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Rumor: Sony might bring curved-sensor technology to smartphone

47
Sony Xperia Z3X, Image: digi-wo.com

If the images that have surfaced in the Chinese forum digi-wo.com are legitimate it appears Sony is working on a phablet targeted at enthusiast photographers. The user who has posted the images claims to have further information about the device and says the photos show the Sony Xperia Z3X which is scheduled to hit the market sometime in 2015.

The device seems to feature the same glass surfaces and boxy design we already know from the Xperia Z1 and Z2 but sports a massive lens on its back. Despite the typically sleek smartphone design it is apparently possible to attach an external flash unit and viewfinder. 

According to the forum post the Xperia Z3X's Android L OS will be powered by a 64bit Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC that is clocked at 2.86 GHz and 4GB of RAM. Images and other files can be stored on 16GB of internal storage. The screen is said to measure 6.14 inches, offers a QHD resolution and uses, a first in Sony smartphones, OLED technology. The camera image sensor is rumored to be Sony's new curved Exmor-RS IMX271SMK sensor unit that will apparently offer a resolution of 22MP, combined with a very fast F1.2 lens. 

It is impossible to know if the information in the forum post is correct and the images might well be the creation of mobile photographer with decent Photoshop skills. On the other hand it would not be a surprise if Sony, after Nokia with the 808 and Lumia 1020 and Samsung with the Galaxy K, is also thinking about launching a device that offers more to enthusiast photographers than its current flagship models. What do you think about the Xperia Z3X? Would you order one?

Sony Xperia Z3X, Image: digi-wo.com

Source: digi-wo.com | Via: Chip.de


Comments

Total comments: 47
Rooru S
By Rooru S (6 days ago)

Well, it seems the rumors were right...sort of...

We got interchangeable lenses, a flash unit (built-in) and a new phone. Aside from that, everything was fake.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
KBarrett
By KBarrett (2 months ago)

The larger lens of the second attachment configuration is a cut-and-paste of the 24-70ZA's front element as it appeared in the press-shots for the A99.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (2 months ago)

I could not believe what I'm reading and see. After giving it a hard thought, these specs are plausible considering this device will have Android L which won't be available until the end of this year.

This device might be announced mid of 2015 and available in the holidays of 2015.

The curved sensor to be out soon is possible since they gave a hint that the curved technology is not yet possible with larger sensors. The f1.2 lens is a little bit harder to accept but this could be possible with the curved sensor and the Z3X may start with f1.8 and the f1.2 the best possible estimated performance for future devices.

0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (2 months ago)

Curved sensor for curved smartphones for big curved bottoms. Wait! Didn't the industry leader and innovator Samsung try that? What happened to it? There are certainly more than enough big curved bottoms!

0 upvotes
BayToSierras
By BayToSierras (2 months ago)

This kind of camera in a phone that fits into my pocket might get me to give up my iPhone. This 6 inch screen is too big to carry around.

1 upvote
Alphoid
By Alphoid (2 months ago)

If it's waterproof, Android-based, has a large sensor and fast lens, and full manual controls, I'll buy it, effectively no matter the price. If Sony marks at $2k, I'll drop it in a second.

0 upvotes
GradyBeachum
By GradyBeachum (2 months ago)

It's the Sony HAL 1000 ("I'm sorry Dave, I cant take that picture").

3 upvotes
marc petzold
By marc petzold (2 months ago)

that's what i thought, too. ;-)

0 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (2 months ago)

I'm seriously considering going to iPhone after 4 years with Android products, but this phone might keep me around for another contract. If it's waterproof, and there's definite specs out before my contract is up in December, I may well hold off until its release.

If it's not waterproof, though, I'll get an iPhone 6 in December.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

The iPhone 6 is unlikely to shoot raw or have a card slot.

1 upvote
tokyojerry
By tokyojerry (2 months ago)

For those reasons, telephoto, and otherwise, is why you also maintain a more 'serious' camera as your primary camera with such demands. Smart phone-based cameras will ultimately kill off that 'mom-and-pop', compact camera market. In fact, already happening.

