Camera shootout: OnePlus One versus Xperia Z2

by XB on 1st August 2014

in Featured Content, Imaging, Xperia Z2

Fruit_Z2We have been testing the OnePlus One recently and having already showed some side-by-side pictures against the Xperia Z2, we thought you might want to see how both cameras compared. The OnePlus One rocks a 13 megapixel Sony IMX214 CMOS sensor with f/2.0 aperture. This compares to the 20.7MP Exmor RS camera sensor found in the Xperia Z2.

We have a few camera samples from each phone to share below, please click to see the full-sized image. To keep the pictures at a similar resolution, the OnePlus One pictures were taken at 7.7MP, whilst the Xperia Z2 pics were taken at 8MP. Have a look at the samples and let us know which ones you prefer.

Camera shootout: OnePlus One (left) versus Xperia Z2 (right)

– Click to enlarge


Bricks_OPO Bricks_Z2


Bush_OPO Bush_Z2


Flower_OPO Flower_Z2


Fruit_OPO Fruit_Z2

HDR enabled


Toy police car

Police_OPO Police_Z2


Spongebob_OPO Spongebob_Z2

  • xperiablog

    sony camera is soft in terms of contrast and sharpness but it is more accurate

  • The Z2 looks a little washed out compared to the One+. But that just proves that the Sony sensors have more potential. It just needs better software!

  • OnePlus is “smoother”

  • XperiaSP

    We want update to 4.4 to XPERIA SP

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    Dynamics are great for 1+1 and are more sharper(though artifacts are visible)…. Cant really say for Color accuracy which seems to be Z2’s field !!!

  • Abdul Ghani

    any sony phone will have noise specially in low light condition this one plus one is using sonys 13 mp sensor which is inferior vs z2s 20.7 but one plus one produces better results because of good camera software/algorithms …… software has horrible post processing and compression if sony removes that then sony will be camera kings

  • shhh

    Outdoor shots: OnePlus One

    Better details, contrast and saturation. Z2’s lens seems to be affected by too much light, and details were better with OPO.

    Indoor shots: Z2

  • Z2’s images are kinda disappointing. :( Sony should really get better software engineers for its awesome hardware, just look at One+ images. Maybe if One+ use the same 20.7mp sensor they might have even better images.

  • Abdul Ghani

    exactly the software sux in z z1 z1c and z2 its not using the 20.7 full potential the images should have more details less noise but its the opposite here

  • Shravan SP

    Omg! I liked all the one plus one photos more than the Z2 :O

  • shortb

    i don’t know but i like the z2 photos better.

  • Sadman Khan

    He strikes again.

  • xperiaDROID

    Z2 wins indoors and One+ wins outdoors. All in all, Sony’s camera sensors are good but Sony still can’t get the software right on their phones. It’s kinda disappointing, because the Z2 has Sony’s own G Lens, Exmor RS sensor and BIONZ so it should be on par with the Lumia 1020 but the software is still ruining the good stuff.

  • Dmitry Perets

    Z2 is “overlighted”, as it usually happens with Sony cameras… Only SpongeBob is better on Z2.

  • xperiaDROID

    Darude – Sandstorm

  • come on sony,better software can make wonders

  • police car is also better

  • bobeobi gzigzigzeo

    I have problem with backlight on my Z1, it’s too sensative for light, sometimes it’s impossible to take photo from a certain positiion

  • different between optimization on some colors
    but generally i think Z2 is more natural…

  • Nkansah Rexford

    The differences are obvious, and Z2 has much more warmer images overall. For me, z2 wins!

  • jag

    my previous xperia play takes better pictures than the Z series. hehe! Z series are only better in a well lit environment.

  • Sven B.

    One+ performs very well…less artefacts because of lower noise reduction and much more details. I like it! z2 is only average. But…i would like to see a comparison between the one+ and Xiaomi Mi3/4!

  • Dmitry Perets

    Agree. So pictures taken outside are the biggest problem of Sony camera… And btw there is one thing that especially bothers me on my Xperia V (not sure if they fixed it in later versions): when you use “tap to focus”, it doesn’t adjust the light to the point of focus. So in a very typical case you have a very light (literally white) sky and a very dark object (e.g. building). And even when you tap the object to focus on it, the lighting doesn’t change. Just as a comparison, iPhone does it correctly – whenever you change the point of the focus, it adjusts the light. Purely software limitation…

  • Ninjas


  • mustafa

    My old xperia mini pro took better pictures than my xperia z

  • Faisal Armand

    Tell me how can a 1/2.3″ 20.7MP sensor can be better than a 1/1.5″ 41MP sensor

  • ding

    ha ha sony camera loses! Sony adds lots off megapixels, but the problem is the software. So how to showoff with youre 20MPX camera when it takes almost vga quality photos?

