Sony Xperia XZ: a look at the new features in its refined camera app

The Sony Xperia XZ aims to impress with excellent photographic qualities, which is why the camera hardware has been given a welcome upgrade over what we had on the Xperia X. However, you can't have a great smartphone camera without an equally capable camera app to control it. 

At IFA 2016, we got the chance to play with the Sony Xperia XZ's camera, and while flipping between screens, we came across a few notable additions. For starters, the Manual camera mode now supports manual focus and shutter speed control – a first on a Sony smartphone. The latter setting goes from 1/4000 of a second to 1 second, which isn't mindblowing, but enough for most creative purposes. 

Also, the selfie camera is more sensitive to light now, going all the way up to ISO6400. Then Sony's pixel binning algorithms are applied to clear up the digital noise that will surely occur. Speaking of selfies, switching between apps happens much faster, and the new 5-axis stabilization can be enabled when shooting videos with the front snapper.

Lastly, we're happy to see that 4K video is making a comeback, available as a separate video mode. What we're not happy to see, however, is that the camera might be prone to overheating while capturing in 4K. We'll have to test the Xperia XZ ourselves to confirm if that's the case.

For the record, not all of these goodies will be making their way into the Sony Xperia X Compact. It won't support 5-axis stabilization with its front camera, for instance. 4K video won't be offered either.

The Sony Xperia XZ will be coming in the coming weeks. To learn more about it, feel free to read our Xperia XZ first impressions. And if you're into smaller, more compact handsets, we have a hands-on preview of the Sony Xperia X Compact as well.

Related phones

Xperia XZ
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2900 mAh(17.5h 3G talk time)



1. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Not trying to troll or anything like that, but does the camera app still shut down due to overheating?

3. Subie

Posts: 2395; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Yup, the article definitely is suggesting that heat might still be a problem. Actual production reviews will reveal the truth.

5. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

I'm not really worired about is, as I got the SD810 Z5 and it doesn't overheat, except if I record 4K for a long time. I'm more concerned about the lack of FM radio :/

9. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Almost every review I watched about the Xperia XP mentioned that the camere would shut down due to overheating even when they are just snapping pictures.

10. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

I have not watched them, as I was not interested in the XXP. However, I did a quick search and found this on AA: "Update 2: Android Authority’s own Bailey Stein, who currently has an American Xperia X review model, provided the following statement having sought to test his model for similar problems: While I did see the “some functions may be disabled” message after eleven minutes of recording 1080P at 60fps, the camera app did not close even after 30 minutes of recording on my Sony Xperia X review unit. Do keep in mind, however, that there are other variables to consider and each unit may perform differently."

12. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

I found this as well: Not the best performance, but nothing terrible though. Still better than the 10 minute limit of the S7 if you ask me.

20. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

P.s. not trying to troll, but... The S7 gets warmer than the SD810 Z5 premium ;)

21. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You're not getting my point. I never said Sony phones are the only ones that overheat, I was just asking of they still have that problem where the app shuts downs even when taking pictures. You can watch Pocketnow's dedicated Xperia XP camera review, and they talk about that in details. Enjoy the rest of your day bro

22. allenenriquez

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 06, 2016

Me too! Also the iR Blaster is a big must! I have over 5 remote control's and it's annoying when I have to reach for them at night while I can just use my smartphone to do it all. Another thing is I wish it has the ambient light which is usually located adjacent from bottom of the screen it's useful when trying to get next to it their is I believe a setting in Sony Xperia P where if your hand got near it would light up. I hope they keep the NFC too. Another is I that the camera button is available.

19. DarkVader777

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 10, 2016

You just

16. monoke

Posts: 1173; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Really love the simple design of this phone. However some negatives compared to z series... bigger ergonomics due to square design, polycarbonate frame, no fm, no mini apps, 3gb ram come on Sony it's almost 2017.

17. Feanor

Posts: 1389; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I'm glad for the cancellation of the mini apps. I like the stock Android feel without them more. And anyway, all Sony smartphones that don't have mini apps will be updated to Android 7.0 which has the much more useful split screen multitasking. Maybe this is the reason why Sony doesn't bother with them any longer.

18. monoke

Posts: 1173; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Well for me, mini apps are great for calculator, playing youtube music/audio with screen off. Give it a try. It's awesome actually. Sure u can do that now by paying youtube but still... Choice is always better than none imo.

24. allenenriquez

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 06, 2016

Agree it works great with PlayStation 4 as it works harmoniously into the mini apps as well the Sony Smart TV.

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