Sony fixes camera distortion issue on latest Xperia flagships

by XB on 24th October 2017

in Android, Firmware, Imaging, Xperia X series


Sony Mobile introduced a new camera lens with the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs earlier in the year, and since then it has been fielding complaints from users on the distortion effects when taking pictures. The same camera is used in the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact flagships that launched recently.

The complaints of distortion are consistent with that of utilising a wide angle lens, rather than a problem with the camera itself. However, it is great to see Sony listen to its customers, as it has provided a software fix for those who have a keen eye for the distortion effect.

The Xperia XZ Premium is the first handset to recieve the fix, as part of the Android 8.0.0 Oreo firmware update. Sony has added an option in the camera settings, where you will need to enable a toggle option called “Correction for image distortion”.

Sony Mobile has confirmed that the option will also arrive on the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact in a new firmware update at the end of November 2017. The Xperia XZs is also due the update at some point, most likely when the Android Oreo update hits.

Sony Mobile statement on camera distortion fix

Thank you for your feedback, we would like to reassure you that we are dedicated to providing the best possible user experience for our customers and have taken your feedback very seriously. We have been taking time to make improvements and increase photo shooting options.

Our models featuring our new Motion Eye™ Camera, including XZ Premium, XZs, XZ1 and XZ1 Compact, feature a wide-angle lens. This lens enables an immersive experience by providing the ability to capture more scenery in the shot, however it may also yield perspective distortion when shooting photos.

Whilst this distortion is consistent with similar wide-angle lens cameras in the industry, we have listened to your feedback and developed a new optional setting in the camera menu called ‘Correction for image distortion’ to minimize the distortion effect. It will be available via an upcoming software update on XZ Premium, XZs, XZ1 and XZ1 compact.

Thanks Diogo, Geoff, KF and najodleglejszy!

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    This is the right thing to do!

    At first I’m very angry the way they respond to us which is just lie and false information.

    Now they fix it hahaha.

    The complaint and feedback is very important thing.

    Thank you for listening to your customer SONY.

  • Konstantin Ivanov

    HUGE Thanks for listening to the community SONY and reacting so fast with the OREO roll out + the Camera distortion FIX!

  • theskig

    Lies?. They were simply the explanation of the wide angle lens effect.
    The only disappointment was that they didn’t consider it an issue. Not yet :)

  • Moisés

    Imx220 was used behind 25mm lenses.
    Imx300 is used behind 24mm lenses.
    Imx400 is behind 25mm lenses.

    Wide lenses have natural distortion, but software can help a bit.

  • theskig

    For the next camera, just reduce the wide angle, thanks: I don’t need it in every picture.
    Z2 and Z3 camera angles were OK, why do you increase this value evey time? (Z5 and later XZp)

  • Moisés

    It is same of Z3.. 25mm

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    There is no wide angle lens in this world that has mysterious wave like Xperia :D

    So that is why I call their explanation a lie.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    There is no wide angle lens in this world that has mysterious wave like Xperia :D

  • webuser.my
  • webuser.my
  • Markus L

    great, with this solution i have ordered the xz1 compact.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Hmm it doesn’t look like mustache distortion here. Not even close =0=
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0eca94a94213e5bb6fc5785036de56c312166db9e3688959bcb561f30b754108.jpg

  • Itsarapong Intoum
  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    people always complain what they do not understand

  • Talos the Robot

    Distortion is not always a bad thing:
    https://clicklovegrow.com/using-wide-angle-distortion-creatively/

    I will never enable this setting, and if I want I want to fix anything I will do it in post.

  • Talos the Robot

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Not sure if that is true. I think it’s necessary to look at what they’re complaining.

  • theskig

    Z5 is wider than Z3. When I made the swap I noticed this “fisheye” effect the first time I opened the camera. There are my original posts on an italian forum the first day I had the phone

  • theskig

    There are others, like Samsung that fixed the same problem in the same way on S7’s.

    https:// androidcommunity .com/latest-update-for-galaxy-s7-delivers-improved-touch-shape-correction-20160411/

  • Emil Oskarsson

    I think it’s the same just that they reduced the megapixel count in the new sensor :p

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Yep I see that already. This is why they make the fix for it. Because the way it’s distorted is unlikely other wide angle lens.

    Looking at Galaxy Note 8, LG V30 should be the good example. They have the correct barrel distortion by default.

  • theskig

    On the paper the sensor it’s the same. But in reality there’s a lot of difference! I saw it immediatly when I bought my Z5p and I had a Z3.

