The cameras of the Sony Xperia 1 III, explained: its telephoto lens wants to be a cannon to the waterline of its competitors

It is a little later than some of its competitors, but the new flagship model Sony seems determined to do battle at the high end. Although its external design is markedly continuous, its specifications clearly reflect that the engineers of this brand have not rested on their laurels since they developed its predecessor.

Its 6.5-inch OLED 4K HDR screen with a 21: 9 aspect ratio and capable of working at a refresh rate of 120 Hz is an essential ingredient in your cover letter. So is your processor, a chip Snapdragon 888 5G from Qualcomm that has clearly shown us what it is capable of in other flagship models this year.

However, the bet of this smartphone, as expected, does not overlook its photographic features. The most impressive asset of this Xperia 1 III is, without a doubt, its telephoto lens, which is equipped with advanced optics that implements two focal lengths (70 and 105 mm equivalent). But this is not all. It also stands out by introducing Dual PDAF (phase detection autofocus) on all cameras. As you can see, on paper it paints really well.

Sony Xperia 1 III: technical specifications




6.5-inch 4K OLED with HDR, 21: 9 aspect ratio, 120 Hz


Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G


Qualcomm Adreno 660

principal memory

12 GB

secondary storage

256 o 512 GB

frontal camera

8 megapixels

rear cameras

– Wide angle (main): 12 megapixel 1 / 1.7 “Exmor RS sensor, lens with aperture value f / 1.7, Dual PDAF and optical stabilization

– Ultra wide angle: 12 megapixel 1 / 2.6 “Exmor RS sensor, lens with aperture value f / 2.2 and Dual PDAF

– Telephoto lens: 12 megapixel 1 / 2.9 “Exmor RS sensor, lens with aperture value f / 2.3 and f / 2.8, Dual PDAF and optical stabilization

– Sensor iTOF 3D

operating system

Android 11




Stereo speakers

Dolby Atmos processing

Jack de 3,5 mm


4500 mAh


50% battery in 30 minutes with 30 watt load

ip protection

IP65 / 68


Frosted Black, Frosted Gray y Frosted Purple


165 x 71 x 8,2 mm


186 g

This is how the SAR sensor works, one of the components that we use the most and know the least about our mobile phone

A set of cameras in which a telephoto lens with double focal length stands out

Before we investigate the characteristics of the four rear cameras that this smartphone incorporates (main, ultra wide angle, telephoto and TOF 3D) it is worth noting that the three main units incorporate a sensor 12 megapixel Exmor RS and an optics developed by Carl Zeiss.

However, although all three sensors have the same number of photoreceptors it is not the same sensor. As you can see in the table that we publish above these lines, each one of them has a different surface, which, of course, determines the size of the photodiodes.

The telephoto lens is supported by a 1 / 2.9 “sensor, an optics with double aperture value and double focal length, Dual PDAF focus and optical stabilization

The main camera uses a 1 / 1.7 “sensor, an lens with aperture value f / 1.7, Dual PDAF focus and optical stabilization. The combination of a sensor with that size and a bright lens should allow this camera combat noise with solvency in unfavorable shooting scenarios, something that we will check as soon as we have the opportunity to analyze this mobile phone in depth.


The ultra-wide angle camera uses a 1 / 2.6 “sensor, an lens with aperture value f / 2.2 and Dual PDAF focus. And the third unit, the telephoto lens, is supported by a 1 / 2.9 sensor. “, a lens with double aperture value (f / 2.3 and f / 2.8), double focal length (70 and 105 mm equivalent), Dual PDAF focus and optical stabilization.

Sony has developed an innovative optical block that increases the creative possibilities of the telephoto lens of this smartphone

We still do not know the most intimate details of the innovative optical architecture of this telephoto lens with double focal length, but there is no doubt that Sony has developed a very original optical unit that should allow those who decide to get this mobile phone face the shooting scenarios in which it is necessary to resort to zoom with a higher probability of success.

This innovation represents a breath of fresh air in a segment in which not all brands manage to propose novelties capable of offering us a real added value. We’ll see when we thoroughly test this smartphone if this camera lives up to expectations. The fourth unit is a TOF 3D type camera that, as we will see below, intervenes in the implementation of the approach of this mobile phone.


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He wants to stand out thanks to his approach and the skill with which he fights noise

During the presentation of this mobile phone Sony has placed great emphasis on the precision with which it manages to resolve the focus in real time of objects that move very quickly. That all cameras have Dual PDAF (phase detection autofocus) and that, in addition, they can work in tandem with the iTOF 3D camera, it is an important asset in shooting scenarios where it is necessary to focus quickly on a moving object.

The work in tandem of phase detection autofocus, the iTOF 3D sensor and the calculation capacity of this mobile are its best assets to solve the focus at high speed

TOF 3D cameras work in much the same way as submarine sonar or radar. Are used to accurately measure distance to which an object is found projecting a beam of infrared light towards it. When the light falls on the surface of the object, a part of it is reflected in the opposite direction to the one in which it was initially propagated and returns towards the camera. The only thing that the latter has to do now is calculate the time that has elapsed since it emitted the light pulse until it receives it, once it has been reflected on the object.

Xperia 1 Iii Lenscomparison Bike 105mm With Logo

This is one of the photographs that Sony has provided us to demonstrate the detail recovery capacity of the telephoto lens of this smartphone when we use the longest focal length. It paints well, but our final conclusions will come when we have the opportunity to take our own photographs.

Sony engineers have also developed a new processing algorithm that aims to minimize noise not only in shooting scenarios where ambient light is scarce, but also when using the maximum shooting speed. This smartphone is capable of capturing bursts of 20 FPS with continuous focus, so there is no doubt that to effectively resolve noise you will not only have to have an advanced algorithm; you also need a processor that is capable of handling this computational effort.

To conclude, we cannot ignore the news that Sony has entered in the software which acts as an interface between the user and the cameras. These improvements seek to give advanced users greater control over the shooting parameters, and, at the same time, they deploy a new shooting mode for inexperienced users that aims to help them obtain good results in a simple and intuitive way. We hope to have the opportunity to test them thoroughly very soon.


More information | Sony

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