Users complain about Xperia XZs and XZ Premium camera distortion, Sony responds

When Sony announced the new Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium this year, it talked up a storm about the new Motion Eye camera. Better detail, better light capture, super-fast focus, super-slow slow motion, the works. But it seems it's not all roses and sunshine with Sony's top-tier mobile cameras.

Users have started to complain and report a lens distortion issue with the new flagships. Now, distortion is something that has plagued many cameras before, with the edges of photos getting severely warped, but that's what sticking a wide angle camera in a thin body can do. With Motion Eye, Sony promoted a new “anti-distortion” shutter tech, which works against warping, but that sounds like a software optimization, which makes sure to keep things stable when you are capturing moving objects. Is the hardware on point?

Apparently, there's some trouble there. User posts on the official Sony Mobile forums as well as on XDA Developers show numerous pictures of test grids and other everyday objects that should appear straight. However, they do not. And the issue is not just around the edges of the photographs — there seems to be a concentric ripple effect going through the image with only the middle being perfectly straight and the other portions suffering some form of distortion.

This is unflattering to faces, as it can contribute to “big nose” or “egghead” effect and is definitely not ideal for capturing simple compositions where there isn't much going on to distract the brain.

The guys over at fansite Xperia Blog have contacted Sony directly to get a statement on the matter. The response reads:

So, in translation, it's a hardware thing, which Sony believes is a normal issue plaguing most other smartphones. We dare argue this point but, alas, the distortion seems to be here to stay for this generation of Sony flagships. Maybe... maybe it will be fixed with the next models?

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)
Xperia XZs
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 19 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2900 mAh



1. yann

Posts: 613; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

The answer is stupid. I like Sony but such answers are not in favour of the company and its customers. In other words - take a cold water.

9. cheetah2k

Posts: 2230; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

OH FFS Pooo Arena.. All you have to do is enable STEADYSHOT in the camera settings and its gone...

11. doombadger

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 20, 2017

That ONLY works when shooting video and doesn't even work when shooting 4K.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Leave the wide angle crap alone. Make cameras with the same FoV that they used to have and pixel density per in-picture object will increase. You could get away with the same effective detail with a lower MP sensor, while increasing pixel size.

3. Jason2k13

Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

So Sony is telling those people to get over it, and that distorted images is here to stay? Great way to anger fans, when Sony is already losing many costumers through out the years.

4. notfair

Posts: 722; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

I am so glad I have skipped another year Sony. Year after year they have the same complaints yet nothing is done...

5. Valinor

Posts: 174; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

8 years passed since my last Sony phone. Seems to me Sony has not changed one bit. Still the same bulls**t. Am I glad I cancelled my Sony XZ premium preorder after seeing the crappy lowlight image quality.

6. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

It happens to very close objects, usually indoor pictures like tv, doors, walls. Sometimes my z3+ does that.

7. Djz89

Posts: 441; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

I have xzs bit have not noticed anything line this.

8. Roeshak

Posts: 38; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

Typical Sony response. We know best so stop complaining lol. Left xperia after 6yrs in 2015 and moved to Samsung with the s7 edge. Now using the s8+. Camera performance especially in lowlight was the main reason for the switch. Glad I made the switch. Image quality on the galaxy devices is miles better especially with respect to fidelity clarity and sharpness. Sony mobile do things their own way and arrogantly so. Got fed up of their crap so moved on.

10. Chaise unregistered

Typical Sony response. They used to care about customers, but that was a few decades ago. Now they only care about money, but ironically earning less than before. As a result, their service deteriorates and their fall from grace continues.

12. doombadger

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 20, 2017

I was sold on this phone. I won't be getting one now after this.

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