  • xzr

    Obviously z2 pictures are more realistic and better,but sony can works on software to add some extra options for such idiots that wants pictures warmer and over saturated
    Also a plane to reducing noise

  • ding

    This is so humiliating for Sony. Another company uses their componenets and does better job.

  • dreamgs1

    there is no need to buy Z2 for so much price it seems

  • inspire

    Because you like over saturated colors (probably you like amoled displays also then).
    Z2 shots are more natural. Did you observe how the details in darker areas are just missing in one plus? Just coz their processing algo is tweaking contrast and saturation. Take any z2 pic from above, increase the saturation and contrast a bit and you will get the same unnatural results as one plus.

  • Divac Vodarum

    One plus is better than Z2

  • Phone cameras are not suitable for backlights since area weighting is measured rather than spot or center areas and you cannot adjust shutter / aperture / iso. This is normal for each and every phone.

  • xperiaDROID

    “On par”, not “better”.

  • bobeobi gzigzigzeo

    No, I’m talking about situation as above, too many light when other phones works well, just look on the photo with ball

  • masi0

    Looks like Z2 pics has some visible noise, same as in my ex Z1c

  • Naail Zahid

    Lol still running the petition I see…

  • surethom

    I have been saying this for years, Sony’s sensors are the best in the world, but Sony is really really bad at the software side, there photos are usually washed out more that other manufactures that use the exact same sensor.

  • xperiafan324

    Here’s a thought : Comparisons without a control are baseless! We again have no idea of WHAT the scene was supposed to look like, so we have no idea if the z2 is washed out or the OnePlus One is oversaturated.

  • Yasir Fawad

    what do u mean by accurate colors? were u there while shooting, as if u have seen the real objects?

  • Micro

    I’d rather say that OPO are a little oversaturated, I wish I could know what was the real colors of all those objects, but I think Z2 is much closer to reality.
    BTW, notice that “glow” over the trees on the sky on the “hdr” from OPO camera – the image has been highly post-processed and with completely different HDR algorithm, it looks rather like “surrealistic hdr” filter than classic HDR. IMO It ruined the realism of the scene. On the other hand, even if Z2 looks a little bit sharper (not that much compressed), there are still those damn white artefacts. Beside this, they both do great pictures. Just my photo-thoughts.

  • considering i will never have my dream phone i decided to build one myself instead if i can find the proper funding

  • dreamgs1

    look at above pictures. do you really see the any difference?
    think yourself you will get answers for your own questions.

    with latest 4.4 update z series pictures even worse. I can clearly see the difference at least with my ZL.

  • shortb

    not really a problem.
    there’s the option to tone down exposure.
    the sample images here are not 8MP versions so they’re not SA.
    if they used SA i think they can produce shots with better clarity and sharpness.

  • shortb

    they used manual. i think they could have achieved better shots with superior auto.

    the used manual but didn’t tone down exposure when shooting the bright outdoors.

  • shortb

    i think that’s one ugly concept.
    it’s like the idea of futuristic from the 80’s.

  • shortb

    that’s why there’s an option to lower exposure. or just use superior auto. it’s not perfect but produces great shots.

  • Looking at a white haze around outside pictures from Z2 it seems that the camera lens were dirty. Mine Z1 looks the same if I won’t clean up (using cotton cloth / tshirt) them everytime form palm smuges. Location of the sensor is very unfortunate in this model.

  • it’s taste and it was made exactly after my taste the lights are flashy but can be turned off they are there for reception

  • jonny

    wtf the one plus is pretty dang good software. i just wish sony has a better sensor

  • Dmitry Perets

    When you tone down exposure, you usually get very dark objects below…

  • Looser99

    One plus one wins it overall in my opinion. Sky over the trees are overexposed and colors are washed out in most of the pics and colder(Fruit,Bricks) in some of the pics from Z2. When is Sony gonna realize that they need better image processing algorithm. Every other known brands and some Chinese shit brands also are producing better images with Sony made camera sensors. Only Sony is left behind. What a shame !

  • Ambroos

    Yeah, it does look like the lens is simply dirty. You’ll never get good pictures with a dirty lens.

  • Anukul

    What a great trolling one plus one is doing. sony is irritated :D

  • as

    SP 12.1.A.1.207 update is rolling :)

  • jonyah

    I was thinking the same thing. What’s the scene look like in real life? I’d prefer my pictures to be as true to life as possible.

