Sony Xperia 1 VI introduces 85mm to 170mm optical zoom


This post is by Jose Antunes from ProVideo Coalition

Sony Xperia 1 VI introduces 85mm to 170mm optical zoomA new 85-170 mm optical telephoto, and tele-macro capable lens is one of the highlights from the new Sony Xperia 1 VI, which also drops the cinema 21:9 aspect ratio display from previous models.

Sony introduces its new premium smartphone, and the model comes with a series of new features, starting with a display enhanced using AI image adjustment technology “Powered by BRAVIA®” that reproduces the image quality of Sony’s TV BRAVIA.  The display uses AI remastering technology to improve contrast, colour, and clarity. Sony says that “for ease of watching in bright conditions, 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.”

The new display in the Xperia 1 VI drops the cinema 21:9 aspect ratio display from previous models and opts for a more conventional 19.5:9 OLED with FHD resolution and a refresh rate that varies from 1 to 120 Hz… which explains, partially, why Sony claims the new model can run for two days of typical use on its large and efficient 5,000 mAh battery. Despite the lightweight body which is thinner than the previous Xperia models, the company notes, “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.”

Sony Xperia 1 VI introduces 85mm to 170mm optical zoomQuality equivalent to full-frame cameras

It’s in the camera department, the one that interests us here at ProVideo Coalition, that drastic changes appear. The camera array includes a wide-angle 24 mm lens paired with the Exmor T for mobile sensor, a new 48 mm focal length, an ultra-wide 16 mm lens, and a new extended 85-170 mm optical telephoto lens. All offer 4K HDR 120fps video recording, Real-time Eye AF, Real-time tracking and ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating, which contributes to the superior optical quality of images by minimizing unwanted lens effects such as reflections. A 12MP front camera – for selfies – completes the camera set-up.

Developed by Sony, the Exmor T for mobile sensor on the Xperia 1 VI on the 24mm lens, together with AI processing, delivers, the company claims, “picture quality equivalent to full-frame cameras”, enabling less noise and wider dynamic range in low light, and videos full of cinematic colour expression.  The high-resolution sensor on the 24mm camera lets you capture still images at up to 48MP for astonishingly detailed landscapes, Sony claims, adding, as a footnote, that “48MP works for JPEG, Single shooting, 4:3 aspect ratio and maximum ISO 32000.”

The big news, though, is the telephoto optical zoom lens – with a range, 85-170mm, leaked in recent weeks by rumor websites – that enables long distance shooting in superb detail, according to Sony, up to x7.1 zoom. The Sony Xperia 1 V introduced an 85-110mm zoom that was promising but this new focal range really makes the Xperia 1 VI a very appealing model for photographers and filmmakers.

Sony Xperia 1 VI introduces 85mm to 170mm optical zoomA telephoto zoom that does macro

The new telephoto lens expands your creative possibilities with unique tele-macro capability for photos and videos. Unlike other devices that use the wide-angle for macro shots, requiring you to get very close to the subject, the Xperia 1 VI uses the telephoto, so you don’t need to get too close, and, Sony claims, “in addition it brings a beautiful bokeh, a solution that’s unique to Xperia 1 VI.” The telephoto macro photography offers a maximum magnification of approximately 2x and a minimum focus distance of 4cm, even without a dedicated macro lens.

In terms of video the Xperia 1 VI is capable of shooting at a 4K 120fps with all main cameras, and includes the acclaimed S-Cinetone colour profile, developed for Sony’s professional Cinema Line and Alpha cameras. The Xperia 1 VI is designed to work, also as an external monitor for Alpha cameras, offering enhanced features such as peaking, zebra pattern, and backup recording. In fact, you can record video in the Xperia 1 VI internal memory to enhance your workflow or use the external monitor feature and a cellular connection to stream live to YouTube or Real-time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) from your Alpha camera.

Also new in the Xperia 1 VI is the camera app. Sony has, following suggestions from uses, integrated the three different camera apps used in its models into one, making the camera simple and easy to use. The user-friendly interface designed for seamless navigation prioritises convenience without compromising on the array of creative tools available, such as special shooting modes like PSM and customisable colour presets like ‘Creative Look’. Moreover, with touch tracking 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, users can, Sony claims, “effortlessly capture both photos and videos with intuitive control and precision.” ​