, IP65/IP68 dust/water resistance, 3 colour options and expandable memory with a microSDXC memory card. 

 

Sony Xperia 1 III Features

  • Variable telephoto lens
  • AF performance like the Sony Alpha range
  • 16mm ultra-wide
  • 24mm wide
  • 70mm, 105mm telephoto (f/2.3, f/2.8, 1/ 2.9inch dual PD) – telephoto lens zooms between 70 and 105mm (equivalent)
  • 2.9-4.4x optical zoom
  • 20fps continuous shooting with AF/AE
  • AI Super-resolution zoom
  • 4K HDR OLED 120Hz refresh 21:9 screen with white point display calibration
  • Full stage stereo speakers, 40% louder with richer bass
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 4500mAh battery
  • Fast accurate continuous AF across all lenses
  • Face and eye detection focus
  • All three cameras use a 12mp Dual PD (phase-detection) sensor
  • Portrait Bokeh available with 24mm, 70mm, 105mm
  • Dimensions: 165 x 71x 8.2mm
  • Weight: 186g

 

Sony Xperia 1 II

Sony Xperia 1 II

 

Sony Xperia 1 II Features (For Comparison) 

  • Quad Rear Camera: 12MP Wide f/1.7, 12MP f/1.4 Telephoto, 12mm f/2.2 Ultrawide & 0.3MP TOF Depth Sensor
  • Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens
  • Display: 6.5″ 4K HDR OLED display
  • Zoom: 3X optical zoom (telephoto lens)
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • ZEISS Optics
  • Pro video and camera modes 
  • Video: 4K – 24, 25, 30, 60fps, 1080p – 30, 60, 120fps (5-axis gyro EIS, OIS)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Type-C USB
  • 4000mAh battery with fast charging 
  • 256GB/8GB RAM + MicroSDXC slot 
  • Dimensions: 165.1 x 71.1 x 7.6mm
  • Weight: 181.4g

 

Sony Xperia 1 III Handling

Sony Xperia 1 III
 

Those who have owned Sony Xperia smartphones previously won’t be surprised to see the 21:9 aspect ratio screen design return which makes it a rather tall and long smartphone that makes it harder to hold one-handed (although it fits the palm well). You do get used to it and it’s also safer to use a smartphone with both hands but those who are firm fans of small dimensions probably won’t like the design of the Sony Xperia 1 III, preferring instead the look of other flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. 

Dimension wise, it measures 165x71x82.mm which is slightly thicker than the Xperia 1 II to fit in the improved battery but it doesn’t feel any more awkward to hold. The straight edges are quite as comfortable as the rounded edges we see on other smartphones but, again, it’s something you do get used to. It’s also a few grams heavier than the Xperia 1 II but nothing that you’ll notice. 

Even though the back is constructed from glass the finish prevents fingerprints from ruining the overall look and it also means it’s a bit more grippy but do pop on a case, still, as it’ll help protect it from knocks. The huge glass screen that has minimal bezels is easily marked, though, so you may find yourself getting out your lens cloth quite a bit. 

 

Sony Xperia 1 III
 

The aluminium frame surrounding the 6.5″ display is home to the volume and power buttons then below the power button is a Google Assistant button which is a nice add-on but it isn’t something we really used during testing. There’s also a camera shutter button that’s embossed so you can easily find it without having to tilt your phone to see which button you’re pressing – handy when you’ve already framed your shot and don’t want to spoil it. It’s also in the perfect position for landscape shooting as you can keep a decent grip on the phone while hitting the shutter button rather than having to reposition your hands to tap the on-screen shutter button. 

On the bottom of the Xperia 1 III is the USB-C port and SIM tray while on top you find a headphone jack. Stereo speakers are front-facing and the sound is great from them. 

 

Sony Xperia 1 III

 

The 6.5 inch OLED display might be a weird shape but it’s lovely to look at, colours are accurate and it’s easy to view outdoors. Sony has also built in a standard image viewing mode as well as a Creator mode which is said to offer a more true-to-life viewing experience so content creators get out exactly what they see on the screen. 

