Sony Xperia Z1 20 MP camera photo and video samples roundup

Sony Xperia Z1 20 MP camera photo and video samples roundup
The long-rumored Sony Xperia Z1 is finally here, and improvised camera tests are starting to trickle down from everywhere. Granted, Sony made its own tests, which, unsurprisingly, put the Z1 on top of the cameraphone world against such juggernauts like the Nokia Lumia 1020 and 925, Samsung Galaxy S4, Apple iPhone 5 and the HTC One, but it's based on a survey of people's perceptions about the photos in a blind comparison, so it's rather subjective. 

Nevertheless, we are supplying Sony's results in the slideshow below for your viewing pleasure, before we take off to the real-life photos and videos that we, and other mobile tech fans, managed to grab with the Z1.

Sony samples


Next in line are the photos that we, the tech writing community, or testers and leakers, managed to snap with the Xperia Z1. These are not pitted against anything yet, so it's hard to judge how the scene looked in reality, but from the quality of the pics we like what we are seeing so far - nothing groundbreaking, but still a very, very capable camera for a thin waterproof phone, perhaps even the best snapper amongst the Android flagships, though we'll have to do a camera test of our own before we declare it to be anything. Have patience, as some of those samples are full-size, so they take a while to load, but you can zoom in and examine the noise levels up close and personal.

Video capture

Now off to the video capture abilities of the handset - it can record 1080p video with HDR mode, if needed, smoothing out tricky dynamic range scenes. Check out a few examples below, including one made with the QX100 lens-style camera, using the Z1 as merely a viewfinder. Speaking of viewfinders, check out the last fun video made by O2 UK that uses the Xperia Z1 as a driver's monitor for a race track bash.

Related phones

Xperia Z1
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(15h 3G talk time)



1. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

The samples look okay to me, a bit too much noise filtering, but overall quality is good enough. The video quality is not as goos as the photo quality though. IMO

39. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Also some severe sharpening, personally I like the results as row as possible and I'll apply post-processing if I wanted to. The iPhone 5, PureView 808, S4 Octa and G2 are fine examples of camera done with little PP.

46. torgrim

Posts: 29; Member since: May 08, 2013

This (only 12-hour use) review says the same: Too bad Sony cant make a stand out camera, I had hopes for Z1...

50. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

They are saying it might be the BEST camera phone for Android. That's pretty good in my eyes. How awesome will it be to take some GREAT high-quality underwater photos in a pool or at the beach? That is why I think the Sony Xperia Z1 has a HUGE advantage over other phones. Imagine a water proof Samsung Galaxy Note IV? I am salivating at the thought. lol

55. torgrim

Posts: 29; Member since: May 08, 2013

Yes, I do like the water proofness and the design, but I need a CAMERA-phone, and photo quality is very important for me. Looking at the samples above (the real samples taken by PA at the launch) they seem very blurry, noisy and filtered if you zoom in. Well, the upcoming camera comparison reviews will show if Z1 can compete with S4 or IPhone 5, and even Lumia 1020 (doubt it, but if it comes close its good enough for me). ...and next week its the launch of IPhone 5S with new and improved camera. If none can do I am actually tempted to buy Lumia 1020 (even though WP8 scares me...). :)

56. papss unregistered

I have a 1020 and am using it as my primary camera at Disney World this week and its produced great results. Its a great phone but would like a bigger screen.

59. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

If camera picture quality is SO important, then you need a standalone camera. If quality is what you want you will NEVER achieve that with a camera phone. I have a 18MP Sony Cyber shot camera that takes EPIC pictures & always use it for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, vacations & things of that nature. NEVER will I use a camera phone for that. For everyday photos that are spare of the moment my HTC Droid DNA's 8MP camera is more than efficient. I am sure the Sony Xperia Z1's camera will kill anything that’s out there in the land of Android & Apple. The Nokia's from Microsoft are STILL king in the camera phone world, BUT not to par with standalone cameras.

62. torgrim

Posts: 29; Member since: May 08, 2013

I have have a very good standalone camera (Sony RX100 + Nikon DSLR), but they dont fit in my pockets... I did not have the RX100 at hand when my daughter took her first steps (but my Nokia N8 saved the moment) and I dont take my camera with me on company events or out with friends (makes me look like a nerdish tourist), but the best moments to capture often times happens right there. If you wear your 18 MP Sony Cyber Shot around your neck or in your pocket all the time, then I understand you, but the only gadget I wear most of the time is my phone. Thats why I want a damn good camera on that phone! To capture those small, precious moments that happens before you know it! :)

66. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok you are missing my point. All I am saying is that quality & camera phone should not be put in the same sentence. I am willing to bet the Sony Xperia Z1 20MP camera will be perfect for what it is. It will take better photos than most Android devices out there. If you are looking for the BEST camera phone you need to get a WP8 device from Nokia. STILL your Sony RX100 + Nikon DSLR will deliver the quality you are looking for because EVEN the BEST Nokia phones can't touch THAT type of quality. It seems like you are beating a dead horse.

2. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

pretty good on very low light condition.. just average on a good light situation.. just my opinion..

3. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

wow. that last photo is impressive. is that really from the z1?

4. cameogt

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

i think the color (edit: reproduction) of Z1 in artificial light seems washed out.

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

That's pretty amazing. Good job sony still waiting for a full review from pa though.

29. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

34. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

yes i also checked those thats impressive and u can even check 100% crops here of above listed photos

37. Daniel.P

Posts: 127; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

Added, thank you

41. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

You're welcome

42. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

They are just 8MP and not entirely sharp, the 100% crops that are posted show some processing or lens blurryness. Look a bit oversaturated too.

44. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

Just one question. Why downsampleing it to 8 mpx, this way 20 mpx sensor is not needed. Full res images please. Thx for the link anyway.

51. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Thanks ! Let´s see 100% crop

6. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Lumia 1020 night sample lol z1 beats it out of water but lumia 925 was close and video samples are from last month with no genuine trademark that they belong to Z1

60. shikroi

Posts: 187; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

Really isn't saying a lot. A manual increase of the shutter speed would have blown them both out of the water.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Those are some of the worst photo samples I've ever seen and it has nothing to do with the Xperia Z1! Who took those pictures - Helen Keller??

8. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

no Anne Sullivan

9. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Look at the Galaxy S4 low light photo LOL

10. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

its a Black Wallpaper :D

33. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

You do realize these photos are supplied by Sony and not an independent tech review site, right ?! Even I could point out the 4th picture looks over-exposed in Sony Z1 but I guess well have wait until a more credible comparisons are posted !

35. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

as if comparisons made before look gs4 images glowing and glowing in low light???

36. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

It stood on par with Lumia 1020 and out-scored Lumia 925, Iphone 5 and Htc One on this very website's night comparison test. Think before you say and don't be a blind fanboy !

40. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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