A Review of the Revolutionary Sony Xperia 1 IV Camera Phone

Camera phones have become remarkably advanced in the last few years, especially as we have seen some impressive advancements in computational photography that help to offset the drawbacks of their small sensors. Sony's new Xperia 1 IV ups the ante even more by being the first phone with an optical zoom, and this great video review takes a look at the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it. 

Coming to you from Kai W, this excellent video review takes a look at the new Sony Xperia 1 IV camera phone. As the company's flagship phone, the Xperia 1 IV comes with an array of impressive features such as 5G, a 4K OLED display, and more, but it is its camera array that should have photographers and filmmakers excited. The phone features three cameras, a 12-megapixel 16mm ultra-wide angle, 12-megapixel 24mm wide angle, and 12-megapixel 85-125mm telephoto, the first optical zoom in a camera phone. It also borrows the autofocus system of the a9, has 10-bit raw capabilities, offers 20 fps continuous bursts, and features a 3D iToF sensor for better bokeh simulation. All the lenses feature Zeiss optics and coatings as well. It is certainly quite the interesting phone for creatives. Check out the video above to see it in action.

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12 Comments
Rex Larsen's picture

This Sony looks good, similar to the popular Galaxy s21u. The main feature that's unique is the burst mode. My wish is for a phone with a screen viewable in bright light. What good is everything else when you cant see your image.

Jan Steinman's picture

I'm sorry, but for these old eyes (and I'd warrant a growing population of others in their 40s), a viewfinder is the only way I can take pictures. I'm NOT going to go searching around for my reading glasses whenever I want to take a photo!

winzehnt gates's picture

About 8 years ago, Samsung had several Samsun Galaxy Zoom smartphones. E.g. the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom had a 24mm-240mm (FF equivalent) camera.
This Sony marketing lie alone should be reason enogh not to touch this smartphone with a long stick. And the price Sony asks for this is redicolous.

After the "1-inch sensor lie", the "first smartphone with zoom lie" is the second Sony marketing lie within months. Nobody should believe them anything they claim about their gear without checking thoroughly.

Alex Herbert's picture

You're talking about what was essentially an Android camera with a phone thrown in. It was big and unwieldy and no one bought it.

winzehnt gates's picture

The Samsung K Zoom was 137.5 x 70.8 x 16.6mm with a weight of 200g.
The Sony Xperia I IV is 165 x 71 x 8.2 mm with a weight of 185g.
I agree that nobody bought it, but that was more down to price and that smartphone photography was still frowned upon.
We'll see how this overpriced Sony will sell.

But as the Samsung K Zoom was a smartphone with a frontside like any other smartphone at the time, Sony marketing is still lying.

J Barber's picture

My wife had one. Not bad, but not at all pocketable like a phone. An awkward mix of compact camera and phone.

Rex Larsen's picture

I suggest fstoppers fact check their content, it can be done in minutes.

Jan Steinman's picture

My eyes are too old for chimping.

If it doesn't have a viewfinder (or ground glass and a loupe!), it's not a camera. I am not going to hunt around for reading glasses before every critical shot.

J Barber's picture

I know a lot of folks cheer the physical headphone jack (I like that too), but the one thing that would REALLY impress me is removable battery. Batteries fail, and sending a phone out for a new one is a major problem for many of us. (Not to mention convenience of carrying spares)

Jan Steinman's picture

I don't disagree, and yet, batteries are generally custom-designed to fit within a larger design concept properly.

If cell phones had to accommodate AAA cells (for example), they would look a lot different — and not be nearly as appealing to the marketplace.

Years ago, I was teaching photography classes regularly, and advised my students to get cameras that took standard AA cells, so that if they ran out in some podunk location, they could always get more in a local drug store.

Today's camera batteries, are, of course, replaceable — but not in some small-town general store!

J Barber's picture

That's true.

My concern is not so much the custom design--just like with cameras or power tools, the batteries are usually unique to a manufacturer. But I believe replacing them should be a kitchen table project. Needing to send a phone out is a potential serious problem for many people.

It's easier to replace batteries in my wrist watch than in a phone

Jan Steinman's picture

Unfortunately, lithium battery technology has gotten reliable enough that the battery lifetime is just about equal to the typical upgrade cycle. In other words, most people don't keep a phone long enough for the battery to go bad.

This is horrible for folks like you and me who keep things forever. (This is coming to you from a ten-year-old laptop!)

BTW: changed a battery in a laptop lately? It is possible, but is nearly as difficult as changing one in a phone!