Sony Xperia PRO | Hands-on Review
The need for high bandwidth, encoding and transmission is only growing having both of those features in one device. Could minimize your kit or let you tackle productions you weren’t able to before. Of course, the xperia pro is also a smartphone and, like its predecessors, it supports cinematic 4k video and fully manual photography modes. External video monitoring is a crucial part of almost all video productions. These days, especially if you’re working with a camera with a smaller lower resolution display or a camera that doesn’t even have a display, many users also use monitors for their assist functions and better color accuracy. The good news here is that, since this is a 4k oled screen, the xperia pro simply looks gorgeous at 6.5 inches and with a 21 by 9 aspect ratio. The visible portion of the screen is 2922 by 1644, when monitoring and that’s, because it has to fit in a 16 by 9 frame. However, the entire screen is used when punching into check focus. For example, plus you still get the same. Pixel density afforded by the 4k screen setup is painless. The xperia pro has a dedicated micro, hdmi port that can take signals up to 4k 60p and it even supports hdr input as well. As you can see, we’ve set this up to an a7s3 and i’ve output. A 4k signal to the phone there’s, a dedicated external, monitor, app. That immediately opens up to the hdmi signal, but you can also set up the shortcut button on the side of the phone to bring up the monitor, app instantly, which we’ve done here.
So for my immediate impressions, well, the colors are accurate and it’s really. The contrast that shines thanks to the oled display shadows in particular, can be very tricky for some external monitors, as the black levels of lcd displays. Simply can’t produce them accurately that’s, not a problem. Here i shot against an especially contrasty shot here with sunlight pouring through the blinds and the exterior rendered it beautifully. Let’S talk about this rig, though we’ve got a pretty minimal setup going on here, but key to the rig. Is this manfrotto smartphone grip that you see because it has plastic grips instead of metal? It doesn’t interfere with the 5g signal coming from the phone now, while that may not be super important to you, if you’re only monitoring with it. That brings us to the xperia pro’s other key feature for those looking to live stream, video straight from the field or stream. The video feed from almost any hdmi source, the xperia pro’s 5g millimeter wave compatibility – means you have the extremely fast upload speeds needed for high bitrate hd streaming, though streaming does work on 4g lte as well. Now this goes far beyond any simple live stream. If you do have a 5g millimeter wave signal, you could integrate this into a professional broadcast setup which we’ll talk about in a bit. Sony recommends you use stream yard, which can be accessed through the chrome browser on the phone once an account is set up.
You can either stream directly from one of the xperia pros built in cameras or use the hdmi input to stream from your own camera. Now the nice thing about going through stream yard is the service’s ability to multicast your stream to several other services. This means you only need to stream once to stream yard, which then can be distributed to youtube facebook, twitch and several other streaming platforms when using stream yard. The xperia pro supports up to 1080p output. Users should know, though, that if you stream directly to youtube using its own app, the phone only goes up to 720p. Now, if i wanted to, i can choose any of the xperia pro’s front and back cameras and for my own testing, i used a custom. Rtmp address going to youtube, so i had the most control over it in case you’re wondering about camera orientation using the built in cameras. Your stream will actually change from horizontal to vertical, or vice versa, if you rotate your phone without interrupting the stream. So i tried streaming the sony a7s 3 from before the drop down menu lists it as a back facing camera, but you should be able to find it easily enough. Everything else was the same as the built in camera with one small quirk. The experience orientation must be with the hdmi port facing the left side as the hdmi input. Doesn’T know how to rotate the image appropriately. If you orient the phone from the right when using the monitor app, though this isn’t an issue, as you can flip the app manually, but this functionality doesn’t exist when using it as a streaming source it’s a minor issue, but otherwise it works perfectly.
