Three pro photographers get armed with Xperia Z3 and show how it's done: tilt shift, night and contrast shots

Three pro photographers get armed with Xperia Z3 and show how it's done: tilt shift, night and contrast shots
The Sony Xperia Z3 is not only the thinnest phone with IP68 waterproof certification, and sporting the best battery life in its class plus one of the brightest displays, but can also be a great mobile camera too, if you know how to use it. Enter professional photographers Greg Funnell, Ben Thomas, J.N. Silva - from London, Melbourne and New York, respectively.

These three shutterbugs got an Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact each, and were told to fire at will, then share the results on Sony's newly-minted Xperia Photo Academy - a place for mobile photography tips, tricks, sharing and collaboration. The Xperia Z3 didn't win our recent flagship camera comparison, but performed very well nonetheless, and the pictures below prove that in the vast majority of times the actual person taking the shot can make a great one out of nothing, or ruin a perfectly-lit composition, too.

Xperia Z3 sports Sony’s Cyber-shot and Handycam tech, combining a 20.7 MP 1/2.3” Exmor RS for mobile sensor, BIONZ for mobile processing engine, and 25mm G Lens, all with a high ISO 12800 sensitivity to boot. From "tilt shift" miniaturizing photography, to well-done night shots, the Z3 delivers in the capable hands of the three photographers, as you can see in the samples below.


Related phones

Xperia Z3
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(14h talk time)
Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Display 4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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48 Comments

1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Nice.

8. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok Sony, whatever those settings are to reach those AWESOME pictures, why not make those default so EVERYONE can take those types of pictures & FINALLY you can rival Samsung & Apple in the picture department. Have one setting for day & then the phone automatically detects night & change settings to go to night time mode. I am just trying to help.

10. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

That can't be done man...two settings for the whole 24 hours is not possible. Even a slight shift in light will have different effect in the photo.

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Hey if Samsung can have overall GREAT pictures, Sony should be able to as well. Maybe these can be references for better algorithms.

28. dmn666

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

You made a valid point. Let me make one too. No phone can take overall great pictures in auto mode. Sony's auto mode will destroy any samsung phone in lowlight situations. One of the main reasons is the 8mp res in auto mode. On the other hand, you'll lose details in well lit situations. So you need to switch to 20 mp mode manually. It's an inherent trade-off. You pick whatever you like.

29. dmn666

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

By the way, nobody was able to make a perfect auto mode. That's why auto is still the most useless mode on the SLRs that come with much better optics and processing algorithms than phones do. If you're a daylight person and perfer auto mode only, stick with an iphone or whatever you like. I mostly take pictures in the evening while hanging out with my friends. So Sony's auto mode works best for me. I can still use the 20mp mode manually to capture great daylight pictures.

12. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Yes, this is very much needed for normal users who don't usually play with settings otherwise experts can use any phone's camera provided with loads of camera options coz they know it well.

36. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Lol so an auto mode for 'talent'...sure.

2. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

And people said Sony doesn't produce good camera? I just don't know how to use my camera on my Z2 XD

3. Obie-Wan

Posts: 113; Member since: May 24, 2012

Amazing pics. I believe Z series always had a good camera. Just need a little trick to make a good shot

4. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

If you need a professional photographer to be able to understand and use a PHONE camera then you have failed as a company. How many pro's will get the Z3 compared to normal clueless people? You guessed it right, almost none compared to huge majority of normal people. Its not by coincidence that apple is doing its best to make the auto mode the best mode. Who the hell will go through exposure time, iso, and f aperture on a freaking phone when they want to take a quick photo with the family or what so ever

19. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

And that's why I have no choice but to recommend Apple and Samsung for amateur photography. I put much more stock in PA's blind camera comparisons than pro shot stuff like this.

21. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

and how many people who don't care to learn more about the cameras they are using would pixel peep? for those people who don't look into pixel level details, the xperia z3's auto shots would even look better (supported by a sony research) because sony's auto photos generally have great details, sharpness, color accuracy, and brightness. only people like us here complain about how flagship camera results are better than x or y. those people you say who don't care about going deep into the settings don't pixel peep or pay so much attention about how other phones are marginally better over the other. bottom line: the xz3's super auto photos look excellent enough for most consumers (and those marketing catchphrases like 20.7MP, G lens,"great photos in every lighting condition) attract the attention of most consumers who have not been trapped by brand loyalty. those SA photos only look less desirable to us and others who care so much about specs and other minute details.

5. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

NNN NOWHERE NEAR NOKIA!!!!

22. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

thankfully so since being near a dead entity isn't really that desirable.

24. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I'd like to see Sony take over Nokia's market positioning as best smartphone camera. They have the design and hardware chops. With the right software, they'll get my money.

27. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

that's something only the iphone and galaxy flagships can lay claim upon. market position = number of devices sold.

34. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Nokia tried though. With the 1020 they made camera prowess their selling point. Obviously it didn't catch fire, but Sony can try to be the first name in camera phones. They just need the right product and marketing.

6. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

A camera's true potential is seen only when its in the hand of a pro. Those are some sick shots.

14. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Give a pro a 2MP camera and it still can capture great photos.

7. jimjam unregistered

hmmm i wonder how much post processing was done.

9. sinple

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

issues is that these photo are probably not done with the default camera app. There is not shutter control and no tiltshift option. FV-camera?

11. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Yea I was wondering myself how number 7 & 8 were taken...

15. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

They are most likely taken in Night Scene option in Manual mode.

38. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Nope there not none of the reviews says there is. Plus night scene is usually stripped of options just a few remain.

39. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

What do you mean about the reviewers? There is a night scene option there. And yeah it limits the manual stuff you can do, but it takes fantastic photos. Though you need a tripod or stand for it because it exposes pretty long.

40. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

You misunderstood I meant that the exposure settings can't be changed and I know there's a night scene mode that a "duh" thing. I've used night scene but none have ever come out with light trails like this.

41. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

For me they do come. The cars move fast and it uses long exposure time so yeah. Which phone do you have? Cause at least that's how it is on the Z2. So would be logical if also on the Z3.

44. rsiders

Posts: 1978; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

This is night mode unedited using a tripod. It's very capable of producing good results.https://flic.kr/p/q6Lh9q

45. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I admit I haven't taken any shots pertaining to cars but I haven't seen any in the shots I do have... Looks like it's time to go for it since it's snowing today.

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