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Sony says smartphones will be better cameras than DSLRs in two years!

Sony Xperia 1 IV with Sony's flagship A1 mirrorless interchangeable camera(Image credit: Sony)

Sony recently made some interesting and slightly out-there forward-looking statements concerning the future of the camera phone market, specifically that by 2024 – in just two years’ time – the image quality of a smartphone will exceed that of a single-lens reflex camera…

“We expect that still images will exceed the image quality of single-lens reflex cameras within the next few years,” said Terushi Shimizu, Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO, via SonyAddict (opens in new tab)

A giant leap for smartphones 

Slide from the Sony Semiconductor presentation (Image credit: Sony)

We’d love a detailed account of how Sony is confident it will make the giant leap of making smartphone sensors (obviously significantly smaller than that in single-lens reflex cameras) outperform those in interchangeable lens cameras. Predictably, the CEO didn’t provide details to back up his bold claim, but an article on the statements by Nikkei (opens in new tab) and translated by Photo Rumors (opens in new tab) does give some details. 

“In the future, in addition to increasing the diameter, by combining the new pixel structure “two-layer transistor pixel” technology and artificial intelligence (AI) processing technology that can double the shooting performance of bright places, for still images, a single-lens camera The image quality can be exceeded. Furthermore, it is said that background blurring using 8K video shooting / high-speed readout and ToF (opens in new tab) (distance measuring sensor) will be realized toward 30 years.” This is an English translation of the Nikkei article, originally in Japanese (opens in new tab)

Assuming that is true (we won’t hold our breath) Sony must have much of this technology ready to go now and will assumedly stop producing cameras to coincide with the camera effectively becoming redundant after 2024. 

Sony Xperia 1 IV 

While we maybe think Sony’s forward-looking statements are beyond bold, we will say that are constantly striving for better optical technology with their smartphones. This month the company released the Sony Xperia 1 IV (opens in new tab) which brings world-first continuous optical zoom technology to smartphones. 

While last year’s Sony Xperia 1 III (opens in new tab) packed a dual-stage periscope zoom that could switch between two focal lengths, the new 2022 flagship upgrades this to add a continuous optical zoom between 85mm and 125mm. 

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Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.