Camera comparison: Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G2, HTC One (M8), iPhone 5s
Over the past several weeks, we've been enjoying the presence of the Sony Xperia Z2 at our office. We gave it the review treatment it deserved, we compared it thoroughly against many of its high-end rivals, and we even featured it in a recent blind camera comparison. There's still one more major item on our “to do” list, however – an in-depth camera comparison dedicated to Sony's new smartphone. Well, this gets written off with the post you're reading right now.
Yup, it is camera comparison time, and the Sony Xperia Z2 is having the honor of being the star of the show. Its impressive list of camera specs includes 20.7MP of resolution, G Lens optics, and 1/2.3" image sensor, which means that Sony's flagship has the potential to emerge triumphant once we take it through its paces. Just let's not forget that the Z1's camera was identical, yet it had its drawbacks. Has Sony managed to implement any significant improvements in its flagship's camera?And no less importantly, how is it going to stack up against the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG G2, the HTC One (M8), and the iPhone 5s? That's surely going to be one tough race, folks, knowing that all these handsets are pretty good at taking photos. So without further ado, let's take a look at some photo samples.
Note: We're using a Panasonic Lumix GH2 with its kit lens as a reference camera.
Color reproduction is the first thing that we'll comment on; color accuracy, to be more specific. The Sony Xperia Z2 performs well in this particular category, with only some insignificant deviations in its daytime images. Colors have a slight boost to them, but we don't see it as anything that bothers us. We also noticed that its photos turn out slightly brighter, which is a bit of a double-edged sword – shady areas are clearer, but brighter objects might get “burned” because of that.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 takes photos with mostly neutral colors in them and a slight cold-ish tone seen on some occasions. That same “burning” effect we mentioned can be seen in the S5's photos as well, but its presence isn't as pronounced as it might be with the Z2.
The LG G2 also performed really well this time around and nailed a good color balance in most of its shots. We see that it doesn't tend to oversaturate the colors it has captured. Some images, however, exhibit a slightly greenish tone.
Apple's iPhone 5s has a mind of its own when it comes to color representation. Its photos often turn out noticeably warm and bright, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, photos from the 5s are very attractive with their warmness, but on the other hand, we can't consider them accurate.
1. Thumbnail crop
8. Thumbnail crop
15. Thumbnail crop
2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Go to Page and see what the S5 got before dropping a comment.
6. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
Considering you are the prominent unofficial ambassador-at-large for Sammy, I surely understand insecurity that Sammy got the same score as Sony. Don't worry, when Sammy sells less phone, they would need to hire less keyboard warriors. :)
7. tech2 (Posts: 1890; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
They both scored the same, smarty pants !
But S5 is also people's champ as it won on PA's own blind test on both the occasions.
52. Penny (Posts: 1128; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
It won against the Z1, not the Z2, correct?
8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
What? Funny because I already have money to buy myself the M8 next week and iPhone 5S for father's day.
Sony selling more phones than Samsung? Lololol okay.
41. CoastCity (Posts: 79; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)
HOW is Z2 equal in detail with S5 when anybody can use PhoneArena's camera comparizon tool (and GsmArena's) an see on the color poster and the ISO chart, S5's superiority in detail field?
45. neops (Posts: 161; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)
Also on that poster the white background is bluer in Z2's photo
51. lee480 (Posts: 172; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
Do you have issues comprehending my sentences? I clearly say Sammy selling less phone solely without mentioning Sony. Try harder.
65. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
And who do you think is going to step up to the plate and rise above them? No one because they're unstoppable ATM. The only competitor they have is Apple. Apple sells more iPhones in three months than all OEMs in a year so have a seat and keep quiet.
69. Frankiebeans (Posts: 31; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)
you need help my friend. this whole phone battle seems to really have some effect on your life why does it bother you so much?
74. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Lololol thanks for the laugh. Got anything else?
125. Pflamingo (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 May 2014)
Apple honestly isn't a competitor, they put all of their money into the first phone and not much improvements at all. But I'm rockin Samsung right now.
76. babyk (Posts: 221; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
samsung dont know how to make a premium classy looking 1 million looking dollar phone. Sooner or later people will be heading that direction and care less about high end specs.
77. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
You think the Z2 looks a million bucks? LMFAO I think you need to get yourself check out bud. The M8 and iPhone 5S look way better than the Z2.
BTW, "million dollar" phone that can't do 4K video without turning into a mini stove?
126. Pflamingo (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 May 2014)
Lol even the Vertu Ti doesn't even look classy, it's a piece but some people are still willing to pay $10k on the phone.
141. great (Posts: 59; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)
all phones having 4k video capabilities have the same problem because the chipset cant handle it
82. gamblor77 (Posts: 71; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
They didn't even score the same at all, that's the REALLY sad part. Z2 lost by a hefty margin but apparently you can't do math.
PA eliminated all the categories that the Z2 sucked in to force a tie. If you actually took an average of all the categories (not just 3/7) - the Z2 got 7.08 and S5 got 8.25.
They even removed HDR category because the S5 got an 8 and the Z2 got a 3. HDR is something is a very important feature and it makes the S5 stand out above the rest. It's not like Panoramic or Night mode which you'd only use occasionally.
Z2 can suck it hard!!!
86. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
The Sony fans cut out the math so they can tie with the S5 haha.
108. almostdone (Posts: 110; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)
The Z2 does terrible in panorama & HDR shots and performs worse than the S5 in night shots. Clearly the S5 is the superior overall camera but PA are the new Sony fanboys?
98. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
Sammy is got is higher score than is z2, now go to h*ll and learn to speaka inglish, this is a site in english not in uzbekistani
124. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
Yes is yes. go speaka inglish not uzbekistanni. no one is care for sony. sony is for old people. now go to h*ll
127. Pflamingo (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 May 2014)
Lol Sony isn't for old people, they obviously have updated their phones. Just sayin..
67. Shubham412302 (Posts: 298; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
this competition is for second rank
lumia is first
32. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4054; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
Love my Z2 more than the N3, the N3 feels cheap tacky light and has no prestige
Cheap junk dustbin plastic
99. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
lmaooooooo, no one cares about your z2 or your plastic metal thing excuses. way to go. you bought a phone no one wants to buy. sony loves you. long live the 80s and the nursery home
33. sergiobr (Posts: 402; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)
Sony spent so much money to produce ... a S5 like camera ! What "reign" are you talking about ??? Is better wait for Z4 lol
140. karan75 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)
s5 the chutiya vo abee abee aaya hai bc z2 ho ga na chr k baacha loodu
62. CamaroSS (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
Had a good laugh when s5 got a good score at night shots. Get real, Nick. Indoor pictures without flash is one of the most important aspects of a phone camera. S5 simply can't perform decently in that category just like all other samsung phones. Learn how to do comparison from Anandtech. s5 doesn't come close to z1, m8, etc in that category - forget about z2
63. CamaroSS (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
here is another one from cnet
81. androtaku (Posts: 161; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)
i wonder where all the people calling this iphone-arena gone
120. marcski07 (Posts: 306; Member since: 25 Apr 2014)
LOL so many sammy fanboys, the idiocy of samsung fans are too damn high, when sammy is compared by 5s they'll call it iphone arena, and now z2 are on par with their band aid s5, they'll call PA sony fan boys?? get a life fanboys, or is this their job bashing other competitor of their beloved samesung? :)))) if sony have great advertisement or marketing strategy and many carriers in the US, I believe the fruit and the band-aid will gonna have a bad time keeping up their sales, US hates sony, not because it is cheap looking, and not great in specs, but because they can't buy it on time. so imagine if the launching and release dates of sony is as good as apple and samsung? you would see a significant drop of sales... :))
128. Pflamingo (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 May 2014)
Yes we work for their company and we love to bash inferior companies, it's just what we do. Please drop your insults in the comment box and we will get to you when we can. Sincerely, your biggest "Sammy" fanboy
3. akki20892 (Posts: 3304; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Told ya....Z2 is dam dam dam dam dam good phone.......go team Sony.
5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Not with Panoramic shots according to PA.
22. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4054; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
Just drop it in the water it will cool down
102. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
lmaoooo what a l0ser. hey guys, one sec my phone is heating up gotta cool it down. good old fashioned 80s ways. reminds of old tv sets stories about how they used to hit em to make em work again. yes drop it in water. lmaooo.
21. buccob (Posts: 1356; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
This has always bothered me about Sony's camera... but today with apps like Google Camera with Photo Spheres... who really needs Panoramic pics that come with the stock app...
I mean, its good that Samsung offer a good overall camera software package... I don't argue that... but Pano pics do not worry me or make the phone less attractive to me.
And with the Camera extensions in the Sony app, people can develope a better Panoramic extension to be included anyway...
Thats one of the reasons I like Walkman over Samsung Music or others... Extensions...
26. Frankiebeans (Posts: 31; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)
are you getting paid by them or something?
105. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
lmaooo what about you? zombie apocalypse leader?
54. Penny (Posts: 1128; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
The panoramic shot from the Z2 did look pretty bad, but as others mentioned, that can be resolved by using a third party app.
On the other hand, PA totally underscored the Z2's HDR shot, probably after the fact just to bring its overall score into a tie with the S5 to please the large droves of Samsung fans.
58. Penny (Posts: 1128; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
I take back this comment as I did not previously read the disclaimer at the end. I apologize for my jumping to conclusions and questioning your integrity PA. Unfortunately I cannot delete my previous asinine comment.
I do, however, still think you hugely undervalued the Z2 in the HDR category. While it did seem to provide the least dynamic range, other phones also suffered from some serious problems such as the terribly unnatural color balance of the HTC M8, and the washed out colors of the iP5S.
106. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
please don't cry. GS5 is superior in every aspect. and no one cares about the Zf@rt. people prove it. numbers prove it.
83. gamblor77 (Posts: 71; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
And DEFINITELY not with HDR either...that's for damn sure. ;) But who uses HDR anyway? SMH! lol.
121. marcski07 (Posts: 306; Member since: 25 Apr 2014)
hey guys, pay attention to 13thking, kids love attention... he'll throw a bad tantrums... please be nice... :)))))))))
103. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
ahhhh.. no no.. nokia good good.. lmaooo change your profile photo. it's dead. apocalyyyyypsee
4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7714; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Just trying to figure out how the Z2 and S5 scored the same when the Z2 got a 3 in the Panoramic shot.