Has Sony tweaked the Xperia Z2 camera algorithms? See some pics versus the Xperia Z1

by XB on 7th March 2014

in Imaging, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z2

Xperia Z1 Z2 thumbThe Sony Xperia Z2 features a number of improvements over the Xperia Z1. On the camera side this mainly focuses on 4K video and Timeshift video (slow-motion recording). However, the actual CMOS in both handsets is the same 1/2.3-inch 20.7MP Exmor RS chip. Both handsets also feature Sony’s G Lens and BIONZ image processing software.

You would therefore expect pictures between both handsets to be fairly similar, although this doesn’t seem to be the case judging by these comparison pics. They show an Xperia Z1 on 14.2.A.1.136 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware against a Xperia Z2 with 17.1.A.0.417 Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware.

The pictures were taken at the Xperia Z2 launch event in Jakarta. Judging by the crops below, it does look like the Xperia Z2 exhibits less noise than the Xperia Z1. Given that the Xperia Z2 firmware is only likely to get better before release, we could end up seeing even more improvements on launch.

100% crops – Xperia Z1 versus Xperia Z2

Xperia Z1 versus Z2_Crop_1

Xperia Z1 versus Z2_Crop_2

Xperia Z1 versus Z2_Crop_3

Sample 1 full-resolution pictures

– Click to enlarge

Xperia Z1


Xperia Z2


Sample 2 full-resolution pictures

– Click to enlarge

Xperia Z1 with flash


Xperia Z2 with flash


Via Soyacincau.

Thanks Dipan!

  • MarkLastiwka

    So we should expect to see similar improvements in the Z1 pictures, since they use the same hardware?

  • jonny

    i can see less noise which is good. good job sony, you built the perfect smartphone this year :) best in class camera, screen & speakers, this is going to change the game.. #sony2014

  • takimata

    The image quality is identical. The difference between the pictures are white balance, exposure, and, in some cases rather blatantly, focus. The white balance and exposure differences explain the (visible) differences in noise.

    You really can’t compare camera quality outside of a controlled environment. And if you try to do it, as is the case here, handheld on a press event with constantly changing lighting, I got another description for it — and it’s not “quality journalism”.

  • Alfino Setya

    Sony Xperia Z2 is going to knock out Shamesung Galaxy S5’s Gimmicky Camera and its band-aid backcover ( “-,-). Sony FTW!!! :-D

  • Mac

    My z1 compact want the same treatment as well.

  • lol

    band-aid cover :D :D :D

  • joseBorbon

    everybody my friend… everybody. I think it’s possible ’cause is the same camera

  • Mac

    Yea.. the question is just when and if Sony cares for the z1 series when the z2 is out and get all the goodies.

  • Gitarooman

    check the file size, Z2 picture is almost 30% bigger, around 700-800kb, could there be a new jpeg compression?

  • JHMBB2

    Looks good. I’m impressed

  • joseBorbon

    I think goodies and stuff like that no, I don’t even think in a cover case for z1 just like the z2 got… I think z1 will have a good update schedule because it has the same hardware as the new z1 compact but z mmm i don’t think so

  • MarkLastiwka

    It’s pretty obvious, especially at 100% zoom, that the noise has been significantly reduced. Details that you can’t see well on the Z1 are clear. I know the Z1 has these issues with too much noise, so it’s not something made up.

    The clarity of the Z2 images is not possible on my Z1, it’s not just lighting.

  • Gitarooman

    it won’t when they ignore the NA market, release it months later with crappy marketing and no body knows about the device at all.

  • Either expect it from KitKat, or expect XDA developers to port the apps

  • MarkLastiwka

    If it comes to the Z1, it will come to the Z1 compact. All the same hardware.

  • MarkLastiwka

    Not really a fan of getting it from XDA. Means I’d have to root, and I don’t really want to do that.

  • zymo

    The Z2 should have a bigger sensor. That’s what I am hopping for the Z3 to have.

  • HardyHarHar

    Bandaid cover or not the truth is majority of the population on earth don’t even care what it looks like, what it’s specs are and how small an upgrade it is to s4. All they see is the embedded brand name “Samsung” and they like “Take all my money”

  • Honestly, there’s a lot more to improve on the software side for now. The hardware of the Z1 and Z2’s camera has a lot of potential.

  • Timbo1

    Yes. Its just software tuning.

  • Timbo1

    Sony is improving the software on the camera. It can be possible to knock out some of the noise with some software enhancements, ISO is a big one as well as shutter speed. Regardless zooming on a cell phone is generally a no-no anyway.

  • Stephen

    white balance is different, apart from that theres no standout difference

    these pair should be best camera phones on the market with hardware they have but software still lets them down
    sony are either incompetent or they just dont care because they will have a new flag ship at berlin

  • Sanyok1986

    not bad but still needs hard work. The colours on Z2 look more real and distinct and white balance as well.

  • Deki

    It’s all up to White Balance settings in the camera. I don’t really see better photos though.

    Z1 make really cool photos, I love that every day I make better and better photos. Superior Auto is good, but Manual mode is awesome!

  • Colby Leong

    Maybe in a KitKat update?

  • takimata

    But, you see, you can’t even begin to compare noise reduction on two images with different lighting. If the picture has been taken in lower light conditions, sensor output must be boosted, leading to more noise. Any possible comparison ends there.

