Interview: Renowned filmmaker Philip Bloom on the Sony Xperia Pro-I and the state of smartphone videography

19 December 2021
The Xperia Pro-I features a 1" type sensor, which is the same one we have on Sony's RX100 VII.

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  • everett2000
  • mE0
  • 01 Jan 2022

TheLastOracle, 20 Dec 2021"Yes, you can manipulate and change things in post but... moreReally? I've never seen a Galaxy HDR photo I've liked. Nor, indeed, a Pixel. While fine for regular use, for professional use their awful because they always, always, always take the dynamic range way too far to be edited in post. Sky isn't always blue. Sky isn't always the same general brightness as the street. Night doesn't have to be day.

These are things you can't fix perfectly afterwards if you don't like them. These things also deliver halos and fringing in trees and along rooftops. Never, ever seen a smartphone HDR shot that doesn't. Ever.

The photographer is correct: natural, light-touch processing on a high quality image from high quality sensors beneath high quality optics will ALWAYS be better for professional use.

The sensor in the Pro i is, arguably, the best. The optics are glass not plastic - unique for a phone. These things, plus the light processing, and feature rich control are not to be sniffed at.

    • e
    • everett2000
    • mE0
    • 01 Jan 2022

    Ivo., 21 Dec 2021The Sony Xperia Pro-I will be a huge flop and no Sony shill... moreAs Sony's mobile unit is solidly in profit again and the Xperia 1iii was a bestseller in China, of all places, as well as a very strong seller in the European market, I think we should give Sony some credit for knowing their target audience, here.

    I don't ever expect the Pro I to trouble the top spots in any charts but, at £1700, it really doesn't need to, does it? Volkswagen Group's most profitable division is Porsche and you never see them in the charts.

    The Pro I will sell in the numbers Sony expects. That's all it needs to do.

      • ?
      • Anonymous
      • IJK
      • 23 Dec 2021

      Nick Tegrataker, 22 Dec 2021The anonymous user who commented below me answered some of ... moreThank you

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        • Anonymous
        • IJK
        • 23 Dec 2021

        Matt99, 21 Dec 2021I remember my nokia 808 had a variable appature and 41mp, i... moreAnd it also is one of many phones even from 10 years ago or more that showed very natural photos.

          Anonymous, 20 Dec 2021It does not. No review says. Custom WB = it is not th... moreThe anonymous user who commented below me answered some of your questions so I'll keep mine relatively short.

          I tried out Xiaomi phones in the store. Xiaomi phones support RAW shooting on all cameras for nearly two years. Mi Note 10 could do that even on a macro camera. A temperature slider can be found on most phones' manual mode nowadays.

          "Person that did not even know Phase Detection AF can be disabled has zero credibility and knowledge"
          The point you were making was one phone was having PDAF disabled to reduce the banding artifacts, which simply didn't make sense and still doesn't.

          "Should be fixed before devices are announced, not 5 months later"
          Fixing a problem after the release is still better than never fixing it, like how Sony is doing absolutely nothing to fix Xperia 1 III's poor lens quality control and software processing that softens low contrast textures and underexpose the subject.

          "as a gift I tell you the cam setup of 1iv"
          If I were to hear a fun rumour, I would rather hear one from more trustworthy leakers, not a guy who can't even see the difference between textures and sharpening effects. No thanks.

            • ?
            • Anonymous
            • IJK
            • 22 Dec 2021

            neozs99, 21 Dec 2021It's still a best seller on BH and the xperia 1 iii is... moreBecause it had limited stock and was slightly less over priced....duh

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              • Haru
              • vxx
              • 22 Dec 2021

              Anonymous, 20 Dec 2021It does not. No review says. Custom WB = it is not th... moreThis guy's barking at Nick again hahaha! Classic.

              Sony's HLG recording is still flawed since they don't even color grade the footages out of the box and you need to resort to a third party app to color tune them in post. All of the HLG samples taken by Xperia that you see on the internet are already color graded, otherwise they would have looked flat on all kinds of displays.

              Youtube will also automatically convert videos formatted in HLG into HDR10 during the upload process, while SNS butcher them into compressed SDR mess, so the benefits for HLG is extremely limited if your intention is to share your videos to your friends.