  • Faisal Armand

    Well, sorry..

    But seriously, if sony is to make an image quality on par with lumia 1020, the sensor size must at least be the same

    1/2.3″ is only half of 1/1.5″


    IMHO the tester’s Z2 has got smudges on it.. That’s one heck load of lensflares that you shouldn’t usually get.

  • shortb

    precisely. look at those outdoor shots. they’re too bright. lowering down exposure can also boost contrast, removes the washed out effect.

  • shortb

    sorry didn’t mean to offend. just my opinion.?

  • Alex Norris

    Green color better on One Plus, Z2 little better indoor. But IMO, Sony need to do only one, RAW!!!

  • Micro

    IMO green is more vivid, more.. “adorable”, not necessarily closer to real one. But RAW… oh hell yes, that’s what I miss so much too!

  • BruceLeeRoyJenkins

    1. Z2
    2. OnePlus
    3. Z2
    4. OnePlus
    6. Z2
    7. Z2
    Sad on Sony’s part, they got all the makings of a great camera phone and keep failing. I was really hoping the 20.7 MP’s could easily beat out the other Android phones ;(

  • Kunal Shukla

    even if the pics from one are oversaturated.. the focus and details are great… I have xperia z and it’s no way near the one plus camera

  • Steven Khoo Skkl

    I agree with you..4.3 was probably the best software.. That is why now,I’m purely using QX10 for all my shots

  • Sony, you can do it!

    i have a Z and instead of a Z2, but i see similarities in both pictures from the Z and Z2 images, and the most obvious one being the fact that in sunny conditions, it either excels or it gives purplish edges, not really sure how to describe it in words. so, to me it’s the image processing algorithms by Sony that made the difference, because Z2’s camera lens is so damn advanced.

    no point having extreme camera lens when the image processing isn’t really top notch. work hard, Sony people! give Xperia phone owners some quality image processing job done!

  • manutd

    Sony used to be the best when it came to the camera,but now it’s almost the worst! 2000mp cameras,and such bad results.every other phone takes better bad that xperia z range are the best phones ever,but they have such a bad next phone is z2,even if the cameras are not that great like it used to be when it came to sony.please be number 1 sony,you deserve it!

  • Akuma

    One plus One is whooping Z2 big time

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  • Abdul Ghani

    ive always said sony mobile division is not providing proper camera software they have the best hardware and they can beat all other brands in picture quality but because of poor software they just either go on par or less vs 13 and 8mp

  • okipniano
  • Muhd Ihsan

    IMO,for indoor (artificial light) part z2 does a great job,but OPO does great job for outdoor with sunlight available,regardless the true to life since sometimes if its too bright but you still want to capture a memory of something,your camera should been able to do so

  • rickiking

    What are the settings for each picture?

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  • roeshak

    Z2’s pictures look dull because of superior auto and white balance auto. Needed manual correction. The Sony software is hopeless with WB under natural lighting conditions. Needed manual correction to the daylight setting. Colours would have been a lot nicer and warmer.

  • doministry

    Z2 is much more detailed, real and has focal depth.
    OnePlus looks like an instant camera for show-off.
    Z2 is miles ahead.

  • Hendry Sbastian

    the Z2 default white balance is set to “cool” you can change white balance to become warm and the result = z2 win, sorry for my bad english

  • SonyFan

    First and the last two pictures Z2 wins…
    rest of the pics z2s pics are washed out….but it has the potential to do it….

  • roeshak

    No you’re wrong these are shots taken with SA at 8mp or with WB set to auto. That’s exactly the problem. SA struggles under natural light especially with white balance hence the washed out colours. Check CNET review on z2 where they highlighted this problem. You have to use manual mode with white balance set to the daylight setting for outdoor shots. SA is awful in this respect.

  • shortb

    i don’t think so. SA produces 8MP shots and those photos are obviously not 8MP. also, look at the aspect ratio. SA yields 16:9 shots and those above are 4:3.

  • roeshak

    You have the option to choose from either 4:3 or 16:9 at 8mp. And that’s both in SA and manual mode. Looking at these pictures, I can easily tell they were taken most probably with superior auto. They could also have been taken in manual mode but with WB set to auto. Auto settings are hopeless with WB especially under natural lighting. Check the sample images on the CNET z2 review. They highlighted this problem. Most people here always blame image processing for everything but the only thing that really does is blur out fine details while suppressing noise which improves lowlight samples. It’s a trade off of sorts.
    The problems with exposure and WB do more to degrade the photo quality than the image processing algorithms. That’s where the software is truly poor, detecting the right values for exposure and WB which fortunately can be corrected in manual mode. It’s no where as bad a camera as some in here and elsewhere claim. It’s got a weak auto mode but the camera itself is pretty good hence the high rating it got from dk0mark. With manual adjustments, it does a pretty OK job for a smartphone with a small sensor. The critics are right to criticise the software but they do it unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Image processing isn’t the softwares greatest problem. Far from it!