    Here’s the first result on google about z5 vs z3 camera test: check the big difference comparing the images
    https:// recombu. com/mobile/article/sony-xperia-z5-vs-xperia-z5-compact-vs-xperia-z3-plus-camera-test

  • webuser.my

    Distortions comes in both barrel and pincushion. The exampled shown are of the barrel type.

    If you look at your example photo, it is the pincushion type.

  • Moisés

    I mean the XZP has 25mm like Z3.
    Z5 has wider lens.

  • Moisés

    Second cam of G6 has too, because it is even wider.
    S7 had issues too, but Samsung fixed it. S7 uses 26mm.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    G6 has barrel distortion not mysterious wave.

    Yeah S7 had bad distortion too.

  • theskig

    I never checked but XZP looks more open and distorted than my Z5P so I thought it’s wider. Z3 has less distortion than Z5

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    No… not the pincushion as well… Look at my laptop… Do you still think it’s pincushion ?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0835c80313691c5fc0f1c5626181602c73bda815d6d774b420a1c45cf32a95a.jpg

  • SopNaw

    Thanks Sony! For making great products and continue to stay with your customers, even if it is also a part of your job. :) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1cdef1ff9a230efa4205dd0bca3212947ce02c43245e2d4480698cea8aa1729.jpg

  • theskig

    The glorious SW2!

  • David Japri

    after update my xz premium into oreo. led notification doesnt working anymore also this oreo update doesnt include double tap to wake. so sad.

  • David Japri

    have u check notification led? does it working, mine doesnt working.

  • David Japri

    does anyone had issue with led notification after update xz premium to oreo?

  • So0o

    How its The phone? Do you recive The update or you update by yourself?

  • David Japri

    i get from OTA. my advice wait until couple weeks. this update so many bugs. if u had issue taking picture or wanna listening louder speaker u may install this. but u will notice other issue after update this oreo.

  • So, why is it optional, not always (automatically)?..

  • Timel

    Good job listening to customers

  • djfapples

    What do you mean??

  • djfapples

    Bugs???

  • Hobbyist4Life

    Go to settings –> apps & notifications –> configure notifications –> enable notification light

    Go to settings –> lock screen & security –> lock preferences –> configure notifications –> enable notification light

    If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what will.

  • djfapples

    Super

  • Hobbyist4Life

    Only bug I found is that media info don’t show on Bluetooth devices such as my car audio system.

    Other than that, I don’t find any problems.

    Sure, double tap to wake is not back, but they didn’t say they will bring it back.

  • David Japri

    have u tried notification led. does turn on in ur device?

  • David Japri

    i already done that. but issue still remain. only third apps can do such things to use led notification.

  • So0o

    What issue are you talking? Thx

  • Bloobat

    Very happy with this news!! Hoping it doesn’t reduce quality or FOV!

  • iamshilov

    Will someone please post before and after images, so we can all take a look at what they did with this correction?

  • Arcest

    What you have to do is to update the Xperia Z5 Compact to android 8 Oreo.

  • DeMons

    How About Fix for Xperia XZ? huh..
    For the damn Camera
    SONY..

  • webuser.my

    What issues are you having?

    I have Light Flow running and my notification LED is working as normal.

  • webuser.my

    Yes. It is clearly pincushion distortion of the mustache/wave variant which is more focused to the middle of the lens. Mustache is also known as wave distortion.

    Here’s a link with an example of a wave distortion that is closer to what the current line of Motion Eye cameras are experiencing. Now do you see the similarities with the photos you’re sharing?

    https://goo.gl/C9ixRQ

    Source:
    https://www.image-engineering.de/library/technotes/752-what-is-lens-geometric-distortion

    Hope this clears things out.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Look quite similar but when I’m looking at my picture then compare with your example. It look like wave at the left hand side my picture doesn’t equal to the wave on the right hand side.

    For example you can see that the left side of my laptop look higher than the right hand side. On your example it’s equal.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Everything will be distorted and it’s easy to notice when the object has straight line not just keyboard, brick wall.

  • webuser.my

    Just means that the lens alignment to the sensor may not be centered, causing the distortion to originate from a different point, hence the unequal waves/distortion.

    Regardless, good that it’s been corrected via software, bad that it had to exist in the first place, considering they make class leading lenses with the G Master series, beating out both Canon and Nikon.

    Here’s hoping their next camera module is much better.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    That’s what I think too.

    They should be more careful on lens implementation.

  • mixedfish

    “distortion are consistent with that of utilising a wide angle lens, rather than a problem with the camera itself. ”

    Can’t ‘fix’ what is a natural characteristic of the lens.

