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From its seamless design and its perfect hand-fit to its eye-popping 21:9 CinemaWide™ display, Xperia 1 is a smartphone powerhouse that’s beautiful to look at, easy to hold in your hand and offers an upscale content-watching experience.

But when it comes to creating content, that’s where Sony’s latest flagship smartphone really comes into its own. Its triple camera offers creators the chance to record videography with professional-quality tools, and its triple  camera offers outstanding image quality in every photo.

What’s more, Creator Mode, “powered by CineAlta”, Sony’s digital motion picture camera team, allows creators to bring their content to life how they envisioned on a 4K HDR OLED screen.

Glenn Gainor with the Xperia 1

A CineAlta spokesperson said: “Creator Mode offers colour accuracy, and it’s all achieved with the support of Sony’s professional team.

“It enables users to enjoy video shooting by exploring their creativity in cinema-like style. This new feature will open up new workflow possibilities, such as using Xperia 1 as a secondary handheld monitor while on set.”

We’ve already seen some amazing content captured on the new smartphone since its launch at this year’s MWC, so we wanted to know more from the team who created this stunning device.

We chatted to Yosuke Someya and Kensuke Mashita, Senior Managers at Sony Mobile, to hear about the collaborations and technology behind the Xperia 1’s triple camera.

Xperia 1 contains unprecedented professional-grade technologies – why was this so important in the design of this latest flagship smartphone?
Someya-san: We collaborated with experts across Sony – from Alpha™ to CineAlta to Sony Pictures Entertainment – to ensure that Xperia 1 offers you the chance to capture the moments that reflect your creative ambitions. We know that smartphones are becoming an increasingly indispensable part of people’s lives, so it makes sense to provide them with the technologies that either make their lives easier, or allow them to create or consume content in a way that offers a better overall smartphone experience.

Xperia 1 is part of our vision as one Sony group to inspire and fulfil people’s curiosity, and we’re uniquely placed to do so as a creative entertainment company. We want to provide people with pro-grade technologies that provide the best creative entertainment experience.

Xperia 1 includes features inspired by Alpha cameras. Can you tell us more?
Mashita-san: By working together with Alpha’s engineers, we were able to bring their incredible technologies to Xperia 1. Xperia 1’s new BIONZ X for mobile image-processing engine offers RAW noise reduction for smoother, clearer photos, Eye AF helps the photographer hone in on a subject’s eyes for more attractive portrait imagery, while up to 10 fps continuous shooting with AF/AE allows users to capture the moment.

Sony is a leading camera maker so we have a great deal of internal expertise, meaning we can collaborate across the Sony group to create a great user experience.

On the other hand, Alpha can utilise Xperia 1 to be connected as a sub monitor with a 4K HDR screen and accurate colour reproduction.

Is the product aimed only towards professionals?
Someya-san: Xperia 1 is not solely aimed at professionals. Rather, we want to give dedicated and passionate people the ability to realise their creative ambitions with professional-level technologies.

The unveiling of Xperia 1 at MWC

With these technologies at their fingertips, how will Xperia 1 users be able to improve the content they create?
Someya-san: There have been ample advances on Xperia 1 versus previous smartphones. Eye AF technology in Xperia 1 allows for incredible portrait photography, while Cinema Pro enables users to create their own movies and still imagery with eight distinctive “Look” settings that convey different moods on the scene.

How did you ensure that Cinema Pro was such a powerhouse feature?
Someya-san: We worked closely with Sony’s digital cinema camera engineers, who in turn help create the cameras that film many of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. With Cinema Pro, you can record movies with similar parameters and colour settings as the professionals, shooting in 21:9 in 24fps in full 4K HDR.  You can capture the exact mood you want to create – whether you want a warm, summery feel, or a cool industrial atmosphere – by using the “Look” colour settings.

Mashita-san: Thanks to its 21:9 CinemaWide Display, you can see your 21:9 image before you take it using Cinema Pro, allowing you to not only take incredible imagery, but to see what you’re taking before you do so. Additionally, the quick, precise Eye AF inspired by our Alpha camera range with Dual photodiode technology keeps the subject in focus – even in scenes with fast movement.

Creator Mode is a very appealing feature for content creators, but on a technical level, how does this work?
Someya-san: Xperia 1’s Creator Mode, “powered by CineAlta”, has been developed with the aim of reproducing the image as the creators intended. With its high contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, Xperia 1 offers deeper blacks and more natural-looking colours. The screen also supports reproduction standards such as DCI-P3 100%, BT2020 colour space* and D65 White Point.

The triple camera of Xperia 1 allows for incredible photography. In which situations is it particularly strong?
Mashita-san: The camera is strong in all situations, but particularly excels at portrait photography and high-speed shooting thanks to its RAW noise reduction and Eye AF technologies incorporated in BIONZ X for mobile. As customers have come to expect, the camera also excels in retaining details with less noise and no lack of colour, even in low-light conditions.

Can you explain the rationale behind the three cameras? Why did you opt for the combination of the 16mm, 26mm and 52mm lenses for optimum effect?
Mashita-san: We opted for the best possible combination of cameras to ensure users can take professional-level imagery. The 16mm lens is especially good for dynamic, wide landscape scenes, while 52mm is ideal for portrait shots.

Sea view taken with triple camera on Xperia 1

Xperia 1 is the worlds first smartphone with Eye AF**. What benefits does this technology offer, and why was it important to include professional-level technologies in the camera?
Mashita-san: Eye AF, a technology that came to Xperia 1 through working with Alpha, is something that professional photographers have found invaluable for stunning portrait photography. In Xperia 1, we wanted to create a product that gives dedicated and passionate people the tools to create and shape their content in the ways they want.

With Xperia 1, users can record beautiful 4K HDR movies. How will the triple camera help users to create their own incredible videos and movies?
Mashita-san: Xperia 1 has a unique hybrid stabilisation system – combining optical image stabilisation and electronic image stabilisation simultaneously. It gives you shake free and smooth videos even when recording on the move.

Have you taken some stunning shots or videos using your Xperia 1? Post them on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #Xperia1.

*Xperia 1 does not cover the BT.2020 colour space in full
**Xperia 1’s camera features Eye AF (autofocus) capable of identifying and keeping a human eye in focus. Verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAXService against the published camera specifications for over 14,000 smartphones. Correct as of the 24th February 2019