The #XperiaZ3 Project: The Promise of a 20.7MP Sensor

 
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

Along with Sony India, Better Photography set out to find out how the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact can change smartphone photography. Aditya Nair puts the cameraphone’s 20.7MP sensor to the test.

Straight out of the box, one of the first things you notice about the Z3 Compact, after the waterproofing, is that it has a large 1/2.3-inch sensor. That’s basically the size of the sensor found in most mid-range compact cameras. It also makes this the largest sensor in an Android smartphone available in India currently. Additionally, Sony has packed the sensor with a high pixel resolution count of 20.7MP.

I decided to test it to see how much abuse it could take, and still produce good results, by considering two factors—the camera’s night time capabilities and detail & colour reproduction.

Can It Make Good Pictures After Dark?

The short answer is: Absolutely! I took the Z3 out at about 10 in the night to photograph a group of children ending their weekend with a game of pick-up football. As fate would have it, their game was disrupted by a truck backing to the music of Nagin. What proceed was twenty minutes of these kids dancing to the beats of the song. And, as a result, I was able to make far better pictures than I could have hoped from a regular street football game.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was able to shoot 8MP files upto ISO 3200. The images showed good noise control even at higher ISOs. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was able to shoot 8MP files upto ISO 3200. The images showed good noise control even at higher ISOs. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Image Stabilisation mode helped me get sharp pictures when I need a slow shutterspeed, without adding too many JPEG artefacts. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Image Stabilisation mode helped me get sharp pictures when I need a slow shutterspeed, without adding too many JPEG artefacts. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The grain structure at higher ISOs is rather pleasing especially for high contrast black adn whites. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The grain structure at higher ISOs is rather pleasing especially for high contrast black and white photography. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3 Compact's lens controls flare quite well which comes in handy when shooting street lights or passing cars. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3 Compact’s lens controls flare quite well which comes in handy when shooting street lights or passing cars. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Few more pictures:


What About Colour?

High ISO and lowlight performance is one thing but a good sensor’s true capabilities are often seen in the dynamic range it offers and its ability to produce accurate colours. To that end, I wanted to find out how well it could capture colour and how much detail could be recovered later on.

The Z3 Compact renders accurate colours that make for especially when viewed on it's 4.6-inch 720p screen. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3 Compact renders accurate colours that make for great viewing especially on it’s 4.6-inch 720p screen. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

A useful HDR mode that creates 8MP images does a good job not to overprocess the images. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

A useful HDR mode that creates 8MP images does a good job not to overprocess the images. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Even in contrasty lighting, the sensor does a good job in metering the light. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Even in contrasty lighting, the sensor does a good job in metering the correct exposure. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

There is a fair amount of detail in the 20.7MP files that let you saturate the images to make them pop, without it looking overdone. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

There is a fair amount of detail in the 20.7MP files that lets you saturate the images to make them pop, without it looking overdone. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

This wall was originally white and dark blue. Saturating, boosting the contrast and recovering the highlights helped give it the pink hue. The Z3 Compact managed to do that without any significant banding. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

This wall was originally white and dark blue. Saturating, boosting the contrast and recovering the highlights helped give it the pink hue. The Z3 Compact managed to do that without any significant banding. Photograph/Aditya Nair with a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

More Images:

We will be continuing the #XperiaZ3 Project through the month so stay tuned for even more images. And don’t forget to follow us and the hashtag #XperiaZ3 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more daily updates.

You can also check out the Z3 and Z3 Compact here.

Tags: Android SMartphone, colours, Lowlight photography, sony india, sONY mOBILE, XperiaZ3 Project, Z3, Z3 Compact