Jul 16 AT 9:43 AM Nick Sarafolean 14 Comments

Sony Honami leaks in new photo; big emphasis on camera

sony

With Nokia and Samsung getting serious about smartphone cameras, Sony is looking to get into the game themselves with its established camera brand. We’ve been hearing rumblings of the Sony “Honami”, high-end camera-centric phone, for quite a while now. Today we get a look at the device with a new render from Chinese site, ePrice. We can only see the back and one side of the phone but it appears to have a simple glass back with the camera in the upper left corner. Next to the camera is a speaker and branding for Sony’s G-lenses and underneath is an LED flash. The side of the phone features some ports but they’re covered by flaps which makes us think that the phone is probably water-proof like so many of Sony’s recent phones.

Honami

Now we can get into the real meat of the phone. The Honami is said to have a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB RAM, 5-inch 1080p Triluminos X-Reality display, 16 GB storage, microSD card slot, 4G LTE and a 3000 mAh battery. But the camera is really the standout feature of the phone with a 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS sensor, BIONZ image processor, and a Sony G-series lens. That’s the kind of camera that makes a camera nerd like myself drool. On the front, you’ll get a 2-megapixel Exmor R camera.

Clearly, the Honami will be one of the best specced phones to date, especially with that incredible camera. Sony could do a lot with the software side of the camera as well by allowing it to communicate with your Sony camera and such. For a Sony shooter like myself, its an exciting prospect that makes us eager for the phone to arrive. Sony should be announcing the Honami at its IFA 2013 press conference on September 4.

Are you guys excited for the Honami?

Via: Android Central

Source: ePrice

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @Zricon15.

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  • Dr.Carpy

    This phone sounds phenomenal. I am concerned about Sony’s inability to transfer hype into sales. Will they release this phone in time for it to be competitive? They haven’t with any other phone they’ve produced. Early release to everyone globally will determine how great or small success Sony garners from the Honami.

  • Auzo

    Meh… while the sensor size is larger when you account for the higher number of MegaPixels you find that the pixel density of the 20 MP sensor is higher than that of the 13 MP sensor. Higher pixel density is bad for image sensors since they will generate more noise in low light. So unless they are doing some supersampling like Nokia and effectively increasing the area of each pixel I’m not too sure this camera is going to be much better than that of the Xperia Z line.

    Also the lens is still an unknown but that can make a huge difference as well. from the picture though, it looks like its pretty packed in there so I don’t think they can improve on it much when compared to what they used in the Xperia Z save for maybe some OIS (optical image stabilization)

    Either way the specs are still awesome, was just hoping for a bit more from the camera. But who knows maybe I’m jumping to conclusions too early.

    • Rising33

      I dont know from the picture that lens looks big and wide man. U could be jumping to conclusions alright. Its a waiting game now haha.

    • theSUBVERSIVEBIRDS

      For normal cameras I would agree, but with phone’s camera, I think that 20MP is a good thing. Smartphone can’t have optical zoom, therefore, the ability to have more details in a higher MP count picture allows you to crop as you were using an optical zoom.

      Of course that 20MP is more than 13MP, but this 20MP camera has less pixel density than the majorty – if not all – 13MP smartphone out there. If rumors are correct, this camera will have something like 2/3″ sensor, while the Nokia has a 2/2.4″, which isn’t much bigger and it has half of the MP count. Sony has some algorithm to oversample, which they use in some of their cameras, so I think they will be using all they have for this one.

      This is a BSI sensor, sensibility should increase by 20~40% so I wouldn’t be so worried about low light performance, ti should perform on par but probably better than most smartphones out there, I think it’s a fair expectation to have, it can have be better at high ISO than the HTC one but keep the dynamic range. Being one of the top sensor manufacturers, supplying for Apple and even Nikon, Sony has all the tools to pull up a great camera, if they will do it or not depends on them, but it seems like they will.

      So I don’t think that the 20MP will be such a big deal in terms of performance, I’m more worried about the aperture of the lens, it makes a heck lot more difference. From f/2.8 to f/2 you get double the light, that by itself is much more significant because in the final equation, it’s as if you had half the pixel density for sensibility without losing that half MP count. I hope the phone is not too thin, because if it’s, it will be harder to have a 2/3″ and a big aperture.

      • Bart

        The sensor size is going to be 1/2,3″ as is reported on major tech sites, which is too small in my opinion for 20 something megapixel. Of course, the dedicated Bionz image chip and the Sony G lens can make a difference here when it comes to low light performance. However, I do feel that in mobile photography it’s still all about the megapixels for most manufacturers, where only Nokia and HTC have dared to try a different method. And I believe that this problem arises solely from the masses which are uneducated in camera technology who still believe that megapixels equate to quality.