Turn the Xperia 1 III over and you find the camera unit top left which doesn’t sit entirely flush so there is a little movement if you pop it down on a desk and tap the screen. The unit is one line of cameras and the Zeiss T* branding is visible to promote the fact that quality optics are built-in. 

The camera set-up is as follows: 12MP f/1.7 wide-angle, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide and a 12MP variable telephoto camera that offers 70mm f/2.3 and 105mm f/2.8 focal lengths. The 70mm lens will give you 2.9x optical zoom while the 105mm lens offers 4.4x optical zoom. If you need more zoom, digital is available up to 12.5x but we’re not massive fans of digital zoom. It’s also not the longest zoom we’ve seen on a flagship smartphone so if you do want more reach, you may want to look elsewhere. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, for example, offers 3x optical zoom and up to 30x digital zoom. On the front is an 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm camera that sits in a small bezel right at the top of the smartphone. 

Sony is well-known for sharing its digital camera technology with its smartphone users and the Sony Xperia 1 III is no different. The Dual Pixel Phase Detection Auto Focus is quick and has no trouble tracking moving objects, people or animals with Rea-time Tracking. You also get accurate continuous AF and real-time Eye AF is built-in. Optical Image Stabilisation can’t be complained about either, offering excellent performance and utilising Sony’s latest Optical SteadyShot technology. For those who capture action shots, there’s a 20fps burst shooting mode built-in and low light photography should be slightly improved thanks to the larger sensor. 

Like its older siblings, the Xperia 1 III feature the Photography Pro function. Developed in collaboration with professional photographers, it mirrors many of the manual controls available in Alpha series cameras including ISO, shutter speed, EV Indicator and RAW support. For those who want to ‘press and go’, there’s a ‘Basic Mode’ which enables fast access to a range of easy-to-use photography features including a touch shutter button, portrait orientation, artistic bokeh effect, panorama, and more.

Video is can be captured in 4K at various frame rates and there’s also a 1080p mode available. Both are supported by 5-axis gyro-EIS and OIS to keep footage steady. The selfie camera captures video at 1080p, 30fps. 

 

Sony Xperia 1 III

 

The camera app is very similar to other camera apps you’ll have used with basic modes such as panorama, selfie assistance and creative filters built-in. There are also round buttons to switch to the different lenses, modes found across the top of the screen and a big shutter button. You can click the screen to focus and adjust the exposure of an image, too. You’ll occasionally see a symbol pop up which is the AI looking at the scene in front and ensuring the optimal settings are selected to capture the best photo. A message will appear when your finger is over the lens as well. As mentioned, you also have access to a physical shutter button on the side of the smartphone which is a great feature. 

One thing that is new in the camera app is the fact that the Pro modes are now merged with the basic modes as previously, they were in separate apps. You now wheel through the various modes available by clicking the mode you’re currently in on-screen which then brings the other options up. When you wheel through, you’re given descriptions of how each mode works and you’ll notice the tools also change depending on what mode you are in. The fact that all of the modes are now in one place makes the Xperia 1 III camera modes much more streamlined and you’re probably more likely to give the Pro modes ago as you no longer have to leave the camera app to find them.  

 

Sony Xperia 1 III Pro Mode

 

For most, the normal auto mode will be their go-to choice as it’s simpler to use and produces great results without too much effort. However, if you do take the time to learn how the functions available in the Pro modes work, you will be rewarded with great images but it will take a lot of patience to get to grips with. You can’t ‘snap and go’ with it either so won’t be a tool that’s suited to everyone. 

For those of you who like stats, the benchmarking stats for Geekbench is, on average, 3235.

Battery life – The 4500mAh battery doesn’t seem much bigger than the 4000mAh battery found on the Xperia 1 II but it did seem to last longer. You also get fast charging and the 20W charger is still provided which is good to see as some other smartphone companies have stopped supplying them. 

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Sony Xperia PRO launches in UK

Sony Xperia PRO launches in UK

Sony has launched its Xperia PRO ‘professional 5G communication device’ (aka smartphone) into the UK market. Already on sale in the US and Japan, this device is aimed at professional photographers and content creators, but not in the usual fashion of simply having a high-end camera system built-in. Instead, it’s the world’s first smartphone to incorporate an HDMI input, which means that it can be mounted onto a camera and used as a wired external monitor. The firm also touts its ability to beam images rapidly to news desks or art directors world-wide using its ultra-fast 5G connectivity, or to live stream video from your camera to social media sites such as YouTube.

