Smartphones are equipped with point-and shoot camera beat each other in numerous ways however there’s one thing that traditional cameras can’t beat over smartphones zoom.

 It’s the new Sony Xperia 1 IV aims to change that by offering an optical zoom that is continuous lens. It’s a technological breakthrough certainly, but in the moment it’s more of a proof-of-concept and not a game-changer.

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Price, Specification and Display

It’s priced at $1599, which is an expensive device and that’s not just the price. You’ll see a lot of top-quality specifications on the phone, beginning with the 6.5-inch 4K (well 1644×3840 but similar enough) OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. It also comes with an Snapdragon 8Gen1 processor and IP68 waterproofing.

It comes with twelveGB RAM, battery with a 5000mAh capacity and even the headphone connector. The price is $1600, which is comparable to the most expensive versions from iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, both of which offer one TB storage space for the same amount of amount.In any event in any case, it’s clear that the Xperia 1 IV has something that neither Samsung nor Google provides: the constant optical zoom. There are plenty smartphones have cameras that allow you to zoom and pinch however it’s digital, not optical zoom. For the time being optical zoom usually provides superior results than digital because it makes use of moving lenses to enhance your subject.

 Digital zoom usually consists of cutting out a larger image, and then relying on AI to recreate the details it was unable to capture. It’s more of an educated guess rather than the actual reality.

Sony's XPERIA 1 IV

Telephoto lens

There may also be the telephoto lens that comes with your phone, like the lens that’s 3x (or equivalent to 77mm using film-era terms that are used by photographers) in the iPhone 13 Pro or the 10x (230mm equivalent) on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. They’re not “zoom” lenses as they’re fixed, and won’t let users to change focal lengths. The Xperia One IV’s telephoto lens is unique since it permits users to set the focal length as 85mm, 125mm, or any other distance between.

The makers of smartphones stick to fixed lenses due to their size and more affordable. The process of shrinking the moving parts that make up a zoom lens to a size that’s suitable for smartphones is a technical hurdle that only a very few OEMs are prepared for It seems. It’s fair to say that this Xperia 1 IV exists only in prototype form right now and isn’t expected to be released to consumers until September, which means Oppo might be able to be able to beat Sony to the beat. In the meantime it’s the Xperia 1 IV offers our only tangible proof of a truly smartphone-sized zoom.

It’s an incredible achievement however, it’s… sort of an utter disappointment.

In the first place, it’s an extremely tiny zoom range, it’s 3.5-5.2x when compared to the standard wide angle of 24mm. Sony claims it picked these focal lengths due to the fact that they’re typically employed for portraits, and as such, are suitable for this purpose. I’m not sure how important this space really is.

Three cameras that are rear on the Sony Xperia 1 IV:

Before we dive in the lens zoom we’ll give a quick overview of the three cameras that are rear on the Sony Xperia 1 IV:

  • 16mm F2.2 ultrawide: 12-megapixel 1/2.5-inch sensor
  • 24mm F1.7 standard wide 12 megapixel 1/1.7-inch sensor that has OIS
  • 85-125mm F2.3-2.8 Zoom telephoto 12 megapixel 1/3.5-inch sensors with OIS

All three sensors of the rear camera can read out at 120fps in high-speed So Sony’s face detection and eye detection works flawlessly on each. It’s amazing how well it does getting your subject’s eyes and staying with it and running almost completely on all rear cameras. The front camera also has a 12-megapixel sensor that can now support four-channel HDR video.

The Xperia 1 IV is sometimes capable of amazing imagesphotographs I’m amazed at I could take using an iPhone. However, the model I had the chance to test isn’t always consistent and isn’t able to make the right decisions about white balance, and scenes that have difficult lighting. The phone I’m trying out is a prototype , so there could be some changes when the device launches in the coming months however Sony’s senior product manager El-Deane Naude says he doesn’t believe that much to change between now and the time of release.

First, the positive: There’s a real zoom lens that’s on this phone and it performs quite well. It’s not the most comfortable but it’s certainly adequate to handle the small sizes of images utilized for social networking. The limited zoom range won’t have much impact in distant subjects, but when you zoom in close, it gives you more flexibility.indoor lighting indoor lighting Xperia 1 IV is smart to select a balanced lighting with vivid colours that don’t appear too saturated.

Sometimes, it gets in trouble in dim or mixed indoor lighting, which is not surprising due to its smaller sensor size and dim aperture in comparison in comparison to the primary wide camera. There are also white balance issues as well as some HDR effect that makes the white ice of the fresh display of fish to gray. Some of my images using the zoom lens appear to be somewhat overexposed and look less soft than they ought to be. 

Sony’s Naude admits to a specific issue to the prototype model with autofocus set at 5.1x zoom. I can clearly see in my camera, however the quality and exposure issues are also evident at various focal lengths.

There’s no escaping this fact: the Xperia 1 IV is working with tiny sensors and tiny optics in comparison to a traditional camera. Sharp images of moving subjects in dim light pose an issue, just as they are with any smartphone, so don’t expect the best subject separation even at the longest end of the zoom.

manual controls for video recording

The Xperia 1 IV offers a lot of manual controls for video recording, way more than a novice still photographer like myself can try to comprehend and use effectively. Similar to previous models the entire feature is housed inside the Sony Cinema Pro app. There’s a much simpler video recording app in the new version: Videography Pro. It also functions as a livestreaming software as well. I haven’t tried it out in a significant way, but so far, I’ve found it more relaxing as well as familiar Cinema Pro.

My main concerns regarding this Xperia 1 IV stem from the cost. The same MSRP for Galaxy S22 Ultra is a better choice. Galaxy S22 Ultra offers an excellent portrait mode, ultrawide and standard wide lens and a 3x telephoto and 10-x zoom. If I had to choose I’d rather have the wide range of the lens with 10x as well as the portrait-friendly 3x lens , with digital zoom between them instead of two portrait lenses linked by optical zoom.The Xperia 1 IV is IP68 certified, which is a strong protection against water and dust However, it’s not yet clear how resistant the lenses of the zoom on the Xperia will be to bumps and scratches or the wear and tear. 

Sony hasn’t yet responded to my query concerning this at the moment however I’ll be sure to amend this post if they respond. As of now, it looks that moving optics are moved out of alignment more often as fixed lens. If I were to spend $1,600 on that phone, then I’d need to know how cautious I’d need to be when using it.

Bottom line, Sony put a good point-and-shoot zoom in a smartphone. This is an amazing achievement. When it comes to practical usage it’s not as than impressive. It’s basically two lenses serving the same purpose: portrait photography. The fact that there’s an optical zoom that connects these two lenses does not make them more adaptable. Perhaps the next version will move a step further by adding the ability to zoom further. While it’s in the interim, this concept is in the process of being developed.

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