Sony Xperia Pro-I: A camera first, phone second

Sony is able to throw-down with a brand new camera-first 5G cellphone — the Xperia Professional-I — within the battle for smartphone digital camera supremacy. Lower than 12-hours after the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional’s critiques began dropping on-line, and all of the digital camera fanatics attempting to find out whether or not the Pixel 6 Professional or the iPhone 13 Professional Max has the very best smartphone digital camera, Sony desires to be within the combine with the Xperia Professional-I.

The “I” within the Xperia Professional-I stands for imaging, which pays homage to Sony’s well-liked line of Alpha mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and professional video cameras, slightly than point-and-shoot digital camera mannequin names just like the Sony RX100 VII (Mark 7). A minimum of that’s what the Sony representatives who have been briefing journalists forward of this occasion informed us. The star of the present is clearly this machine’s digital camera know-how, so it’s completely truthful to consider the Xperia Professional-I as a digital camera that occurs to come back with a cellphone hooked up.

The Xperia Professional-I’s triple rear digital camera array.
Picture: Sony

In any case, it’s notable for utilizing the same 1.0-type Exmor RS picture sensor with part detection AF (autofocus) that powers the RX100 VII, the popular point-and-shooter of vloggers and vacationers. This huge 1-inch digital camera sensor allows “excellent low gentle efficiency, excessive dynamic vary, and delightful bokeh,” in accordance with Sony. Nonetheless, DPReview notes that whereas this 1-inch sensor is 20 megapixels in complete, the Xperia Professional-I solely makes use of a part of the sensor, which means it outputs a 12-megapixel picture on this machine.

Whereas uncommon, Sony isn’t the primary to incorporate a 1-inch sensor in a cellphone. Sharp’s Aquos R6 had one when it was introduced earlier this 12 months, as did Panasonic’s CM1 from 2014.

Sony’s Xperia Professional-I has a complete of three 12-megapixel cameras on the again (a fundamental, ultrawide, and telephoto) and one 8-megapixel digital camera round its entrance. Whereas these cameras appear low-resolution, the Sony consultant was very keen to elucidate that they include fewer however bigger (2.4µm) pixels, the place every pixel captures extra particulars, extra dynamic vary and larger depth of discipline. The corporate appears assured it doesn’t have to chase larger megapixel counts like its rivals.

The Xperia Professional-I’s rear cameras use three glass lenses from Zeiss. Its fundamental 24mm lens has twin aperture (f2.0/f4.4) that lets you change the depth of discipline extra shortly to create “genuine bokeh,” slightly than the digital software-created bokeh impact that different telephones produce.

The cellphone’s show has a 21:9 side ratio, making this a slender, tall machine.
Picture: Sony

The Xperia Professional-I consists of the identical BIONZ X imaging processor present in Sony’s A9 skilled mirrorless digital camera for sports activities, which permits it to take as much as 20fps in burst photographs just like Sony’s latest smartphones just like the Xperia 1 III. That is the uncommon smartphone digital camera that’s quick at autofocus, and able to real-time eye monitoring (people and animals) in each stills and movies. Talking of movies, Sony claims that the Xperia Professional-I is is the primary smartphone on this planet that may document 4K movies at 120fps and have the ability to protect all 120 frames. Whereas different smartphones can document 4K movies, they usually compress the frames right into a smaller file, which implies you gained’t have as a lot management in post-production.

On the cellphone facet of the Xperia Professional-I, it has a 6.5-inch 21:9 3840×1644 OLED show, with 120Hz refresh charge, at a comparatively skinny 21:9 side ratio. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, and unlocked fashions ought to work on most 4G networks on this planet, in addition to sub-6GHz 5G. There’s 12GB RAM, 512GB of inside storage, a microSDXC card slot, and a 4,500mAh battery which might be fast-charged at 30W. Regardless of its premium and fashionable specs, the Xperia Professional-I nonetheless has a 3.5mm audio jack for creators who have to plug in a mic, and a strap gap to slip in a wrist strap for safety.

The Xperia Professional-I’ll ship in December 2021 for a whopping $1,800 (£1,599). That’s the identical worth as Samsung’s flagship foldable, the Z Fold 3, and $200 greater than the 1TB mannequin of Apple’s iPhone 13 Professional Max, which prices $1,599. It’s additionally greater than a Sony’s $1,300 RX 100 VII, and the identical worth because the $1,800 full-frame Sony A7C. However Sony’s intention with the Xperia Professional-I is to offer a tool that may do all of it, combining the standard of a devoted point-and-shoot digital camera with a skinny (0.35-inch) 5G cellphone.

Preorders for the Sony Xperia Professional-I’ll start October 28, 2021 at 10:00AM ET.

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