    I really don’t want to knock down improvements they might have made. But /these/ images are in no way suitable to make /any/ deductions about improvements whatsoever.

  • xConjo

    Am I the only one who notices less noise?

  • Timbo1

    Right, Sony can improve the camera much more by just software. In my opinion the software on the Z1 especially when first released was still in beta stage. The camera quality improved drastically with the 4.3 update and should with 4.4.2 as well.

  • this configuration is one of them best so far…

  • roeshak

    If both cameras had the same settings then they’ve certainly improved things. The difference is clearly noticeable but we’ll have to wait for review units of the z2 to get out before we know just how good it really is.

  • Keon Fraites

    Make that algorithm tweak across all the xperia Z handsets because honestly they all seem too use the same algorithm.

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  • JHMBB2

    I wish I could understand the logic behind this. It makes it fun for when you do own one out here in the US, you tend to stand out from all the Apple and Samsung stuff. I just hate waiting half a damn year for even a rumour at the possibility of the phone coming to the US. I settled for the Z a week before the Z1 was announced!

  • Chew Loh Seng

    Pocketnow hands on said that the Xperia Z2 sensor is indeed larger. FYI.

  • Abdul Ghani
  • Abdul Ghani

    i think they are set on superior auto

  • Mac

    almost same hardware, but yea that’s what I think too.

  • MarkLastiwka

    As far as I know, the camera sensor is exactly the same. That and the algorithms are all you need. It’s possible that you need the 3GB of RAM for 4K, which may be why we may not see 4K recording, but for standard images, it should be enough.

  • MarkLastiwka

    It looks to me that the shots between the different phones were probably taken with minutes of each other. Lighting should not have had a drastic change. Although controlled test will be more accurate, I think its fair to compare to try and notice considerable changes.

  • Mac

    Yea that’s right. But I ment the overall hardware between the z1 and z1 compact ain’t exactly the same but if we only talking about camera then I feel you

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  • afzal zainal

    Hurmmm…. It seem like both device detecting different white balance…. Must be capturing via superior auto… But both quality still look very well baked.

  • Is the comparison based on Z1 8MP Superior Auto vs 15.5MP SA, or both in Manual 20MP? …

  • jake

    No it does not need ram to do 4k .

  • jangaleon

    wow.. pretty impressive!

  • Mohammed Khired

    maybe not , how they going to sell this phone?


  • Mohammed Khired

    maybe , from xda guys…

  • Mohammed Khired

    the difference is : less noise…

  • Pingback: Sony Xperia Z2 ed Xperia Z1: fotocamere a confronto sui top di gamma – Tutto Android()

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  • takimata

    “Lighting should not have had a drastic change”? You are looking at the same images as I am, aren’t you? The varying white balance between images alone should tell you that there’s massive changes in lighting.

    Also, the original source article mentions these were taken on a show floor, with ever changing lighting conditions.

  • photographer

    The exif shows that the Z1 uses more ISO and more shutter speed, thats why the photos looks better on the Z2 in this case.
    Also on the cropped camera photo the focus on the Z1 is a bit missed there.

  • etherspin

    You are right! The photos of the DSLR camera vary, one shot from each phone has more noise than the other and with the other photos,if the noise reduction is a constant for the z2 it is an improvement but not a fix, there is still more noise than any other flagship phone except maybe the moto x

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  • peace!

    if sony wont do it, then the devs will.

  • alex

    All the same, the noise is .. The color rendition is more correct than on Z1 samples And I was very disappointed that in Z2 not put double xenon flash ! Small LED flash, it is not serious for 2014 y. Top Flagship smartphone that costs 1,000 $ ! Why on iPhone 5s has double flash , and at Sony again worth diode ? I do`t understand this marketing company. You ‘ll always be engaged only marketing ? http://www.tlbhd.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/image-comparison-2.jpg And please on future Z3 don`t copy iphone 4 design,. It’s time you come up with your own design . I am sure that the camera in future Z3, will differ only in the number of megapixels , the quality again will be worse than from iPhone 6 and nokia . We do not need 20 or 30 mpx camera, For perfect photo quality, 10 or 12 mpx will be enough, but only with large pixel size, for example 1.5 or 1.7 micron , then the photo quality will be much sharper and clearer without noises and artefacts. But again, you ‘ll be engaged only marketing and Sony agai will not be able to create an excellent camera. That is your problem!

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  • tamizhan

    i think hardware are same software can possible anything.
    when we update must changing i believe sony.

  • Berg

    “It’s time you come up with your own design”

    Holy shit really? Whatever you are smoking, share it with someone, cause thats some heavy shit.

  • alex

    So many shit….

  • Shubham Mutreja

    iphone uses sony’s camera sensor so shut up!!!

  • alex

    You, another stupid fanboy! I know iphone and samsung uses sony’s camera sensor, so what…? Sensor – this is not the whole camera)) Very much depends on the programmers. So shut up!

  • Shubham Mutreja

    Hey you sammy fanboy, disable the superior auto and se the difference !!!

  • Divya Bharathi

    Very interesting thing I just come across at MyDeals247.com – I could choose any number of pants and shirts (from the list) at very heavy discount rates (up to 75% off online) – more we buy more discount – I never seen this before.

  • mdfsijdlfs

    I use to call it Samstream. Because… U know ahaha

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