Xperia Z sample photos against last year’s flagship Xperia S

by XB on 27th February 2013

in Imaging, Xperia S, Xperia Z and Xperia ZL

If you want to get an idea on how the Sony Xperia Z’s optics have advanced over the past year, then check out the camera shootout below. It pits the Xperia Z against last year’s Sony flagship, the Xperia S. The photos were taken using the automatic mode on both devices.

It is quite clear to see that the Xperia Z produces the sharper pictures and ones with less noise. However, we’ll leave you to judge whether the difference is a step-change one or not. We have included the crop comparisons below, but head over to Dawid Lorenz’s blog (link below) for the full-size sample images from each phone.

Photo sample crops: Xperia S (left) versus Xperia Z (right)

[Click to enlarge]


  • Keon Fraites

    Please fix the camera in JB update :< it has the power to be much better looking at the large amount of mod fixes there are Please fix D:!!

  • XS

    xperia s ftw

  • vik

    Awesome sony,x is a beast in camera phone

  • Xlash Andraid

    There is a struggling difference in the first two comparisons. So Nice. I’d like to see a comparison between Xperia T, Ion and TX against Z.

  • Because Sony Never Even Try To Remove Focus Issue From.Xperia S Otherwise Xperia S Perform Equally As Xperia Z!!!

  • SamLifner

    my 2 years older ARC makes better photos than the Xperia Z. I hope Sony will fix it with an update if not i sell the phone as fast as i can.

  • charbel

    Xperia Z deliver better photos in macro focus mode only !!

  • i regret buying Xperia s because of such an awkward camera

  • SonyFan

    we can feel the difference

    vote here for Xperia Tablet Z !!

  • I shall see tmrw when I get my Z. Then I can judge the photos I took myself on my Z and S

  • ProWeirdo

    I don’t believe it. Xperia S looks MUCH WORSE than XZ. They just want us to buy XZ.

  • u basically need nokia pureview

  • Dime

    So with this post what do you want to say “like xperia S users go buy xperia z ” it s nice phone z but my xperia s is old only 10 months … i ll wait for the JB update and if i’m dissapointed i won’t buy next phone from sony company

  • SamLifner

    have you see the photos from the Z ??? For a Highend phone in 2013 a no go

  • Xperia Z xcels in superior auto mode. Not much difference can be pointed out in this comparison.

  • Herman

    The main issue I see here is that the Xperia S has an awful lot of post-processing as oversharpening the image.
    It could’ve been much better if Sony really tried to make something out of it!

  • mabz23

    same here im fed up with sony’s shitty stock rom because it lags alot even with duel core processor and crashes a lot. 12mp camera is only a PR stunt its actually worse then alot of other phones with lower specs they should take the same approach as HTC One, 4mp camera but has alot of details and less background noise

  • Dime

    Everything is marketing actually htc one 4mp with some new technology… i dont know what is it , but really you are right about “sony’s shitty stock rom because it lags alot even with duel core processor and crashes a lot. 12mp camera is ok but with the software is slow reacting on focus…”

  • Grinchi

    Even my Galaxy Nexus tooks alot (!!) better Pictures than the Z …
    The Pics are that bad, that i can’t even believe it’s normal :-(

  • lol

    wtf are you guys talking about? the camera in SXS ist NICE! and the on in SXZ even nicer! gotta get this phone!!!

  • Allant


    Sony try to stick more megapixels since they think the avarege client is stopid and will always think more megapixels is better image quality

    The trouth is that in small sensor less is more and 6-8 megapixels is enough

    Sony is the only mobile phone manufacture that make DSLR cameras and can easily make the best camera phone but they concentrate on making marketing gimmick instead of improving picture quality

    Hope some one in Sony will wake up

  • sfordesign

    just one extra story telling how sony lied to us about its 12 megapixel fu*king bullshit on its 2012 phones

  • sfordesign

    i am not gonna wait for sony waking up. i go for lumia :)

  • tim

    I hope Sony will fix bad compression, sharping and bluring on the camera files. Photos of a tree looking very good and sharp with my iPhone 4, but on the Xperia Z it’s all soften and muddy, with some sharpen areas.

    All over the Xperia is a perfect phone, but Sony as one of the leaders in digital photography should done a better job here…. if there’s no update soon, i would sell it quick.

  • Uvindu Sanjana

    Xperia Z has the HDR mode

    Xperia S will get that in JELLY BEAN update

    so you are too early to compare the cameras.


    wait until the Xperia S arives jelly bean

  • Yeah, I hope JB fix Camera and Bravia Engine with unlock Bootloader.

  • Strange

    The 3rd photo is ugly. The object taken is very ugly.

  • MisterG

    I don’t know what they did there with the Xperia S but XS takes way better photos than these.. The photos are totally unsharp and grainy.. Maybe they should consider cleaning the lens :P

  • Szafex

    jajajaja…. i have xperia s and this smartphone make 100x better then here… please stop prome Xperia Z… bullshit ~~!

  • Igor

    that’s true.. :)

  • katy

    I like the toyphone in 3rd picture… Lol

  • AlexBurnout


  • This result is very much expected. Xperia S was never even close to flagship camera quality compared to its peers

  • xperia s dude

    Xperia s is ICS
    Xperia z is JB
    not fair

  • Konoha the Wiper

    Xperia S – 2011
    Xperia T – 2012
    Xperia Z – 2013
    Get it right testing against “last year’s” flagship you mean a 2 year old model

  • Arthur Staal

    Only complaint I have about the xz camera is bad lowlight performance, photos taken in decent conditions always look great (judge for yourself the photo here is a crop of the full 13 mpx one as that one was over 2 mb)

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