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Alleged Sony i1 images show 20MP resolution, G Lens branding - but what's a G Lens?

A set of allegedly leaked shots of the Sony i1, also known as Honami, confirm the camera phone’s 20MP resolution and G Lens branding.
August 1, 2013
Sony i1 Honami (1)

After the moderately successful Xperia Z and the flamboyant Xperia Z Ultra, Sony is widely expected to release its next flagship, the i1/Honami, in early September. Various leaks and rumors paint the picture of an attractive high-end hero device, but the i1’s claim to glory will definitely be its camera.

We’ve heard several reports about the i1’s camera resolution of 20MP and a recent set of allegedly leaked images seem to confirm the speculation. Take them with a grain of salt, as they briefly surfaced on a Vietnamese Facebook fan page, so their veracity is unclear. As you can see for yourself in the image on top, the i1 should feature a top resolution of 5248 x 3936, or 20MP in 4:3 format. Rather curiously, the next available format is 8MP in 4:3 and 16:9 formats. Keep in mind that this is supposedly a prototype, so production software may differ.

The second interesting image shows the relatively small lens and an LED flash, which once again refutes rumors of the Sony i1 coming with a Xenon flash. Next to the camera, we can spot the G Lens branding and what appears to be a placeholder for the actual camera resolution. Placing such placeholders on prototypes is a common practice in the industry.

Sony i1 Honami (2)

So, what does G stand for? Gold. As you may know, Sony is a big player in the professional photography equipment market, including various professional lenses. The company offers a wide range of lenses, and G lenses are some of the best:

[quote qtext=”Lens technology developed over the course of many years by Konica Minolta has been inherited and augmented with original Sony design and quality assurance technology to produce a range of lenses that are at the top of their class. G Lenses are exceptional not only for their superior in-focus image quality, but for the beauty of defocused background areas (bokeh) as well. The G title is only accorded to lenses of the highest performance” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Okay, so G lenses are top of the line pro lenses that cost hundreds of dollars and upwards. Obviously, we won’t get anything like that on the i1/Honami, but Sony will probably use some technologies borrowed from the G series of pro lenses. In other words, the G branding will probably be similar to the well-known Carl Zeiss branding on Nokia phones.