Video Mode

The video recording button in Superior Auto mode is located right under the shutter button, so there is no need to switch to a separate video mode.

Like most of the camera operation, video shooting on the Xperia Z3 is very similar to our experience of using previous Z-series models. The default Superior Auto mode captures 1080p Full-HD video and you can take still photos while filming without interrupting the video. There is no control over any shooting parameters though. In manual mode you can select scene modes for your video, select from several resolutions, or apply exposure compensation and manual white balance settings. You can also deactivate digital image stabilization which is on by default in Superior Auto and, as which - as usual - slightly crops the image. 

In manual mode you'll find a large record button and a range of video parameters.
You can apply exposure compensation and manual white balance to your footage.

As before 4K video resolution cannot be selected in the menu settings but has its own dedicated mode on the shooting mode screen. In 4K mode the user interface looks like a hybrid between Superior Auto and manual video. In the settings you can  apply exposure compensation and activate digital image stabilization.

4K video mode offers fewer options than manual mode but exposure compensation and manual white balance are still available.

Video sample 1: 1080p video in bright light

This video was taken handheld in bright sunlight. As you can see the digital image stabilization works efficiently and the Xperia Z3 captures smooth video in these light conditions. Detail is decent at the center of the frame but the edge softness we notices in still images is visible in video footage as well. We can also see the focus hunt a couple of times and the microphone is a little prone to wind noise. That said, the latter is common to almost all smartphones and this clip was shot on an extremely windy day. 

Video sample 2: 1080p video in low light

This video was taken handheld in an artificially lit interior. Sound is clear and stabilization doing a good job but in these conditions we can see image noise creeping in and again the focus is not entirely stable. There is also a noticeable flickering on some background elements.

Video sample 3: 1080p video in very low light

This video was taken handheld at night. In these low light light conditions the video looks quite soft with high levels of image noise. We can again see a similar flickering effect to the previous clip and light sources cause the same kind of lens flare that we have see in still images. 

Video sample 4: 4K video in bright light

In its 4K video mode the Xperia Z3 captures noticeably better detail than in the standard 1080p mode and fewer compression artifacts than we have seen on the Z2. Unfortunately, lens softness eliminates most of this advantage as you get closer to the edges of the frame.