Apple’s iPhone Beaten By Sony’s Radical New Smartphone Technology

 Apple’s iPhone Beaten By Sony’s Radical New Smartphone Technology

Sony’s new Xperia 1 IV defeated Apple by bringing to market a powerful new smartphone technology that Apple is still working on behind the scenes.

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The innovation can be seen in the phone’s camera with three rear-facing lenses, including a 16mm ultra-wide, 24mm wide and, most importantly, a new 85-125mm realistic optical zoom lens unlike anything seen on any other smartphone. Sony claims it’s the “world’s first true optical zoom 85-125mm lens’ on a smartphone.

Why ‘True’ Optical Zoom

Sony’s real optical zoom lens is different because, to date, almost all of the ‘optical zoom’ capabilities of a smartphone are more accurately described as ‘fake optical zoom.’

While such fake optical zoom techniques use real telephoto optics to magnify the subject, the effect of smooth zooming between different magnifications is always achieved digitally. This results in a progressive decrease in quality as you zoom, often with a sudden change in quality when the camera finally moves to the next lens.

Any form of digital zoom will always result in compromised image quality because the image dropped by the sensor must be cut and enlarged by image processing techniques. As clever as these techniques are, they cannot match the quality of a true optical zoom lens, which is able to use the entire sensor area without cropping or additional processing.

In contrast, Sony’s lens works like a zoom lens in a professional camera where you can physically adjust the lens to any magnification you want without any digital shenanigans behind the scenes. scene.

However, Sony’s new lens isn’t the first true optical zoom lens seen on a smartphone. Turn your mind to 2013 and you may remember Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom featuring a more powerful 24-240mm optical zoom lens. To be fair, the key difference here is that Sony’s periscopic lens fits perfectly inside the smartphone’s body, while the Galaxy S4 Zoom’s growing motorized lens makes it feel more of a compact camera than the a smartphone.

So should Apple be worried about Sony’s new headline? Not really. The Xperia 1 IV is specifically tailored for serious photographers, especially users of Sony’s range of high-end cameras, and has limited mass-market appeal. The cutting-edge ‘optical’ zoom, was never a high-priority feature for the iPhone, so I didn’t expect Apple to rush to bring its own version of this technology to market. But now, thanks to Sony, at least we know it’s possible.

Full details of the Xperia 1 IV are in Sony’s latest press release and you can read the full smartphone review here at Forbes.

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