But what about professional users, the possibilities are endless. Imagine a live sports setting a camera operator could attach the xperia pro to the back of their camera rig and transmit video straight to the studio. Eng shooters on a similar note, could use it to send footage back to the network with plenty of bandwidth at their disposal. You could rig the xperia on the back of a broadcast, camera rig and stream from just about anywhere. You could even use this as a way to transmit wireless video to a director’s monitor over in video village or as a part of a multi camera setup, where one camera roams remotely and, of course, for vloggers youtubers or anyone looking to live stream. Video content on the go, the monitor style rig means you can get the best of both worlds. Mobile streaming and dedicated video capture as we wrap up streaming, we should talk about software. See streaming can be tricky, especially in a wireless situation, but those shoots happen and maybe you’ll want to stream from say a stadium, a crowd, a convention floor or something truly run and gun. Well, the xperia pro has a dedicated network visualizer app built just for this purpose. The app shows not only which signal type you’re actually using, but your current data rates and even the directionality of the signal. This means that if you need to troubleshoot cellular streaming, this app has got you covered. Similarly, the phone’s endurance mode also helps to prolong battery life when using 5g millimeter wave, which could be a lifesaver out in the field, but as for the phone itself, what’s going on around and inside the xperia pro well.
The first thing i noticed was the rock solid build of the body. This does not feel like your typical smartphone and it’s, clearly built to be used as a professional tool in real working environments, if you’re using it outdoors rigged. Up, like i mentioned before, you’ll, be glad to know it’s rated ip65 for water resistance. Now, aside from the beautiful 6.5 inch, 4k ola display that we mentioned earlier, the xperia pro is powered by the snapdragon 865 platform. It comes with 12 gigabytes of ram and 512 gigabytes of onboard storage, which is a pretty healthy amount for video footage and photos, and on that note, the xperia pro inherits a lot of the same video and photography features from its siblings, the xperia 1 and xperia 5., namely the triple camera arrangement featuring 16 millimeter, 24 millimeter and 70 millimeter lenses and the powerful cinematography pro and photography pro apps. These give you fully manual control over the cameras to shoot cinema style, 4k, video or sony alpha style control over your still photos. Supporting these apps is also the return of the creator mode color science. If you want to learn more about those features, though i highly recommend you watch our video on the xperia 1 mark ii, the xperia pro also carries over the audio processing capabilities of the previous xperia phones, including dolby atmos support, aptx, hd support and sony’s dsee ultimate. As far as inputs, outputs and power are concerned, the xperia pro has a standard usbc port used for fast charging and file delivery, which we’ll get to soon, along with a generous 4 000 milliamp battery, which is crucial for streaming and monitoring.
Lastly, along the side, you’ll find the dual slim card slot now, one more use for the xperia pro’s 5g connection is its ability to act as an internet tether for sony still cameras. You can, of course, already send pictures wirelessly to most smartphones but agency. Photographers news. Reporters and anyone who needs to upload photos as fast as possible knows the value of direct ftp uploading there’s, actually a few ways to do this. Taking a look at the menu of the a7s3. Here we go down to the globe: icon, select, transfer remote and go down to ftp transfer function. If you go down to the ftp connect method, you’ll see three ways to transmit files, two of which work in conjunction with the xperia pro. The first is wireland, which is a usb ethernet adapter option for a more traditional connection. After that, usb tethering allows the xperia to provide its 5g connection to the camera directly over usb c. The tethering option just has to be enabled on the phone as well. Third is the wi fi option which tethers the 5g connection over the wi fi connection to the camera, providing a completely wireless solution now for most purposes, i would recommend the usb tether method. After setting up the ftp server information, you can enable the connection in the main ftp menu and it should connect without a hitch. All images are uploaded via the xperia pro’s cellular connection, whether that be 4g lte or 5g millimeter wave.
If you need to upload super high resolution raw images in particular, you know this is going to be a lifesaver. So if you’re, a professional, videographer, photojournalist, filmmaker livestream producer or anything in between which we all kind of feel that way now the sony xperia pro might actually be the best phone you could get for your purposes. A smaller one, man band approach will find this a perfect option for monitoring on their camera or streaming a live event from almost any camera, with hdmi output and on the very high end, broadcasters could even use the xperia pro as a high speed 5g streaming encoder For just about any video source, photojournalists could use the xperia as a superb oled color, accurate display for image review and, more importantly, to transmit files quickly when on the job and, of course, it’s also a phone amazing. How far we’ve come with that definition, isn’t it.