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Sony’s new Xperia 1 VI smartphone has some serious photography moves

The new Sony Xperia 1 VI features Zeiss glass
2 minute read
The new Sony Xperia 1 VI features Zeiss glass

It might have something of a clunky name, but from the Zeiss lenses to the new AF tracking, the new Sony Xperia 1 VI is arguably more camera than phone.

There’s a lot to like about the new Sony Xperia 1 VI. For a start it has the pedigree of an Exmor sensor for photography work, in this case the the Exmor T for mobile. In fact, Sony reckons that couple that with the 24mm lens and with AI processing, and the phone delivers picture quality equivalent to full-frame cameras. 

The Ziess lens offers an optical zoom up to 7.1x and has a focal length of 85mm to 170mm. Telephoto macro photography leverages the zoom lens structure for close-up shots characterised by crisp detail and pronounced bokeh. It provides a maximum magnification of approximately 2x and a minimum focus distance of 4cm, even without a dedicated macro lens.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, like most of 2024’s leading Android models. It also has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and also features a microSD card slot.

Sony says that the Xperia 1 VI’s AF tracking with human pose estimation was ‘cultivated’  with the Alpha series cameras, so there’s some link there, albeit perhaps more tenuous than being precisely the same algorithms. The upshot is that the rear camera integrates AI technology to recognise the human skeleton, enabling precise AF tracking even in challenging shooting scenarios due to potential obstructions that conceal the subject's visibility. This advanced functionality ensures consistent and accurate tracking, optimising image capture in a diverse series of environments. 

Xperia 1 VI_Accessibility_CameraApp

The Xperia 1 VI camera app has undergone a significant update too and introduces a new UI. New creative tools introduce special shooting modes such as PSM and customisable colour presets like 'Creative Look'. Touch tracking is now capable of automatically setting brightness and colour adjustments, alongside the introduction of the new Pro video mode offering detailed settings control for video capture.

The Xperia 1 VI’s display is powered by BRAVIA, and uses AI remastering technology to improve contrast, colour, and clarity. The new display is 1.5 times brighter than the previous model. Furthermore, the new Sunlight Vision delivers improved visibility in outdoor environments, not only brightening the image, but also performing AI image processing to prevent overexposed highlights by analysing the frames and the environmental brightness in real-time. 

Alpha_Xperia 1 VI

There’s a new Premium Audio Circuit for 3.5mm wired headphones (younger readers visiting from the Apple-verse may want to look up the phrase ‘microphone jack’), and a new higher-performance speaker. Through the reduction of distortion at high volumes and optimisation of low-frequency output, there's been a marked increase in the sound pressure level, resulting in a more impactful and immersive audio experience. 

All this comes with a large 5000 mAh battery designed for two days of typical use. Also worth pointing out is that the use of a vapour chamber heat-dissipating component, a new display with low power consumption and unique power efficiency technology combine to enable continuous video playback for over 36 hours, approximately twice as much as previous models.

The Xperia 1 IV will be available to buy from early June for approximately $1299.


Tags: Production mobile filmmaking sony