Sony Xperia PRO launches in UK 22

Sony’s Xperia PRO can be used as an external monitor

Internally, the Xperia PRO is based on the firm’s current Android flagship, the Xperia 1 II. It boasts a triple-camera system with 16mm, 24mm and 70mm equivalent lenses, and borrows key tech from Sony’s Alpha cameras including real-time eye AF and 20 frames per second shooting. The device is water- and dust-proof, and includes a 3.5mm stereo headphone socket for playback of high-res audio.

Sony Xperia PRO launches in UK 23

The device can transfer images to an FTP server using super-fast 5G connectivity

When used as a monitor, its 6.5in, 21:9 screen supports the display of 4K video at 60fps. But some prospective users will be dismayed to find that it doesn’t support standard functions such as focus peaking, zebra patterns , 3D-LUT support or internal recording, despite it having 512GB of built-in storage and a 1TB-compatible microSDXC slot. There’s also no word from Sony on when, if ever, these features might appear. The firm is also unable to say for how long it will provide essential security updates for its Android 11 operating system, which could be a concern for those worried about the longevity of the device.

Sony Xperia PRO launches in UK 24

Live streaming of video is also supported, but requires a third-party app

The other serious stumbling block will surely be the price, which is a wallet-busting £2,299. This means that while the Xperia PRO might nicely fit the needs of a particular group of specialist users, it’s difficult to see it as anything like a mass-market device. However it’s a really interesting idea that could turn into a seriously useful tool, given just a bit more development.

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Sony Xperia 5 II Smartphone Review

Sony Xperia 5 II Smartphone Review

PA070025 | 1/100 sec | f/3.2 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200
 

 

Quick Verdict

The Sony Xperia 5 II smartphone takes what we liked about the Sony Xperia 1 II but puts it into a smartphone that’s smaller, easier to hold and has a slightly better price tag. We say ‘slightly’ as it’s still expensive but if you want a smartphone with premium tech that’s not priced at over £1000, the Xperia 5 II could be for you. 

+ Pros

  • Good screen 
  • Good image quality 
  • Size-friendly design
  • 4K 120fps video

– Cons

  • Still quite expensive
  • Google Assistant Button gets in the way

 

 

The Sony Xperia 5 II is designed to offer features found on high-end premium smartphones at a price more of us can afford, taking some of the technology found in the uber-expensive Sony Xperia 1 II and popping it into an upgrade of the Xperia 5 smartphone. It’s priced at around £799 which is still quite expensive so we’re going to find out if the investment equates to good value for money by putting the triple camera set-up, and other features, to the test. 

 

Sony Xperia 1 II Features

PA070007 | 1/100 sec | f/3.2 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200
 

The Sony Xperia 5 II inherits impressive features from previous Xperia smartphones but Sony’s presenting them in a smaller, easier to hold device that has a focus on photography. On the rear is a triple camera setup, with 16mm, 24mm, and 70mm equivalent focal lengths (all 12MP) and 4K HDR video is available at 120fps for high-quality slow-motion footage. There’s a 6.1-inch, tall and long 21:9 ratio screen (a USP of Sony smartphones), a 3.5mm stereo jack makes a return and the 4000mAh battery is pretty decent, too. You also get a separate Pro Camera app which offers you more control over the settings used to capture your photos. 

Those of you who have used Sony Alpha cameras will notice that some of the technology built into these products are featured on the Xperia series such as Real-Time Eye AF and up to 20fps burst shooting with continuous Auto Focus.

Other features include an 8MP f/2.0 24mm selfie camera, a Cinematography Pro mode that’s separate to the Pro camera mode, 5G connectivity, water/dust resistance and Type-C USB. 