        Yes, Sony makes awesome cameras and sensors, i.e. RX100, RX1, NEX 6 & 7, sensors used in the Nikon D600 & D7100 to name just a few. The general specs of this phone look awesome as well, however I still feel that this camera is overhyped, especially now that we know the sensor size is extremely tiny considering the megapixel count.

        • theSUBVERSIVEBIRDS

          My bad, I thought it was 2/3″, wasn’t it here that they reported 2/3″, anyway, can we expect this phone to be as good as the Cybershot HX50V and HX300 then? Those cameras have a 1/2.3″ 20MP sensor. Hopefully the aperture will be f/2 or even wider.

          • Bart

            Well, considering the HX50 packs a 20.4 mp exmor-r sensor I doubt it’s the same as the 20.7 mp exmor-rs from the rumor. Not only was the exmor-rs specifically designed for mobile devices (which probably means something like it’s less power hungry), I doubt Sony would use its brand new 20.4 mp exmor-r sensor in a phone since they would be at risk of cannabelizing their compact cameras to some degree.

            Although I don’t doubt Sony could make an awesome camera phone, why not just make marginal adjustments to your cameras as the years go by and make a lot more money in the process due to the reduced costs of R&D and economies of scale, and release a new phone with a new sensor years later when the competition has caught up? So my guess is we’re probably still several years away from camera phones which are able to shoot at such a high quality that they’ll put cameras as the HX50 to shame.

          • theSUBVERSIVEBIRDS

            I don’t know because the HX line is about zoom, so they are not really direct competition anyway. I understand that it’s not the same sensor but they can be similar in IQ. I think it’s way more rewarding to launch a phone with an outstanding camera that cannot be matched by the competition rather than worry if someone will be in doubt between buying a 30x/100x zoom camera instead of a phone. I don’t think that R&D cost is something that penalizes Sony so much, ever since Kaz Hirai took the CEO job, they are reestructuring and focusing on their strengths, sensor is one of their most lucrative divisions, so, when they do R&D, it’s not just for them and they profit by selling the tech for others.

  • Peter

    I think increasing the megapixels is a bad idea when they should be focusing on making better low light pictures! Especially when most phones still come out with only up to 64GB storage. I’ve had my HTC One for about two weeks now and it takes superb pictures! I’m not sure if it is a combination of the Optical Image Stabilization and the low light ultrapixel CCD but the photos are amazing and hardly every blurry. The difference between my older HTC One X and the One is truly huge in that the One’s photos are awesome.

  • donger

    Yes yes yes.

  • aditya

    so whats best camera smartphone to dates….geeks….

  • emez

    since three days I haven’t open my phone camera. but I love good camera phone.apart from camera we expect good audio quality,like mega bass plus xloud inside walkman application

  • jonstle

    I am happy to see phone makers putting so much emphasis on the camera! It has been the one thing that hasn’t really kept pace with all the other advances.

    I am guessing with a 20 mega pixel sensor they are going the super sampling route.

  • saleem

    eagerly waiting for it …..

  1. This phone sounds phenomenal. I am concerned about Sony’s inability to transfer hype into sales. Will they release this phone in time for it to be competitive? They haven’t with any other phone they’ve produced. Early release to everyone globally will determine how great or small success Sony garners from the Honami.

  2. Meh… while the sensor size is larger when you account for the higher number of MegaPixels you find that the pixel density of the 20 MP sensor is higher than that of the 13 MP sensor. Higher pixel density is bad for image sensors since they will generate more noise in low light. So unless they are doing some supersampling like Nokia and effectively increasing the area of each pixel I’m not too sure this camera is going to be much better than that of the Xperia Z line.

    Also the lens is still an unknown but that can make a huge difference as well. from the picture though, it looks like its pretty packed in there so I don’t think they can improve on it much when compared to what they used in the Xperia Z save for maybe some OIS (optical image stabilization)

    Either way the specs are still awesome, was just hoping for a bit more from the camera. But who knows maybe I’m jumping to conclusions too early.

    • I dont know from the picture that lens looks big and wide man. U could be jumping to conclusions alright. Its a waiting game now haha.

    • For normal cameras I would agree, but with phone’s camera, I think that 20MP is a good thing. Smartphone can’t have optical zoom, therefore, the ability to have more details in a higher MP count picture allows you to crop as you were using an optical zoom.

