Phones Aren't Phones Anymore—Sony Xperia 1 IV Debuts with True Optical Zoom Lens

Credit: Sony
Sony Electronics has unveiled the Xperia 1 IV smartphone, powered by Android. It features the world’s first true optical zoom lens at 85-125mm and films at 4K up to 120 fps.

Once upon a time, a phone was just a phone. Then Apple came along and took off all the buttons. Now, iPhones have been used to film movies, and even Steven Soderbergh himself would rather use one instead of a cinema camera.

But other smartphone manufacturers have struggled to find the same success that Apple has discovered. RED's Hydrogen One couldn't break through the smartphone/camera barrier, for example.

Now it's Sony's turn with the new Xperia 1 IV. It features a 4K display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, giving it enough power for mobile filmmaking and photography. Is it going to succeed where others have failed? Let's find out.

Sony Xperia 1 IV
Xperia 1 IVCredit: Sony

The Sony Xperia 1 IV

Sony is no slouch when it comes to filmmaking and photography. It has created a line of products that give budget filmmakers affordable options, such as the Sony FX3, all while finally giving ARRI some competition with its VENICE camera system

And now we have a smartphone with CineAlta features. If that doesn't whet your appetite, you must not like cameras. 

Sony Xperia 1 IV Camera System
3 lens camera systemCredit: Sony

Key Features and Specs:

  • A total of 3 lenses, 16mm ultra-wide, 24mm wide, and 82-125mm telephoto with ZEISS optics and T coating attributes.
  • Cinematography Pro "Powered by CineAlta."
  • This includes similar color settings and parameters that pro-level Sony cameras enjoy, such as a wider dynamic range without losing resolution.
  • 4K up to 120 fps and 5x slow motion.
  • Real-time Eye autofocus.
  • 20 fps AF/AE burst shooting in HDR with all 3 lenses.
  • Live stream options via Videography Pro or External Monitor features.
  • 120Hz HDR display in 4K at 21:9 aspect ratio with real-time HDR drive, up to 50% brighter, made with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
  • 240Hz high-speed touch and Game Enhancer mode to fine-tune video and audio during live streaming and gaming.
  • Enhanced audio features including full-stage stereo speakers.
  • And much more.

The "Powered by CineAlta" feature is very cool, especially given the color settings and parameters you'll find in the higher-end cameras.

If you are a fan of FiLMiC Pro, the company is working with Sony to guarantee compatibility so you'll be able to take full advantage of the powerful mobile filmmaking app, including the new C2C feature with (Camera to Cloud). It can also be used as an external monitor.

Credit: Sony

Additionally, the Sony Xperia 1 IV will also feature Music Pro, a high-end audio creation app that includes pro-level features like cloud processing to remove unwanted noise, reproducing Sony's high-performance condenser mics, separating vocal and guitar sounds to mix, and balancing while filming a singer/guitarist, and more. Music Pro will be free, while the cloud processing will be a monthly fee.

The price of the Sony Xperia 1 IV will be $1,600 USD, which is in line with other high-end smartphones, including the latest iPhone 13 Pro Max, with a max capacity of 1TB.

The Xperia 1 IV debuts in September. You can pre-order right now.     

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Your Comment

1 Comment

it's a bit promotional this post...
in 2015 i had an android smartphone that have an extandable zoom, this is not the first...
but people had short memory, and only when marketing tell us something, we can believe.
Sony was the first with Z1 to add bohen's effects on smartphone, years before iphone, but only when Apple promote it seems they create this.
i had both :-D

May 21, 2022 at 11:49AM, Edited May 21, 11:49AM

Carlo Macchiavello
Director (with strong tech knowledge)