1 upvote
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (2 months ago)

Yeah, I don't want or need RAW for my mobile photo needs. I just want to snap, edit, and share.

Same with the card slot. I never swapped them out when I had them, and when I got my current phone which didn't have a removable card, I was skeptical, but I haven't missed it at all, so that's a non-issue for me as well.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

hydro--

You don't want raw some do, so the option should be there. You can keep the hypoPhone set to shoot jpeg.

If editing includes changing color or brightness, raw will be helpful.

Removable cards are real helpful in moving a few GB of data from a phone/camera to a computer--for backup storage, editing, etc.

1 upvote
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (2 months ago)

Again, a few might like it, but the majority have no use for it. It's likely just a feature that, for the market, doesn't add appreciably to their sales figures.

RAW on a smartphone is like having a towing hitch on a Mini: doesn't necessarily create a drawback, but if you're really going to make use of the feature, then the device it's attached to is far from ideal.

Obviously, from your name, RAW means more than just about anything else, but I don't think most of the rest of us will be losing any sleep over lack of RAW on a phone.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

hydro:

I've seen a towing hitch on that Honda small sporty hatchback hybrid (shaped like a CRX).

A towing hitch on a hatchback isn't real helpful, unlike raw on any kind of digital camera.

Not having raw on a camera phone drives some customers away and the number driven away will increase.

Not losing sleep over the lack of raw on the iPhone, but wouldn't buy an iPhone for that reason.

0 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (2 months ago)

If the lack of RAW on an iPhone is a dealbreaker for you, then I take it you just don't own a phone then.

I feel pretty confident not valuing your opinion on such matters going forward, so thanks for clearing that up.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

hydro:

How do you know I don't have a Windows phone which shoots raw? There are two (that's 2) current models, and one has a card slot.

Phone I got.

Pretty safe bet that you don't follow camera phones much.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (2 months ago)

If all you care about in a phone is RAW capture in the camera, just get a camera and be done with it.

If you want a useful tool, steer clear of Windows phones, and deal with the horrible agony of being reduced to JPEG output and no more 20x30 prints of your masterful cell phone art.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

hydro:

The point is the smartphone is often the camera that's at hand. However my LX5 doesn't browse the web, read emails, etc, so it's not a daily carry item.

I already have more than a few cameras which are smallish and shoot raws.

Windows phones shoot huge DNGs, and you can get to those. You look to have confused one feature of the raw shooting Windows phones with the entirety of the camera system on recent Windows phones.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (2 months ago)

Hey man, whatever floats your boat. You're obviously atypical and myopic.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

hydro:

I suggest you look up "myopic".

Raw indeed widens opportunities, I'm not suggesting smartphones use Foveon sensors with which one has to shoot raw.

Yeah, I think there's a market for raw shooting smartphone cameras.

0 upvotes
Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (2 months ago)

I'd get it, but those accessories look fake. The bottom half is from the LA-EA2/4 adapter.

0 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (2 months ago)

I would buy it, but the attachments look fake to me, I have the Z2 and love it

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Charlie Jin
By Charlie Jin (2 months ago)

Should have been posted on April 1.
LOL.
Also, there should be an adaptor for 70-200mm F2.8 lens.

2 upvotes
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (2 months ago)

"Sony might bring curved-sensor technology to smartphone"

Just the one? or is your grammar appauling.

0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (2 months ago)

No worse than your spelling...

7 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (2 months ago)

Android = no thanks.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (2 months ago)

Everything Apple doesn't make sucks. Apple didn't make you.

9 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (2 months ago)

Forget about the attachments. A F1.2 Lens with a bigger sensor in a non proturding design is the way to go.

3 upvotes
badi
By badi (2 months ago)

yep... a 35mm equiv, F/1.2, with some 1" sensor... and totally buried into a 8-9mm thick phone (screen included) .... i think it's reasonable to wait for that.