              I saw you lying about one of Aquos phones using the same sensor as Sony's compact camera one time. Repeat after me please, there is no point of disabling pdaf because phase detection pixels are baked into the sensor, and intentionally not using the said focusing system will not get rid of banding artifacts. You didn't post the link to the source of your info, just an account page that has hundreds of posts to follow.

              Stop acting like a trustworthy leaker when you don't even have an account.

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                • Matt99
                • StU
                • 21 Dec 2021

                I remember my nokia 808 had a variable appature and 41mp, it was a beast!

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                  • JustSomeRandomGuy
                  • EwD
                  • 21 Dec 2021

                  Ivo., 21 Dec 2021The Sony Xperia Pro-I will be a huge flop and no Sony shill... more"Just HDR alone kills any expensive full frame camera!"

                  tell me you don't know anything about photography by not telling me you don't know anything about photography. seriously, you're embarrassing yourself with that comment. read the whole article first

                    • ?
                    • Anonymous
                    • j%t
                    • 21 Dec 2021

                    Anonymous, 20 Dec 2021I frankly think it's all a PR stunt. No serious profes... moreI believe he said that he uses it for the candid moments when he doesn't have a cinema grade camera on hand. Quick and handy.

                      Ivo., 21 Dec 2021The Sony Xperia Pro-I will be a huge flop and no Sony shill... moreIt's still a best seller on BH and the xperia 1 iii is out of stock..so..

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                        • Ivo.
                        • jMx
                        • 21 Dec 2021

                        The Sony Xperia Pro-I will be a huge flop and no Sony shills, like Philip Bloom, can't save it! The guy keeps lying about the sensor size, while it's the pixel size that's important. And we all know how Sony cheated with the lens. He's right about 1 thing, though - the phone picture quality and the full frame picture quality can't compare - the phone is much better! Just HDR alone kills any expensive full frame camera!

                          • ?
                          • Anonymous
                          • 69p
                          • 21 Dec 2021

                          Wayne, 20 Dec 2021Hi Anonymous. Stop quoting toy Sony cameras. Look into th... moreYou act like an angry bird

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                            • Wayne
                            • D$j
                            • 20 Dec 2021

                            Anonymous, 20 Dec 2021Camera like A7iii is limited to 4K@30 (100Mbps). No 10-bit... moreHi Anonymous. Stop quoting toy Sony cameras. Look into there $6-$16k range. Sony is,will known for limiting base model Cabrera until you get to big prices. So, zero example. You buy anything with a Sony sensor in it, and it seems to be at least equally limited for the price untill you get to big bucks.

                            There seems to be a conspiracy in the sensor camera industry, that even though a part is capable of more, and much more could be done for the price, they have to be hobbled to do less, in similar amounts of hobbling. Blame the chipset manufacturers. Look what Ape did with little effort on iPhone ProRes (which could be designed to do much more) it is out there compared to virtually all current phones.

                            But. If you don't believe, hiding behind a Sony still camera of all things (try at least a Panasonic Gh5) then look up Black Magic cinema cameras. For $1295 you get the massively overpriced 4kp60 4/3rds camera that does ProRes 4:4:4 12 bits, and more importantly, Btw video mode. Go to their 4.6k model with parallel dual gain, like topArri cinema camera, but more resolution. Go to their 12k, yes, 9 times more pixels than 4k, for $5995. These are value for money, but still can be a lot cheaper

                            You don't seem to realise that cameras using cheap to implement FPGA chips run hot and slow, compared to custom Application Specific Integrated Circuits. When converting to ASIC. And avoiding complex codecs, your size and cling requirements drop right off.

                            Compare against the new iPhone heat output in top mode, and approximately double it, and that might be the equivalent of putting a three times bigger compression circuit for ProRes at 2100mb/s recording, 4:4:4 14 bit 4kp60. As for how bad normal phones are, it's by design. You think something like the simple high end video camera App in Oppo and vivo couldn't be put on most phones, for free? Or that most of their picture processing quality can't be implemented on cheap phones? Yes, it can. A lot of phones won't even do what their hardware allows them to do, and the hardware is under made. What dues that tell you?

