Sony has officially introduced the Xperia Pro-I, setting a new camera standard in the smartphone sector. A pimped-up Xperia 1 III is expanded to include a 1-inch sensor from the RX100 VII compact camera, which, however, increases the price.
If you are already struggling with the Xperia 1 III (Hands-On), which is just under $1,300, you don’t need to read anymore, because the Sony Xperia Pro-I costs a mere $500 more. So you now have the choice of buying a Samsung foldable for $1,800 or a flagship camera with a 1-inch sensor, which after all may also replace the action cam and the Sony Alpha camera.
In short, the Xperia Pro-I is an Xperia 1 III with a 1-inch sensor from Sony’s RX100 VII compact camera, which has been trimmed a bit to fit into the narrow casing of a smartphone. Instead of delivering 20-megapixel photos, Sony uses a 12-megapixel crop and an aspherical Zeiss glass lens with T* coating, dual aperture (either F2.0 or F4.0), and 24 mm focal length equivalent. Thanks to the 2.4 µm pixel size, the light sensitivity, in particular, should be higher than usual in the smartphone sector.
Triple cam with 3D TOF sensor
The 1-inch sensor is complemented in the middle by a 16 mm equivalent ultra-wide-angle with F/2.2 aperture and a 50 mm equivalent telephoto cam with F/2.4 aperture, both also with 12-megapixel sensors. The dual zoom optics from the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III were not taken over, but the 3D TOF sensor was. Sony is promoting the Xperia Pro-I in particular for camera professionals who de facto want to put an Alpha camera in their pocket. All known Alpha Pro features based on the BIONZ X-ISP are on board: Around 20 fps burst shots, 315 phase-detection points in 90 percent of the frame, real-time eye autofocus, and real-time tracking, both for the first time also for video recordings.
Video recordings in 4K at 120fps
What action cams like the GoPro Hero 10 Black and the upcoming DJI Action 2 have only recently been able to do, namely 4K recordings at 120 frames per second, the Xperia Pro-I can also do with the left. A new Videography Pro app is supposed to make filming easier, plus there are nice extra features such as the shutter button and a lanyard hole to fix the smartphone securely on the wrist while filming and taking photos.
The ideal camera for vlogging
Via USB-C you can also connect an external vlog monitor with a 3.5 mm socket for an external microphone and an extra port for a power source, ideal for vloggers who Sony wants to address explicitly with the new flagship camera. Based on the Xperia 1 III chassis, a 3.5 mm headphone jack is also integrated, but the Sony Xperia Pro-I is waterproof to IPX8.
The 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with 120 Hz and the Snapdragon 888 SoC is also there, combined with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of expandable UFS storage.
Sony Xperia Pro-I price and availability
The Sony Xperia Pro-I should be available at the beginning of December for $1,798 and is already available to pre-order via the Bhphotovideo.com and Adorama.com websites. The vlog monitor will cost $198.