Sony launches Xperia Pro-I. 1 ”half-used sensor and variable diaphragm. It costs $ 1,799

Sony has cleared the 1 ”image sensor in its line of smartphones and, in a sense, across the entire industry. It did so with the presentation of the new Xperia Pro-I, with the main chamber of the rear three equipped with a modified version of the 1 ”Exmor RS sensor and with 20 MP resolution of the RX100 VII compact camera. The “I” in the name, in fact, stands for “Imaging”.

The most attentive will certainly remember the Panasonic CM1 with 1 ”sensor from 2014, but in reality it was more of a camera with the functionality of a smartphone. The Sharp Aquos R6 was also recently presented, again with a 1 ”and 20 MP sensor, but with the limit given by being able to use only the central portion of the sensor, making a 10 MP crop then rescaled to 20 MP. The same thing also happens on the Sony Xperia Pro-I just announced: in fact, it is not certain that the sensor is not the same.

1 “large sensor but photos obtained from a crop

The main camera of the Xperia Pro-I is a 1 ”and 20MP Exmor RS stacked-CMOS PDAF sensor with integrated DRAM and 2.4 µm pixels, with Zeiss Tessar T * lens equivalent to 24 mm, stabilized and double aperture: f / 2 and f / 4. However, the 4: 3 photos produced are only 12MP, because they only use a portion of the sensor.

The reason lies in the choice – in a certain sense understandable – not to combine the sensor with a lens so large as to produce a circle of coverage that can cover such a large sensor. By circle of coverage we mean the image that is conveyed on the focal plane, and in this case on the sensor. The lens is able to exploit only a part of the sensor, the central one, equivalent to 12 MP.

At this point one would wonder why to use a 1 ”sensor if it is not possible to use its entire surface. There is also to consider that the aperture of the Zeiss lens is rather closed compared to the competition: an f / 2 which, for the crop of the sensor which is about 3.55, is equivalent to about an f / 7 of a full one. frame.

However, Sony can take advantage of the sensor’s single pixel size of 2.4 µm to recover more light and without pixel binning. Furthermore, despite the crop, the actually usable dimensions of the sensor make it approximately 1 / 1.31 ”which is however equivalent to a considerable size in the field of smartphones.

The other two cameras are a 12 MP (1.4 µm) 2.5 “ultra wide angle 16 mm equivalent, f / 2.2, with dual pixel autofocus, and another 12 MP 2.9” tele 50 mm equivalent, f / 2.4, with dual pixel autofocus and optical stabilization. The three cameras can all use a ToF sensor that keeps them company on the back and have the support of Real-time tracking.


The phone can acquire movies up to 4K / 120p with autofocus Real-time tracking on the eye and takes advantage of the “Video Pro” and “Cinema Pro” modes. And it is possible that in the video field, on an aspect ratio of 16: 9, Xperia Pro-I can exploit almost entirely the 1 “sensor.

Snapdragon 888 and schermo OLED 4K

As for the actual smartphone, the Xperia Pro-I has a screen OLED da 6,5″ 4K HDR 10-bit (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) with a ratio of 21: 9 and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. The panel can achieve a peak brightness of 1,000 nits.


The brain of the phone is one Snapdragon 888 accompanied by 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The battery is 4,500mAh, with fast charging to 50% in 30 minutes using a 30W charger. It has IP65 / 68 protection and also the 3.5mm audio jack, as well as a microSD slot with capacity up to 1 TB.

Sony Xperia PRO-I will initially be available only in some countries: France, Germany and some of Northern Europe. From 2022 it will also arrive in other European countries, but it is not yet known whether Italy will be among these. The launch price is $ 1,799, pre-order from October and with availability from 10 December.

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