The Sony i1 Honami, the expected flagship successor to the Xperia Z, is likely not to have a sensor as large as the one on the Nokia Lumia 1020. Despite that, the Honami allegedly exists and people close to Sony have already seen the device and first sample images shot on a prototype. How do they look? Expectations are that Sony will deliver this time and the samples spurred hope that the Honami could blow all existing Android smartphones and be neck to neck with the Lumia 1020.
The Sony Honami is said to be slightly larger, but still fairly similar to the Xperia Z: the new flagship would be 4mm taller and 2mm wider, but just as thin. The Honami will feature the familiar magnetic dock for the new type of docks Sony has that will obviously become universal. The bottom is once again confirmed to be fully occupied by the speaker grills? Sounds familiar? That fits exactly the leaked images we saw more than two weeks ago (find them right below).
The new details touch on the 20-megapixel f/2.0 camera with 5mm focal length. Xenon flash is unlikely and ISO could go up to as much 1600. The actual resolution of images is 5248 x 3936 pixels.
The disappointing news is about the sensor size. The latest whispers decry earlier rumors about the Honami matching the ⅔” sensor on the Lumia 1020. It is now said to feature a smaller, 1/2.3” sensor. The size of the camera sensor, the photosensitive element behind the camera’s eye, is quintessential to image quality. A smaller sensor collects less light and this makes it less suitable for low-light imagery.
Sony Honami might have a 1/2.3 sensor
The camera will work with BIONZ image processing engine that runs on top of the Qualcomm Krait processor. That specific processing for images will only be available via the built-in CyberShot camera app.
Below are impressions from the source who has seen the first sample images taken on a prototype:
now based on the early sample image that I saw, full res output @ISO100 reveals lots of detail comparable (take note, not better or anything superior) with the old RX100 with minimal loss of detail at ISO400, though at ISO800 and 1600 the image is flooded with Luminance and chroma noise with visible color blotches plaguing the image but someof the small details that I've seen visible with the ISO400 sample are preserved, bokeh effect is virtually similar to 1020's. as you guys would know, I posted my thoughts on Honami's ISO1600 performance relative to RX100's on the previous page before I got my hands on the sample, but now I have to say that RX100 @ISO1600+ is virtually untouchable at any rate. I can't comment on how it fares against 1020, but think they'll be neck and neck when comparing their full resolution outputs. one more thing, the samples exhibited some corners softening but barrel distortion is handled pretty well (could be due to image processor just like how it's usually corrected on compact cameras).
Now compared with all smartphone cameras available 808/1020s aside, Honami's camera performance will wipe the competition including S4 zoom and the old Galaxy Camera IMHO. but I advice we keep our expectations low, 1020's biggest weapon is the oversampling, and I think Sony has nothing to counter against that, so the competition boils down on which camera delivers better per pixel detail at full resolution. and as of this moment, I'm not sure who's got the upper hand to be honest. besides the sample images that I've seen with my eyes are based on pre production software, so we can't rule out the possibility that the JPEG engine will be better.
Take into account that all this is still rumors based on insider’s information. Sony could make changes in the final product and it likely will. Still, it seems that we already have a pretty good understanding of the general outline of the Honami, don’t you think?