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How about the Sony Xperia 1 IV?

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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How about the Sony Xperia 1 IV?
    Posted: 24 January 2024 at 01:18
One of the reasons I take a camera with me on trips to China, is I've never really liked the pics I get from my phones. But last trip, that wasn't optimal (not helped by getting Covid19 halfway through so not able to travel in my break). I got few photos, and nothing that I really needed an a1 for. But I had more gear to carry, haul out at airport security, and anxiety.

So with the goal of bringing less stuff (carrying an a1 and 24-105 is an overkill), I'm pondering the Sony Xperia 1 IV mobile phone. Prices are no longer crazy-high. It's a more serious photography tool. And the ability to shoot in raw format with a camera app with manual controls, and an actual shutter button appeals.

It also adds the vital 5G dual SIM, a headphone jack, and oodles of storage, all things I value when traveling.

Anyone here had any passing experience with it, or have thoughts?

Ngā mihi -K
α1- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 & 100-400/4.5-5.6; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Sony 135/2.8 STF
 



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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2024 at 09:10
What about it? I own the Sony Xperia 1 III and it is a decent enough phone. To me the formfactor is appealing: squared corners and the 21:9 aspect ratio. The camera, well the IV is last years flagship phone but not that dissimilar then my III. Regarding photography mine has a step zoom and the IV has a true zoom, I think that is the biggest difference. Sony is not that good in computational photography compared to Google Pixel, Apple iPphone or Samsung. However, I feel the hardware of the Sony is top notch - I once saw a comparison between the wide angle of the III and the wide angle of the Pixel and the Sony resolved more detail. However, as a point and shoot the Pixel probably is better.

All phones have really small sensors and their strength is in software, that makes them competitive against real cameras. Take a look at Marcus Brownlee (MKBHD) video's on image quality - for the IV the one from last year: https://youtu.be/LQdjmGimh04?si=07BDosYREQhm-wrm (tested in Auto mode! The Sony has good hardware but the auto modes are so-so).

Did you consider bringing a small camera like the Ricoh GR (28mm) or GRx (40mm)? What about the Sony RX100 series? Or a A6x00 with a nice lens (Sigma 18-50/2.8 looks nice, or the Sony 18-135 if you want more reach). Just thoughts.

Edited by addy landzaat - 24 January 2024 at 09:16
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2024 at 09:14
Oh, this one I took the other day - out of phone JPEG that is boosted a bit in PS Express (contrast, vibrancy and such) taken with the main camera. Tried the wide in this situation and it flared too much.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2024 at 19:35
Thanks for those thoughts Addy.

Do you use it in say P, S or M modes and shoot raw files to process later? There seems to be wide agreement in reviews that in auto modes, producing jpegs, it doesn't compare as well to the Pixel phones etc. Whereas it is stronger when used more like a 'proper' camera.

My main reason for not considering a small camera is that it seems like a poor use of money.
I'd be using it just for trips to China (once or twice a year now it seems) and only when I won't be doing anything interesting enough to warrant taking the α1.

Whereas you need a phone for everything in China now, and my contract work requires a Chinese SIM (and it's convenient to have the NZ Sim on hand also). Plus with the anemic and erratic WiFi, you're much more reliant on 5G mobile data to get anything done.

α1- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 & 100-400/4.5-5.6; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Sony 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2024 at 22:37
Yes, the strength if these Sony phones is the hardware, not the software.
I seldom use it for photography, so, no, not RAW and usually in auto-mode. I have a Ricoh GR3 for those situations my E-mount cameras are to big.

I guess it will be fine for your intended use. I just wonder whether the small sensor is worth the hassle of RAW.

If you're in China, what about the Xiaomi 13 Pro with its 1" main camera? Just trying to confuse you This might be interesting: https://www.gsmarena.com/best_android_phone_for_photography-review-2541.php
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2024 at 02:54
In one of my earlier trips to China looking at wildlife markets, when I didn't want to draw attention to myself with the camera, I'd use one of the last Nokia phones to be manufactured. It was set up to shoot .dng files rather than jpegs. I was impressed at how much better the pics ended up. So I'm speculating that more modern Sony sensors, and ones a respectable 12 MP in size rather than 50, might be 'good enough'.

You did remind me though that I still have an old QX100 in a drawer somewhere. I'll have to see if it's still working.

The Xiaomi 13 pro does look very interesting, but none are currently available for sale here in NZ.

Thanks for the thoughts
α1- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 & 100-400/4.5-5.6; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Sony 135/2.8 STF
 



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