  • shortb

    o c’mon. download the pics and look at the resolution. that’s how you get the answer. or you can use some browser add-on to check the EXIF data. those are definitely not superior auto.

    there’s no 4:3 aspect ratio in SA. superior auto sets all the shooting settings for you that’s why it’s called auto.

  • roeshak

    There is 4:3 in SA. Have you checked your SA settings. You can choose between either that or 16:9. I think they said the one plus samples were at 7mp or so.
    You sure you’ve got the z2? These photos are most likely superior auto. In any case, the WB is on auto, I can immediately tell from the samples. The problem is obvious!

  • xperiaz2fan


  • Farhan Saleem

    one plus seems good.

  • satsmine2k4

    color is so washed out on the z2 i mean look at the strawberry, shame on you sony…

  • matt

    I’ve just bought z2. Why isn’t it possible to take pictures in auto 20,7mp, nor manual with scene selection? This is the same with 15,5 mp 16:9. I have to decrease mp to 8. Why? Hoping for software update on this.

  • Charlie

    Did you not see how the edges if the trees are super washed out on the pics from the Z2? I can kind of do the same thing you said on the pics of the One+, tone down saturation/contrast, play with the levels, etc. But there isn’t any way to get rid of those washed out edges after the picture has been taken. What’s your solution for that.

    I own a Z1, I love it. But the camera software is just so horrible sometimes. With the hardware that Sony uses, the pictures should be much better.

  • Charlie

    And the washed out edges of the trees? You don’t see that?

  • Charlie

    I can fix over- and undersaturation. But there’s no way yo fix those washed out colors at the edges of the trees. It’s sad that a $300 dollar non-Sony phone (made by a company with virtually no phone or camera experience) using an inferior Sony lens can still best a $600-$700 Sony phone (made by a company with tons of phone and camera experience) with a superior Sony lens.

    Check out the pics, had to scale the images down, but there’s no denying that the edges of the trees/leaves are really washed out on the Sony (left).

  • Charlie

    Washed out…

  • Charlie

    Washed out.

  • Shubham Mutreja

    this is actually what i am saying and observing!!!!!

  • Alemco Don

    The Z2 is clearly struggling with the glare….the Z2 camera is not all what its worked up to be, i was disappointing with mine. Its hopeless in low light, and in night vision its almost impossible to get a blur free photo unless the phone is fixated on some sort of stand – the same problem with the previous xperias, 3 years later, sony still hasnt sorted that out, the samsungs and iphones are MUCH better and more practical in low light (in england its always gloomy).

    Look at tree pics above, the glare from the sky overpowers the picture, you cant see the clouds in one. The focusing is still ridiculously slow, its almost impossible to get a good spur of the moment shot with any sony camera phone these days.

  • el_sur

    In order to know what the scene should look like, you have to be physically present at the scene. Do you suggest using a THIRD camera, with different lens, sensor, and algorithm to represent “True life”?

  • This is very interesting. I currently own a Z2 myself, and I’ve never had my pictures wash out like this on bright light. My own personal use aside, the pictures at hand seem to show the One Plus fairs better with a Dark to light ratio such as bushes to sky, but the Z2 has the upper hand in consistent light.

    It makes me wonder if the OnePlus was using HDR, and perhaps HDR wasn’t enabled on the Z2? I’m only thinking out loud, I don’t know for sure.

  • amirexpressir

    if you can compare it to 20MP meizu mx4,its all better…even mx4 photo samples comparing with LG g2 / S5 & m8 and Z2

  • Malav

    those photos werent taken at the full 20 on the z2 only at 8 megapixels thats probably y

  • Stefan Weilhartner

    z2 pictures are a little bit fogy and are slightly purple. i think the software postprocessing algorithms for the z2 are simply shit but i am not shure if the fog in the picture is the result of the software or maybe a poor lense?

  • Robert Banu

    3 should be OnePlus

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  • The Manhatten

    trust me OPO has even worst software then Z2 :D :D

  • The Manhatten

    1. Z2
    2. OPO
    3. OPO
    4. OPO
    5. OPO
    6. Z2
    7. Z2

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