Cameras Compared: The Apple iPhone 5S vs. the Sony Xperia Z1 (Updated)


Sony Z1 after Firmware Update

Sony Z1 after Firmware Update

Added 19/11/2013.

We went shooting again with our Sony Xperia Z1, after the software update late last month which promised better performance for the camera. We're sorry to say that the update doesn't improve the camera's performance in any significant way. 

The checkered artifacts still remain. The camera app will still fix focus on the same spot after you tap to focus, even after you take the picture. And of course the software update can't correct for the lens' obvious softness. The camera's strength remains in its rich color reproduction, but we otherwise can't find any reason to change our original conclusion. There are plenty of reasons why you might want a Sony Z1, but camera performance shouldn't be one of them.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/500 sec, ISO 50.

Sony Z1, 20MP, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/8 sec, ISO 400.

Sony Z1, 20MP, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/8 sec, ISO 400.

Sony Z1, 20MP, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/50 sec, ISO 125.

Sony Z1, 20MP, 100% crop. Odd artifacts still appear.

Sony Z1, 20MP, 100% crop. The software update can't correct for the lens' softness, which is a hardware problem.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/125 sec, ISO 50. The Z1 camera's strength remains in its rich color reproduction.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/8 sec, ISO 64.

Sony Z1, 20MP, ISO 64, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/8 sec, ISO 100.

Sony Z1, 20MP, ISO 100, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/16 sec, ISO 200.

Sony Z1, 20MP, ISO 200, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/32 sec, ISO 400.

Sony Z1, 20MP, ISO 400, 100% crop.

Sony Z1, 20MP, f/2 at 27mm, 1/100 sec, ISO 1250.

Sony Z1, 20MP, ISO 1250, 100% crop.