                            Phillip, like you, only knows what camera companies try to get away with, he doesn't know the design details.


                            Your little camera icons, don't name you look good.

                              • ?
                              • Anonymous
                              • 7Sd
                              • 20 Dec 2021

                              YUKI93, 20 Dec 2021While I still love the appeal of the Xperia Pro-I despite i... moreThat is a good point. Since you mention mobile lens, you must be familiar with a company called Moment. They do make special phone cases for their mobile lenses on iPhone, Pixel, and selected Samsung and OnePlus models. They also have their own universal mount for everyone else. So yeah, you can get the modt out of your smartphone camera when you have the right gear.

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                                • Adi
                                • KiM
                                • 20 Dec 2021

                                Anonymous, 20 Dec 2021Good to know Sony is keeping the 2 months old Xperia 5 iii ... moreUsing xperia XZ Premium since it's available. I can vouch that it receive security update every month for the first 2 years.

                                  • ?
                                  • Anonymous
                                  • M}3
                                  • 20 Dec 2021

                                  I frankly think it's all a PR stunt. No serious professional film maker would use a phone over a full on proper camera. Phones are great if you're surprised by something and you need to snap it or record it as a casual user because you always have it in your pocket. When you are somewhere with intent to shoot a movie, you bring with you the big cameras with proper lenses and features. I mean, why else would LTT, MKBHD or even JRE use proper high end cameras for up to $ 50k if they could just do it with a phone for $2000? And this is all amateur stuff compared to gear big movie studios roll around.

                                    Shanti Dope, 20 Dec 2021"Yes, you can manipulate and change things in post but... more"Yes, you can manipulate and change things in post but when you have cameras that do these things in real-time, the power of the image could easily be diminished if it no longer accurately represents that moment in time."

                                    'And this, for the love of God, is the reason why I still don't like computational photography.'



                                    Maybe you're not aware, but when the original A7s came out, Philip Bloom made a (almost creepy) video, filming beachgoers at night, including women changing their clothing in pitch darkness. At that point of time, I remember him claiming that the A7s can see way beyond what his eyes could, and that the camera was a technological marvel, because of this reason. Now he claims that smartphones don't represent the real image that our eyes see and that's why it's not a good thing??? Just for the record, every photo of the famous Henri Cartier Bresson was majorly touched-up/edited, and that's why they looked like pieces of art, instead of mere photos. While many smartphones previously created water paintings due to bad HDR, things have gotten much better now, and most smartphone photos of flagships, look both pleasing, and well processed/ edited.

                                      • ?
                                      • Anonymous
                                      • 8Kf
                                      • 20 Dec 2021

                                      Nick Tegrataker, 20 Dec 2021"does not let you choose framerate" "no man... moreIt does not. No review says.

                                      Custom WB = it is not those 5 every phone has. Photo Pro lets you create your own.

                                      Frame rate = No 25p used in Europe (24p is only 8K because sensor limitation), no 4K@120. No frame rate control for still

                                      HLG = no HDR screen required like HDR10/10+. Reason sony uses.

                                      There is zero mention of raw for all 3 cameras.

                                      Person that did not even know Phase Detection AF can be disabled has zero credibility and knowledge.

                                      Something else. When Find X5 Pro and OP10 Pro show up with the same yearly "everything into wax" in 2022 and they both will, do not try to justify as " it was fixed already". Should be fixed before devices are announced, not 5 months later.

                                      If you promise to stop lying, as a gift I tell you the cam setup of 1iv (how many rear cameras, size and resolution).


                                        • ?
                                        • Anonymous
                                        • 8Kf
                                        • 20 Dec 2021

                                        Nick Tegrataker, 20 Dec 2021A great, insightful interview, GSMArena. Although I wish yo... moreArea used is similar to a GN1 sensor (72,5mm2).
                                        Full sensor area is less than 120mm2, because ratio is 3:2.
                                        It is more than 60%.

                                        He is aware. That is why he says he would not mind thicker phone and bump if he could use the entire cmos.