 

Sony Xperia 5 II Key Features

  • Triple Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto) with PDAF, 3x optical zoom, OIS, 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide) with Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens
  • Display: 6.1″ OLED display
  • Zoom: 3X optical zoom (telephoto lens)
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • Pro video and camera modes 
  • Video: 4K at 24/30/60/120fps and HDR,1080p (5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Type-C USB
  • 4000mAh battery with fast charging but no wireless charging
  • 128GB/8GB RAM or 256GB/8GB RAM (microSDXC slot for expanded storage)
  • Dimensions: 158 x 68 x 8mm
  • Weight: 163g

 

Sony Xperia 5 II Handling

PA070006 | 1/100 sec | f/3.2 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200
 

The Sony Xperia 5 II is a smaller version of the Xperia 1 II which makes it better to hold but as it’s less expensive it does mean some features are missing such as a 4K display. However, we quite like the fact that it fits in the hand easier so the 4-inch difference in screen size (6.1-inch vs 6.5-inch on the Xperia 1 II) is something we can live with. You do get the Sony USP of a 21:9 aspect ratio display which means you get a narrow smartphone with a big screen but the 158 x 68 x 8mm dimensions won’t be for everyone. It does fit well in the hand, though, and you can easily control the smartphone one-handed. 

The corners and edges are now rounded, too, which makes it easier to hold when you compare it with the older Xperia 5 with its square edges which almost look sharp when compared with the newer Xperia 5 II. There’s still a chin and the selfie camera sits in a slightly wide bezel at the top but along the sides, it’s pretty thin. 

On the right side of the smartphone, there are volume controls, a Google Assistant button and a shutter button for when you’re taking photos in a landscape orientation – nice touch. There’s also a fingerprint sensor sandwiched in between these buttons as there’s not one built into the screen which we found ourselves accidentally catching sometimes along with the Google Assistant button which got a bit annoying when taking photos. Perhaps it’s just the way we held the phone that meant this happened but still, we thought we’d mention it. 

Turn your attention to the bottom of the Xperia 5 II and you find a USB-C port and on top is a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can charge your smartphone and use your headphones at the same time. 

On the back sits the triple camera housing which sits pretty flush to surfaces but as the back is made from glass it will slide off anything and everything so be careful if you don’t have a case on it. 

As for the display, it’s bright, colours are good and it has a 120Hz refresh rate which will improve your viewing experience. 

The Xperia 5 II also has an IP65 / IP 68 dust and water resistance rating, a 4,000mAh battery and it’s also 5G-ready. 

 

PA070015 | 1/80 sec | f/3.2 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200
 

The camera set-up is similar to that on the Xperia 1 II with just a few aperture differences and the selfie camera is also the same. You get some nice features such as Phase Detection Auto Focus, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), ZEISS optics and eye-tracking. 

Here’s how the cameras line-up:

  • 12 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto) with PDAF, 3x optical zoom, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide) with Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0 24mm Wide Angle Lens
  • Zoom: 3X optical zoom (telephoto lens)
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • Pro video and camera modes 

Video is captured in 4K at 24/30/60/120fps and HDR,1080p with 5-axis gyro-EIS and OIS to keep footage steady and you get access to Pro camera and video modes should you want more control over ISO, aperture settings etc. The selfie camera captures video at 1080p, 30fps. 

The camera app is very similar to other camera apps you’ll have used with basic modes such as panorama, selfie assistance and creative filters built-in. There are also round buttons to switch to the different lenses, modes found across the top of the screen and a big shutter button. You can click the screen to focus and adjust the exposure of an image, too. You’ll occasionally see a symbol pop up which is the AI looking at the scene in front and ensuring the optimal settings are selected to capture the best photo. 

As mentioned, there’s a Pro video and Pro camera mode (two separate apps) which some will be impressed with and use all of the time but for most, the normal auto mode will be their go-to choice as it’s simpler to use and produces great results without too much effort. If you do take the time to learn how the functions available in the Pro modes work, you will be rewarded with top images but it will take a lot of patience to get to grips with the app. You can’t ‘snap and go’ with it either so won’t be a tool that’s suited to everyone. 

For those of you who like stats, the benchmarking stats for Geekbench is 3410.

Battery life – The 4000mAh battery is really great and you’ll easily get a full day’s use out of the smartphone. It does support fast-charging but you’ll need to buy a separate charger to use this feature.

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