.....

wait some friend of mine, says that it's not going to happen because some physics stuff, i think he just doesn't have enough faith in Sony.

0 upvotes
grasscatcher
By grasscatcher (2 months ago)

@ Badi, physics would make it impossible if we think in the context of the traditional flat sensors. This new curved sensor technology, I think, opens up new doors that would allow a larger sensor in a much smaller (w/ lens) package. With that being said, 1" does seem a little optimistic in this size range; however, 2/3" sensor is much more believable, and still 4x more sensor area than typical 1/3" sensor phone camera, so that is a huge leap in performance right there.

1 upvote
badi
By badi (2 months ago)

yep, you are right,
however i was a bit ironical - my point is that the whole camera must fit in about 4-5-6mm so wonders will not happen too soon. But yes, probably this will save enough space to be able to obtain some x2 - x4 or even higher IQ than a traditional phone camera.

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (2 months ago)

I would never attach all that stuff to the phone (would carry a full camera at that point), but that does look like a great phone camera. Best part is it doesn't run Windows like the other large sensor phones (not that I have a problem with it, just that Android has far more support).

2 upvotes
cogthrob
By cogthrob (2 months ago)

I dove into the Android world with a Note3, lured by the stylus and high camera marks on DXO etc. However, it's awkward and too big so I think I'd have to pass on this oversized Sony too.

Tempted to go Z1 Compact but also may be able to tolerate Note3 until the next compact refresh (then again, not sure it will be worth it since the Z2 Compact specs aren't that bumped from the Z1 Compact).

Anyway, exciting times, nice to see manufacturers catering to the current generation of lomo-like photographers.

0 upvotes
arhmatic
By arhmatic (2 months ago)

Great to push the boundaries.
Sony has been really innovative with many photography products over the years.

Apple has been lagging behind for years now. They are still good at marketing... Little chances I will get yet another iPhone, regardless.

6 upvotes
Dave Lively
By Dave Lively (2 months ago)

A phone has to fit into my pocket. With a 6 inch screen and protruding lens I doubt this one can do that.

2 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (2 months ago)

I don't see a proturding lens there. Unless you're talking about the "attachments"

1 upvote
Dave Lively
By Dave Lively (2 months ago)

I did not notice the profile. The attachments made it look like it was protruding. Still a big phone though.

I would have to see one to know for sure if it would fit into a pocket. I thought a 5 inch phone would be too big until I tried one.

The aspect ratio of the screen matters too. This one looks to be more like a 2.35:1 screen if it fills the frame. A tall, skinny, thin phone might fit. I am not sure how well that sort of aspect ratio would work for the applications I use most.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

What are the rumored dimensions of this 22MP sensor? If it were flat how many millimeters would it measure on a side?

16GB of internal storage seems small, if the camera shoots raw and is 22MP, unless that's separate dedicated storage.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

the current Xperia Z models all have microSd support. So if this thing is real I would expect it to have a card slot, too.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

Okay, I thought so, but 16GB still seems small.

Can a person, using just a finger nail, swap batteries on the current Xperia Z models?

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

non, batteries are non-removable, that probably makes the waterproofing of the body easier. There's not really a need for it though. Both the Z1 and Z2 have massive batteries that last very long.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

Lars,

I'm not so concerned about how long a battery holds a charge, I'm concerned about dead/dying batteries.

If the battery can run for 3 18 hour days of shooting and web browsing that's great.

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (2 months ago)

2/3" according to other rumours. Though this is at odds with the lens' supposed spec, which given it's FL and 'equiv' FL seems more towards a 1" sensor size, possibly slightly bigger.

Also there will be tele conversion lenses (which can now be seen in photos apparently).

1 upvote
viking79
By viking79 (2 months ago)

The curved sensor is going to mess with the field of view calculations, so I suspect that it is reasonable

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (2 months ago)

Why do you think that is true?

1 upvote
Terry Breedlove
By Terry Breedlove (2 months ago)

No

0 upvotes
Total comments: 47
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