Sony has been relatively quiet about phones since the Xperia 1 II roll out. However, rumors have been heating up on the Xperia 5 II, which is a lower-cost alternative to the flagship phone but very nearly as capable without the best screen or construction but not skimming on features. The latest rumor mentions a spec sheet that makes it a 4k 120fps recording phone which may show that handsets still are seen as innovators when it comes to cameras since very few consumer devices in the camera world can record at that frame rate.
We were not very happy that Sony basically killed the super slow motion mode on the Xperia 1 II phone which kind of showed that Sony was putting stills and regular video at the forefront without making compromises in sensors that needed to shoot at higher frame rates. Sony chose to do cleaner regular frame rate video and stills that were better than any Sony phone before at the cost of not having a do it all sensor. Slow motion from Sony was all but killed but the Xperia 5 II now makes us second guess that fate…
With all the COVID 19/Coronavirus news it seems out of place to fret over smartphone maker decisions. However, we have to mention the latest Sony smartphones which prioritize photo and video quality with one gigantic omission. All of the new lineup from Sony the Xperia 1 II, Xperia 10 II, and Xperia PRO 5G lack super slow motion features. Yes, the 960fps 1080p mode is gone and the only spec remaining is a paltry 120fps 1080p Full HD pseudo-slow-mo frame rate.
If you recall in years past, the Sony brand was incorporating their Motion eye™ technology which pairs a sensor with ultra-fast memory on the same package to allow for large datarates and super slow motion capture. In the lab, the phones were able to shoot up to 1000fps at full 1080p HD with excellent quality. What came out in the Xperia phones was a somewhat odd translation of 0.1 seconds recording time at 1080p 960fps/1000fps which came out to be extremely short and a kind of useless feature. Now that has been abandoned.
It seems that the cellphone has once again taken no prisoners when it comes to the portable consumer camera. Casio which was probably the most influential affordable high-speed camera developer 10 year ago with the EX-F1 has now decided to retrench and effectively end their portable consumer camera development due to mounting losses with no clear path to profitability for the division.
The Japanese hi-tech company generated a loss of 500 million Yen (or $4.6 million U$) in the 2017 fiscal year for the division. They will effectively pull out of the market to stop the bleeding. It is quite sad to see a company that created the EX-F1 and the excellent EX-FH20 eliminate their entire consumer camera division. Could things have been different and could they have avoided the phone camera erosion that has obliterated the sales of most manufacturers? Our only thought would be that they did not innovate fast enough to remain competitive for the consumer to be a real alternative.
The Nikon DL was really the only strong contender in the pro-sumer compact camera line from Nikon to offer fast frame rates if it had shipped. The only other remotely considerable high speed option by the company is the Nikon 1 series in their V and J options which haven’t been updated in a while.
The cancellation of the Nikon DL series was due mainly to technical issues with the image processor which made the company miss the June 2016 target ship date & second, a restructuring effort after the company reported a net loss of ¥831 Million Yen or 7.3 Million US Dollars . This is no small predicament as the company had reported in the same time frame last year a net profit of ¥18.71 billion Yen or $165 Million USD.
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