Sony Xperia 1 VI PhoneArena camera score: Promising, but with some issues

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Sony Xperia 1 VI: PhoneArena Camera score
The Sony Xperia 1 VI is Sony's latest flagship for 2024, which comes with an intriguing triple camera. 

The most interesting aspect of the camera here is the telephoto one, which features stepless optical zoom between 3.5x and 7.1 and hints at spectacular zoom quality. On paper, the rest of the cameras are pretty decent, too. Can all of that help the Sony Xperia 1 VI to perform excellently in the PhoneArena Camera Score test? Let's run it through the paces. 


Overall, a rather similar setup to last year's Xperia 1 V, with the new telephoto camera being the fascinating novelty. Although the resolution has been kept the same, we get a much more versatile zooming setup in contrast to the previously fixed 5.2x optical zoom. 

We'd have loved for further adjustments to the rest of the cameras, but seeing the overall camera score achieved by the Xperia 1 VI, it seems that Sony has found a way to squeeze more out of the existing cameras.  

Sony Xperia 1 VI
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
138
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
144
Main (wide)
BEST 85
73
Zoom
BEST 27
24
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
20
Selfie
BEST 30
27
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
131
Main (wide)
BEST 79
64
Zoom
BEST 24
23
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
20
Selfie
BEST 28
24

Sony Xperia 1 VI Camera Score compared to its rivals



Although it lags behind the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro in overall camera capabilities, Sony has scored a serious jump in comparison with its predecessor, the Xperia 1 V. However, despite scoring many improvements, the camera still can't tackle serious camera phones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra and Pixel 8 Pro.  


Pros

  • Great main camera with realistic colors
  • Very capable stepless telephoto camera, delivering excellent detail
  • Decent video quality
  • Pleasant and natural selfies

Cons

  • Ultra-wide camera is soft
  • Oversharpening issues with most cameras, both in photo and video 
  • Some exposure issues in some modes

Main Camera



The Sony Xperia 1 VI features a very decent main camera. Some signature characteristics of it are the realistic color reproduction and lack of tinting. Exposure is okay, though phones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Pixel 8 Pro fare better. There's some oversharpening present here, which isn't ideal. While the phone supports high-res 48MP images, it won't give you a high-res or HDR preview. 

Zoom Quality


3.5x

7.1x

The telephoto camera delivers very decent detail on both ends of the zoom range, matching and beating its rivals and its predecessor. As a reminder, the stepless optical zoom takes the reins between 3.5x and 7.1x. Of course, you can zoom past that, but have in mind anything past 7.1x will involve digital zoom. There's no over-sharpening here, which is great. 

Ultra-wide Camera



The ultra-wide camera somewhat struggles to nail the correct exposure in comparison with the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro, but interestingly, its predecessor has also fared better. Some oversharpening is present here as well. Details captured with the Xperia 1 VI's ultra-wide camera are not so good: the phone's rivals all capture more detail, and so does the older Xperia 1 V. At least we get a dedicated macro this year. 

Front Camera



The front camera delivers very realistic photos, with proper exposure and mostly correct colors. Detail is much better than before, but some slight oversharpening can be seen here, too. 

Main Camera - Video



Turns out that video is not a strong suit of this Xperia phone. Exposure and colors are decent, but this is where most great things about this phone's video-taking capabilities end. Detail is simply not good in video. The phone also exhibits some stabilization issues which drag it down in comparison with the Galaxy 24 Ultra, Pixel 8 Pro, and even last year's Xperia 1 V, which is a shame. 

Zoom Quality - Video




When it comes to video taken with the variable telephoto, the phone is a pleasant surprise. The video exposure is great, colors are true-to-life, and the stabilization works good here. There's no oversharpening, so the remarkable level of detail on both ends of the 3.5x-7.1x spectrum are preserved in the best way possible.

Ultra-wide quality - Video



You can capture some decent videos with the ultra-wide camera. Aside from little to no distortion, it has very decent exposure and nice color rendition. Some finer details lack, but at least there's no excessive oversharpening. 

Front camera - Video



Video taken with the front-facing camera is good, but it has some shortcomings: background highlights are often blown out, and there's some oversharpening going on. Detail is soft, but leaves a lot to be desired. 

Conclusion


Although it shows great promise, the Xperia 1 VI has some issues that sadly take away from the overall experience. 

The phone exhibits some issues like oversharpening and sometimes fails to nail the correct exposure. Although not too severe, those issues prevent the Xperia 1 VI from being on just the same level as the top contenders, like the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and the Pixel 8 Pro

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Still, there are some great things about this Sony's camera. It delivers very true-to-life colors and has a very intriguing and capable telephoto camera. We hope that this stepless optical zoom camera sticks around and gets picked up by other phone makers, as it will elevate phone zooming a step ahead. 

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