Sony: dual-cam flagship with DSLR-level light sensitivity is in the works


If you have been lying on the MWC 2018 floor in a fetal position, curled and desperate that Sony didn't announce a dual-camera phone as most handset makers these days do, fret not, as the folks from Sony told us during the expo chit-chat that basically "it's coming".

The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact do have wonderful 19MP Motion Eye cameras that can do 960fps Super slow-mo video, just like the Galaxy S9, yet they only have one camera sensor on their backs, while Samsung outfitted its renowned S-line with its first dual-cam representative, the S9+.

A Sony representative has spilled the beans on an upcoming flagship from the company that will sport a brand new Fusion Image Signal processor, and, as the name suggests, it will combine footage from different sources to merge them into a better photo, which could mean a dual camera setup is in the works by Sony. What's more interesting, however, is that the cameras with Fusion ISP will excel in low-light, tipped Sony, and will be capable of DSLR-level ISO values of up to 51200 for photos and ISO 12800 for video. 

Yep, you read that right, future Sony phones may be able to go 4x the ISO 12800 that the XZ2 offers. We can imagine the grain resulting from such drastically higher ISO levels, so, hopefully, noise will be kept in check by the software algorithms as well. Here's the dual camera module that will be making its way into future Xperias, straight from Sony.

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25 Comments

1. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

Sony has completely lost it. What was the point of this announcement? Why not just keep it as a secret before you release it?

5. Macready

Posts: 1829; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Because it keeps large customers from buying sensors elsewhere.

11. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

It is for their own phones, not to sell to Apple, Huawei , LG etc...

17. Cat97

Posts: 1969; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Sony probably uses less than 3% of their smartphone sensors in their own phones.

2. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Finally some good news about Sony. But for god's sake, give it OIS...

7. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

People, stop posting random requests without putting some thought into them. The Xperia XZ2 is already over 11mm thick after reducing bezels and forcing the camera module behind the screen instead of above it. Would you like to have a phone that would end up 13-15mm in thickness? How do you want Sony to sell it? There must be a reason why other manufacturers can achieve cameras right behind the screen without going too thick. Either AMOLED screens are thinner or other camera modules are more compact. Let Sony resolve their technology. Already the XZ2 is a hugely compromised device. Don't create hype trains that everyone jumps on.

9. phaneendra_92

Posts: 64; Member since: Oct 12, 2013

8mm at edges where its comfortable and 11mm thickness where middle which give more grip and comfort.....

12. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Pixel has 1/2.3" without OIS. Pixel 2 has smaller 1/2.5" with OIS. I guess 1/2.3" is 15% bigger than 1/2.5" , sensor area.

24. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

The idea behind this must be to stay away from OIS. The possibility of better shots without slower shutter. OIS is not nood for videos.

3. Rafishant

Posts: 402; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Great news just to kill the barely announced flagship!

4. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

I hope Sony finally get their camera software right this time.

6. Rager722 unregistered

I'm really disappointed about the removal of the headphone jack and the overall design, should have been the same design as before with little to no bezel

8. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I quote: "DSLR-level ISO values of up to 51,200 for photos and ISO 12,800 for video." Am I reading this right? Tell you what, I normally use ISO 50 in almost all outdoor shots I take on my S6. And indoors, I take it up to 200 with slow shutter speed. And I may bump it up to ISO 400 if I'm taking photos of people as you need fast shutter speed to 'freeze' their movements. And even 400 is too grainy for my taste. ISO 51,200 would turn a photo into a spray painting, for crying out loud! Oh well, Sony needs help, just like HTC (Help This Company). G'Day!

13. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

They did not say sensor size. Bigger sensor can deal better with high ISO. Fadter readout can be used to decrease noise.