      Of course that 20MP is more than 13MP, but this 20MP camera has less pixel density than the majorty – if not all – 13MP smartphone out there. If rumors are correct, this camera will have something like 2/3″ sensor, while the Nokia has a 2/2.4″, which isn’t much bigger and it has half of the MP count. Sony has some algorithm to oversample, which they use in some of their cameras, so I think they will be using all they have for this one.

      This is a BSI sensor, sensibility should increase by 20~40% so I wouldn’t be so worried about low light performance, ti should perform on par but probably better than most smartphones out there, I think it’s a fair expectation to have, it can have be better at high ISO than the HTC one but keep the dynamic range. Being one of the top sensor manufacturers, supplying for Apple and even Nikon, Sony has all the tools to pull up a great camera, if they will do it or not depends on them, but it seems like they will.

      So I don’t think that the 20MP will be such a big deal in terms of performance, I’m more worried about the aperture of the lens, it makes a heck lot more difference. From f/2.8 to f/2 you get double the light, that by itself is much more significant because in the final equation, it’s as if you had half the pixel density for sensibility without losing that half MP count. I hope the phone is not too thin, because if it’s, it will be harder to have a 2/3″ and a big aperture.

      • BartGuest 2 years ago

        The sensor size is going to be 1/2,3″ as is reported on major tech sites, which is too small in my opinion for 20 something megapixel. Of course, the dedicated Bionz image chip and the Sony G lens can make a difference here when it comes to low light performance. However, I do feel that in mobile photography it’s still all about the megapixels for most manufacturers, where only Nokia and HTC have dared to try a different method. And I believe that this problem arises solely from the masses which are uneducated in camera technology who still believe that megapixels equate to quality.

        Yes, Sony makes awesome cameras and sensors, i.e. RX100, RX1, NEX 6 & 7, sensors used in the Nikon D600 & D7100 to name just a few. The general specs of this phone look awesome as well, however I still feel that this camera is overhyped, especially now that we know the sensor size is extremely tiny considering the megapixel count.

        • My bad, I thought it was 2/3″, wasn’t it here that they reported 2/3″, anyway, can we expect this phone to be as good as the Cybershot HX50V and HX300 then? Those cameras have a 1/2.3″ 20MP sensor. Hopefully the aperture will be f/2 or even wider.

          • BartGuest 2 years ago

            Well, considering the HX50 packs a 20.4 mp exmor-r sensor I doubt it’s the same as the 20.7 mp exmor-rs from the rumor. Not only was the exmor-rs specifically designed for mobile devices (which probably means something like it’s less power hungry), I doubt Sony would use its brand new 20.4 mp exmor-r sensor in a phone since they would be at risk of cannabelizing their compact cameras to some degree.

            Although I don’t doubt Sony could make an awesome camera phone, why not just make marginal adjustments to your cameras as the years go by and make a lot more money in the process due to the reduced costs of R&D and economies of scale, and release a new phone with a new sensor years later when the competition has caught up? So my guess is we’re probably still several years away from camera phones which are able to shoot at such a high quality that they’ll put cameras as the HX50 to shame.

          • I don’t know because the HX line is about zoom, so they are not really direct competition anyway. I understand that it’s not the same sensor but they can be similar in IQ. I think it’s way more rewarding to launch a phone with an outstanding camera that cannot be matched by the competition rather than worry if someone will be in doubt between buying a 30x/100x zoom camera instead of a phone. I don’t think that R&D cost is something that penalizes Sony so much, ever since Kaz Hirai took the CEO job, they are reestructuring and focusing on their strengths, sensor is one of their most lucrative divisions, so, when they do R&D, it’s not just for them and they profit by selling the tech for others.

  3. PeterGuest 2 years ago

    I think increasing the megapixels is a bad idea when they should be focusing on making better low light pictures! Especially when most phones still come out with only up to 64GB storage. I’ve had my HTC One for about two weeks now and it takes superb pictures! I’m not sure if it is a combination of the Optical Image Stabilization and the low light ultrapixel CCD but the photos are amazing and hardly every blurry. The difference between my older HTC One X and the One is truly huge in that the One’s photos are awesome.

  4. Yes yes yes.

  5. adityaGuest 2 years ago

    so whats best camera smartphone to dates….geeks….

  6. emezGuest 2 years ago

    since three days I haven’t open my phone camera. but I love good camera phone.apart from camera we expect good audio quality,like mega bass plus xloud inside walkman application

  7. I am happy to see phone makers putting so much emphasis on the camera! It has been the one thing that hasn’t really kept pace with all the other advances.

    I am guessing with a 20 mega pixel sensor they are going the super sampling route.

  8. saleemGuest 2 years ago

    eagerly waiting for it …..