Oct, 01 2013

Sony Xperia Z1 camera disassembled

When the Sony Xperia Z1 was announced a few weeks back, one of the biggest things the Zed1 had going for it — aside from its beefy Snapdragon 800 processor — was Sony’s much touted 20.7MP camera. Equipped with a Sony G Lens, Exmor RS for mobile sensor (largest of any Android smartphone), and Bionz for mobile image processor, the combined efforts were said to produce camera performance unlike any other in its class.

All About Windows Phone decided to put Sony’s claims to the test, pitting the Sony Xperia Z1 against reigning champ, the Nokia Lumia 1020. There’s a lot of technicals behind the cameras, but essentially both devices use very similar 8MP oversampling to produce images with a lossless zoom at about 1.8x. This might not sound very evenly matched given the Lumia 1020’s 40MP sensor is almost twice of the Xperia Z1’s, giving the Lumia 1020 the obvious advantage in low light. But in well let conditions, it will be about image processing and optics.

Before we start, output resolutions are 8MP on the Z1, vs 5MP on the 1020. Also, the Sony Xperia Z is still using firmware build number 14.1.6.1.518, with Sony expected to release an updated build to improve the Z1’s auto-mode. With that out of the way, let’s get started (click for full size images).

Daylight

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 1

Overcast/Shade

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 shade

Lossless zoom (2.5x Lumia 1020, 1.8x Xperia Z1)

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 2

Twilight/dusk

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 dusk

Indoor/low light

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 indoor light

Verdict

Alright, so the Nokia Lumia 1020 was clearly the winner here, by a large margin. With all the hype coming out of Sony’s camp about the Xperia Z1’s new image capabilities, we were honestly hoping for closer fight. All of Sony’s images came with a weird contrast, loads of noise/filtering, and strange blue tinge in all the pics. In only 1 round did the Sony Xperia Z1 actually best the Nokia Lumia 1020, and that was in the macro shot (Z1 had much better contrast, saturation, and exposure). Other than that, it was a massacre.

We can’t wait to pit the Sony Xperia Z1 against other Android devices once/if the device ever comes to US shores. In the meantime, let us know if you were surprised by the results in the shootout, and for you some of you out there that value a good shooter in an Android device, if this affected your future purchasing decision at all.

local_offer    Nokia Lumia 1020  Sony  Sony Xperia Z1