Sony Xperia Z Camera Review: Do impressive specs measure up?
Our studio shots confirm what we've already seen in our real-life samples and the DxOMark lab tests. While overall exposure and color rendition don't give any reason to complain in this well-lit scene it's clear that, despite its 13MP pixel-count, the Sony Xperia Z cannot keep up with the competition in terms of captured detail. Noise reduction is smearing most fine detail away but there is still some noise visible in areas of plain color. When examined close-up compression artifacts in combination with noise reduction make the Xperia output look like a crossing between a watercolor painting and a 16-color GIF image.
To make things worse the image is blighted by weird processing artifacts that we haven't really seen in this form before. Something funny appears to be going on around hard edges where the camera creates a kind of hazy border that is various pixels wide and clearly visible. At the same time in the corners a "feathering effect" is softening the hard edges of the black and white resolution patched in our test chart. Overall the Sony Xperia Z delivers some of the worst pixel-level image quality we have seen in a while.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 on the other hand, which also comes with a 13MP sensor, captures an image that is pretty clean of artifacts with very little noise. The iPhone image is a little softer and grainier overall, with more luminance noise in plain-colored areas of the scene and more moire artifacts than the Samsung but Apple strikes a decent balance of noise reduction and preservation of detail, generating an overall pleasant image. The HTC One’s sharpening is fairly strong and the lower 4MP megapixel count means it can’t nearly capture as much detail as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5 but delivers a by far cleaner image than the Sony Xperia Z.
Gear in this story
Sony's new 320GB and 640GB 'Tough' CFexpress Type A cards are due out next month and while the 640GB card will offer the most storage of any Type A card to date, it doesn't come cheap.
Adobe's Photoshop and Premiere Elements apps make editing photos and videos easy for users of all skill levels. The latest versions add more editing tools, more AI features and improved performance.
The Sony FX30 is an explicitly video-focused camera, but could its technology herald a refresh of the company's APS-C stills line-up? We have a look at what that might mean.
The lens offers a constant F2.8 aperture through a rather unique focal length range for full-frame camera systems. It’s expected to be available starting October 27, 2022 for $699.
Can AI overcome the physical limitations of smartphone sensors and lenses? A Qualcomm executive thinks so, thanks in large part to improvements in processing power, hardware and artificial intelligence.
We're starting to see cameras offering 'open gate' video recording, so what is this tool and when is it useful?
The Sony FX30 is a 4K/120p-capable Super35 / APS-C cinema camera that wants to take the battle to the likes of Panasonic's GH series.
Sony's new FX30 Super35/APS-C Cinema Line camera is effectively a crop-sensor version of the company's full-frame FX3 camera with sensor-based image stabilization, oversampled 4K/60p capture and '16-bit' Raw output and more.
If you've ever wanted to become an action figure, Hasbro is providing you the opportunity with its new 3D-printed Selfie Series action figures.
When you store photos on the cloud, you expect them to remain safe for a long time. However, some Google Photos users were scared over the weekend when they realized that their photo libraries had become corrupted.
DALL-E's Outpainting feature uses AI to expand existing images and artwork. Ad agency Ogilvy Paris has used Outpainting to expand Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, 'The Milkmaid.'
iOS 16.0.2 addresses, amongst other bug fixes, a problem wherein the second-generation sensor-shift image stabilization tech was causing camera shake issues in some third-party apps.
For the past eight years, the Library of Congress has been working on figuring out the subjects in a large collection of film, TV and music photos. Many of the mysteries have been solved. However, 17 photos have eluded the LC's best efforts, and the public's help is needed to help put names to the final unknown faces.
After having to pull the initial firmware update last month due to an issue that caused some units to stop working, Sony has re-released firmware version 1.1 for its a7 IV full-frame mirrorless camera.
Sigma's latest wide Art-badged prime for full frame is capable of some stunning landscapes. Check out a new batch of sample photos in the gallery.
Winners for this year's annual Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been announced.
While visiting the team in Seattle, Chris and Jordan attempt to eat some chowder. It's difficult. Also, this week they are puppets.
Meike has released its first adapter for Nikon Z cameras. The new MK-EFTZ-B adapter allows Nikon Z users to attach Canon EF and EF-S lenses to their cameras, complete with autofocus and automatic exposure functionality.
The Canon 5D Mark II was released in November 2008. Since then, a photographer used theirs to capture nearly 2.3 million images, which is an average of about 450 photos per day if they shot every single day. The camera is still going strong for its new owner.
Capture One for iPad users cvan now connect their camera, wired or wirelessly, to their iPad for quick image transfers without the need for memory cards and readers.
Digital film scanners can be pricey, so Lomo's latest scanners let shooters do it themselves. Whether you have a digital camera, or simply a smartphone, there's a DigitaLIZA that'll work with your kit. But are the results any good? Let's find out.
The Leica Q2 'Dawn' is the same camera on the inside, but features an all-black paint job and a special Japanese-woven fabric wrap produced by Japanese brand, Hosoo.
It's been a while since we've a lens with a normal to super-telephoto range, how do the photos from the Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 look? Take a gander.
Also new is a built-in screen for checking the battery and shooting mode, as well as a Quick Launch feature for iPhone devices.
Venus Optics' Laowa 58mm F2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO is available for Canon R, Leica L, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems.
Kubrick had three of the ten Zeiss Planar 50mm F0.7 lenses Zeiss produced re-engineered to work as cinema lenses. Kubrick is most known for using these lenses in a candlelit scene in his Oscar-winning film, Barry Lyndon.
As part of our review of the Canon EOS R10, we've shot our standard studio scene to let you see how the new camera compares to its peers and predecessors.
The ultra-telephoto zoom offers a 225-750mm full-frame equivalent focal length.
In addition to a forthcoming 70-180mm F2.8 lens (which looks like it could be another reworked Tamron lens), Nikon revealed it's working on a 12-28mm PZ lens for APS-C Z-mount cameras as well as a pair of fast primes: a 35mm and a 135mm.