15. AlphaMale

Posts: 59; Member since: May 03, 2017

It seems you're not smart enough huh in extreme low light conditions a photo with good exposure that looks like a spray painting is better than nothing but darkness or blurry mess because of slow shutter speed. You also need to understand that if the camera can take photos/videos at very high ISO and still get acceptable result it means at low ISO you'll get cleaner result because the camera has better sensitivity. Last but not least if you look at the real time demo photo that gsmarena took at the show it looks very promising and not as bad as you may think. https://cdn.gsmarena.com/imgroot/news/18/02/Sony-xperia-img-technology/-728w2/gsmarena_004.jpg You can talk sh!+ about their mobile phones sales but when it comes to image sensor they are way ahead of the competition. G'Day!

16. Penny

Posts: 1869; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Lol AlphaMale, I applaud your passion and the fact that you are right about what you said. But I do think it's valid to point out how severely image quality degrades as ISO ramps up for smartphones. While low-mid ISOs SHOULD be cleaner with a higher gain sensor like this, current smartphones still haven't shown the best of abilities in handling noise with their image processing. So, as always, take this sensor with a grain of salt and hope for software magic, because we're still dealing with tiny sensors.

19. mixedfish

Posts: 1563; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Yes, you talk to any pro photographer and they will all say to not be afraid of bumping up ISO. Documentation of a subject with good exposure is better than not being able to take a picture.

20. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I'd like to meet that 'pro' photographer!

21. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I quote: "but darkness or blurry mess because of slow shutter speed. " I beg your pardon? Blurry might be true but 'darkness'? You do know that longer shutter speeds let more light inside the sensor, don't you? One can take a decent shot in a dark room with just a light lamp by bumping the shutter speed to 1s, 2s or more without flash. Preferably with a tripod, of course! And speaking of tripod, holding still for 0.5 - 1sec isn't all that difficult, even for this silly old man unless the camera is zoomed in which tends to amplify even the slightest movement. Anyhow, I shall reserve my judgment until I see some thorough tests with the camera at its highest ISO Level. And for the love of God, don't use my... G'Day!

23. AlphaMale

Posts: 59; Member since: May 03, 2017

As I've thought it seems you're really not smart enough there's a reason why i use "or" because I tried to say two different things without having to explain them in detail. 1. The photo is too dark because you use low ISO in low light. 2. You get blurry mess when you use slow shutter speed. No matter how long you set the shutter speed there is a limit on how much light a image sensor can take and when you hit that limit the it will not get any brigther or cleaner even with longer shutter speed. If you can do this "One can take a decent shot in a dark room with just a light lamp by bumping the shutter speed to 1s, 2s or more without flash." You can take sharper, cleaner and brighter shot with this new Sony camera (at least in theory). "holding still for 0.5 - 1sec isn't all that difficult" yeah but it will hard to get perfectly sharp photos consistently unless you use a gimbal. "Anyhow, I shall reserve my judgment until I see some thorough tests with the camera at its highest ISO Level." The advantages of image sensor with high sensitivity is not only at its highest ISO but also at lower ISO. At same ISO level you'll get cleaner or even brighter photo in low light and you can get sharper result because it allows you to use faster shutter speed. The highest ISO will be usefull in some situations where flash or slow shutter speed is not an option

10. oscar

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 15, 2008

Is it that hard to design a phone that is like the XA Ultra body, give all the camera sensors up to 4k with both DIS and OIS front and back, that have zoom like features like the X10, take away the bottom bezel completely, have a 4kmah battery so it can last a full day in a slightly thicker body to accommodate all the above? I mean they are part of JDI so drawing it up is not feat. Shhesh Sony........

14. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Speaker beside usb sucks. Ask any htc user if they dont want front speakers back. They wont get rid of front unless they are able to use acoustic surface.

18. cheetah2k

Posts: 2288; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Sony just announces XZ2. then this. kills all sales on XZ2.. nice one Sony. Mind you the XZ2 looks like a fail. they should stick to the monolithic design but with 18:9 screen, ditch the chin and forehead and dual cameras.. The current XZ2 looks like they copied HTC. meh. Sony is dead. RIP

22. Sparkxster

Posts: 1240; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Wonder if this is the xz pro?

25. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

During the press the guy let escape XZ2 Premium when he was going to say XZ2.

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