Sony says the Xperia Z5 is the best cameraphone on the market, here's why

Different manufacturers choose different tools when trying to drum up interest in their products, though most stick to the well-beaten path of traditional advertising. For the most part, Sony is no different, but it's been known to adopt bombastic titles for its own products, and with their smartphones those usually read "the best camera on a smartphone" or a variation of. And what do you know, the Xperia Z5 is no exception.

In one of its ads for its new flagship, available on YouTube, Sony claims that the Xperia Z5 has "the best camera in a leading smartphone*", and so our curiosity could not be helped: What makes it the best camera? Like always, Sony's dedicated Claims & Test Results page has the details, and we spared no time going through them. Turns out, (like always) the company hired Strategy Analytics to test and evaluate the performance of the 1/2.3" Exmor RS sensor with 23 megapixels in a number of areas, including light sensitivity, focus times, overall image quality, and video stabilization among others. The asterisks are worth clarifying, however.

For starters, Sony says that the Z5's maximum achievable ISO of 12,800 is the highest among "leading smartphones" — the 100 top selling smartphones of 2015 based on shelf share — but there are nevertheless a few devices native to Japan that match or exceed that figure. They are not considered because they're only available in their home country.

Sony also says that with the Xperia Z5 you're getting the "Best Camera Experience", a claim based on the results of a poll comparing five images captured by a number of competing devices and presented to 200 UK consumers for evaluation. 33% of them preferred the images captured by the Xperia Z5, with Apple's iPhone 6 Plus coming in second, closely followed by the Samsung Galaxy S6: 

A researcher from Strategy Analytics was also tasked with the creation of video footage on the 6 leading, competing devices, whilst riding a bike on smooth road in day light, with the aim of comparing the quality of video stabilization. All phones had their default settings on, and the resulting clips were compared on a 40-inch HD monitor. Unsurprisingly, Sony's Xperia Z5 came out swinging in this particular test:

Finally, the researchers wanted to make sure that Sony's claim of fastest autofocus tech in the game wasn't unfounded, so they tested for that using an HD camcorder shooting at 240 frames per second, noting down the time it took each device to launch the camera and for the closest object to come into sharp focus. The cameras of all devices were placed 60cm away from the subject, and the environment was lit up with the help of strong studio lights. The Sony Xperia Z5 averaged 0.2 seconds on average, vastly surpassing competitors. Of course, 0.2 seconds is far from the 0.03 seconds Sony boasted about, which is supposedly in compliance with CIPA guidelines.

Are these findings relevant? For the most part, everything about the test parameters sounds legit and practically sound. For example, the image quality test reportedly included 5 different scenarios, including extremely low light shots, performance under normal light, quick shutter, and portrait. More importantly, however, the results were displayed on three distinct media, including glossy A6 photo paper, on the devices themselves, and on the aforementioned 40-inch monitor. This ought to be sufficient to at least partially offset bias towards great, but lower resolution images. Regardless, we'd still like to check out the Xperia Z5 for us before going as far as crowning it the best cameraphone, though we're obviously anxious to see if the company has managed to fix some recurring issues with its software algorithms.

source: Sony

Related phones

Xperia Z5
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2900 mAh(17h 3G talk time)



1. Busyboy

Posts: 733; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Time will tell

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Yeah, reviews will prove which side it is.

14. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

LOL "on the market"... Its not even available for purchase, and yet its the best on the market.. What a load of bollox

60. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Reviewer are usually sold to some brand. By example PA is sold to Apple and Samsung so its wont beat it even if its better.

76. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

but the problem is, sony isn't better. So it wont beat samsung and lg. I hope microsoft will put this sensor in lumia 940 and will gives us 2mp pureview pictures. 23mp pictures are so huge, I cant email to customers. Even 13mp are so huge. There should be a down scaling without the loss of quality.

78. TerryTerius unregistered

I distinctly remember the z2 receiving a week deserved higher score than the s5. That being said, you're one of those people that legitimately believes Samsung phones never deserve the scores they receive and they're terrible. You aren't exactly the best person to preach about non biasness. In terms of inanimate objects at least.

97. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Well i do work at a Cellshop so i know what phone are the worst. Samsung are followed closely by Apple. Did you know thats out of 10 samsung phone sold at least 3 come back same year with issue? Apple is only 1 out of 10. Others brand is even less ( and its a Ratio we calculate then return to the headoffice so number of phone sold dont matter ) So thats mean when you get a Samsung cellphone you have 30% change its will fail in first year but hey reviewer never talk about thats? But hey its okay to acuse me whitout knowing all the fact right? So easy to do when you not in face of the person right?

141. Topcat488

Posts: 1416; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Well, marorun what you don't say about the Samsung phones, are if these 3 out of 10 are Flagship... Because Samsung makes very, very, very, very many phones. From "low-end to Mid-range to High-end devices. Your facts are invalid! O.o

146. TerryTerius unregistered

Yeah, I have absolutely no problem criticizing anyone to their face. I'm no keyboard warrior dude. As you say, don't assume. I'm 6" 2 and very much in shape. Debate is the last thing that'd intimidate me, especially over an inanimate object -_- That being said, I'm highly skeptical of your claims for a lot of reasons.

150. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Not PA but you are heavily biased. I have close friends who run cellphone retail stores. Samsung is the only brand which sometimes they import from different market (unofficial channel) and Trust to give personal warranty for a yr which they will not get from Samsung. Examples of reasons to import from another market: 1) Only white and black s6 and s6e is available so he imports other colors in personal risk 2) Only 32 Gb is available through official channel And he says Samsung is the least device that comes back to him with complains. Maybe you should quite this business and start doing something else.

148. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

And this review, is done by the brand itself. Moreover, we just don't see one review but multiple. PA is not the only one. Like how s6 and edge is considered the best camera in industry by almost every reviewers.

155. ogee4life

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 12, 2014

Absolutely spot on, there's so much bias with a lot of these tech sites, PA and Gsmarena the worst of them all. It will shock me if Sony is crowned king by either of them

35. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

No, it's not a question of time. We saw the samples in the web (PA included) and when we zoom it at 100% is the same overprocessed image from 1/2.3" sensors. The software doesn't help too. Kudos to Nokia , Sammy and LG with big sensors and better sw. Is just marketing.

2. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

From What I've Seen The Z5 Has A Great Camera. But The 6s Is Around The Corner And I Honestly I Cant Wait Until The In Depth Reviews And A Blind Camera Comparison.


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

6s? Please 6s will have a small sensor and even smaller pxiel size comapared to the current no 6s will suck camera wise!

59. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

The 6s Plus Is Has An 8mp Camera And Only The Latest Galaxy Flagships And The G4 Take Better Pictures And They Have 16mp Cameras. The New 6s And 6s Plus Will Have The Same Camera This Time Around And They're Uping The Mp Count To 12. 12mps Might Not Seem Like Much But With The 8mp Camera on The 6 Plus Beating Every Phone With A 13mp Camera It Stands To Reason That 12mp Should Be Able To Beat 16mp As Well Seriously Have You Not Seen PA's Blind Camera Test Articles That Feature The 6 Plus? Cause If You Have Then You Know As Well As I Do How Stupid Your Comment Is. And Do You Really Apple Would Down Grade The Camera On The New iPhone From The Current iPhones.

61. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

We have seen the blind camera test and in each of them the iphone lost.. So sorry dude.

82. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I Didn't Say It Won I Just Said Its Good Despite The Low Mp Count

108. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Not really when you zoom in any iphone picture its get nasty pretty fast. Thats where the lower mpix hit the hardest. HTC one M7 and M8 the picture was looking amazing on a phone screen but when put on a computer screen its started to suffer. Same go with iphone picture ( to a lesser extend )

66. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Says The Guy Who Can't Type Correctly.... iPhone has been losing the competition in cameras since the 5s, everyone was disappointed with the 6 cameras. The only cool thing with the 6 series was the slow mo, but you could only do that outside on a sunny day to look good, and it only looked good on the 6 screen cuz the resolution is so low/native to the screen on the 6. It's about time iPhone has a bump in cameras, but customers shouldn't be losing their minds cuz they are on 12MP camera, they should expect a far better camera with such a long wait in this bump in technology, considering it's already old thanks to the Z5 and S6. It's just sad really :/ I guess samples will tell the story, though.

83. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I Never Said It Was Winning The Camera Competition, I Simply Meant That The 8mp Camera On The 6 Plus Doesn't Suck (Like People Seem To Think) Its Only Outdone By The Galaxies, G4. And Some Lumias And All Of Those Phones Have 16mp Or Higher. Not One Phone With A 13mp Camera Can Touch The 6 Plus's 8mp Camera Just Sayin. And Please People Love The Way I Type :-)

96. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

What you said was right. They do exceptionally well with their image processing. They don't win, we all know, but if they very likely would win if they had the same sensor. I'm not sure if 13MP will be enough to win or not, but I would guarantee based on the Z5 samples that it won't have the artifacts and smudging that Sony does.

110. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015


107. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 2013

You type like a 12 year old.

113. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Nah Mate You're Wrong Cause A 12 Year Old Wouldn't Use Capitalization LOL. GOT EMMMMM!!!!!!!!!

119. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

you act like a 10 year old. Everyone has some bad side ;)

118. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

My Sony Z1 thats came out before the iphone 6 and 6+ beat it to pulp. I have to use another camera app ( camera fv-5 ) but otherwise its beat it in every aspect. But yeah its 21 mpix still came out earlier than iphone 6.

112. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I know my writing suck :) i am not english native.

114. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

That Guy Was Talking To Me Cause I Capitalize Every Word LOL. You're English Is Fine Mate.


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

12MP welcome to the year 2008! MP means nothing, if the sensor is small you can put 100MP it will still suck! Also the pixel size is the 6s will not have a good camera, slightly better than the 6 but it will lack behind the competition!

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