  • Hobbyist4Life

    My notification led works just as well as it used to before the update

  • Hobbyist4Life

    I don’t understand, what’s wrong with your led?

  • David Japri

    Ur led light turn on and normal function after update xz premium into oreo?

  • David Japri

    It doesn’t working normal. It won’t flash on if I get missed. Call or notification third-party. Apps.

  • vigneshprince

    xz?

  • webuser.my

    Yes, I did not notice any difference with my LED notification before/after the Oreo update.

    But I do use the app Light Flow to manage/customise my LED notification.

  • David Japri

    so u using third party apps to manage led notification light. i mean there is issue in default android system.

  • iamshilov

    Nice, man! Thanks! It does show a small but significant difference. Can you do also a picture of a brick wall or your laptop’s keyboard? Seriously, this was stopping me from getting XZ1C, but if Sony fixed its camera then I’m sold.

  • Reza Gaffar

    yes, mine too.. the camera had distortion issue.

  • S.H.U.R.O.
  • iamshilov

    Ok, this one clearly proves they’ve fixed it. Thanks man!

  • iamshilov

    Is it a crop or a full photo? If a crop then from the middle or a corner?

  • S.H.U.R.O.
  • iamshilov

    Ok, this looks bad. Very convincing

  • Alex Norris
  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Not sure if this is because IMX400 of XZ1C has small pixel size compare to IMX362 of U11 ?

  • Alex Norris

    The problem of blurry images it`s not at all due to the smaller pixel (although this also matters), all the problems in the horrible algorithms for camera. For example Lg G6 has smaller pixel size and old crappy sensor, but it not shows blurry photos, unlike sony with new and big sensor on mobile cameras

  • hansip

    So people can experiment with it. not all things must be corrected. Even the mirrorless of their own have that option too.

  • çoban

    nope. its all about ois. sony has to put ois in cameras.

  • Alex Norris

    First Google Pixel have not OIS, and…?

  • AllanKafka

    Same as on my Z5. Foliage rendition is abysmal. I get angry every time a shoot a picture of the woods – and living in the mountains it happens too often…

    I mainly blame those noise reduction algorithms. They see branches and leaves as noise and kill all the detail. It is quite annoying to see that several generations later they have not improved this aspect.

  • paul_cus

    Is the SW2 still worth getting? I love the look of it, even if it isn’t the most up to date smartwatch anymore. As long as it gets notifications, it’s all good.

  • The One

    “Here’s hoping their next camera module is much better.”

    Unfortunately, we’ve been saying that since the Z2…

  • Moisés

    These 2 photos, one is 16:9 and the other is 4:3 .
    Edges will look worse on 16:9 than 4:3 photos.
    The default of imx400 is 17MP 16:9.
    I only use 4:3.
    Also phones have different FoV.
    If both phones are same distance from object, the narrower lenses have advantage.

    If the software is the issue, the front cam would not be better than the other phones.

  • Vitali

    and don’t listen to all these fucks who says “TEHY CROP THE IMAGE” it doesn’t crops it at all.

  • Moisés

    17MP x 12MP.

    When you crop, the bigger photo gets much more strechted compared to the smaller. Even more if you crop more than 100%.

    Easier to see pixels….

    Get your phone and take 3 photos ( different MP, all 4:3) then you crop all them.
    The smaller photo will look better because it won’t be that strechted.

    If you do not print your photos and just keep on phone/computer or upload ( social network) I suggest you to use 12MP.

    If you edit and print , the 19MP is better.

  • Moisés

    Photo is smaller when it was ON.
    Look at white car on the left.

  • mjst12

    The photo above is low light.

  • webuser.my

    +1 to this comment.

    While I do not disagree that the XZ1 Compact is weaker here, when comparing cameras with different resolutions, one should not compare them at 1:1 pixels but with the larger resolution photo down sampled to the size of the lower resolution one.

  • Jer

    Software to fix a hardware problem, what a joke. Their phones shoulda got called back TBH, i wouldn’t pay for a premium phone boasting its camera capabilities with such a big flaw.

  • Jer

    I don’t think they know what distortion means, all of their photos are fine, for example the walls and stuff are straight, on a sony phone the walls would be fucked.

  • Hobbyist4Life

    It’s not, I can never take the exact same picture, my hands are not steady.

  • Geralt

    Don’t Blame Sony for that, the SD810 is not supported by Google’s standards which are to be complied for releasing updates. If it was up to Sony, they would’ve been more than happy to do it.

    All you need to do is go to xda, look for a custom Oreo ROM for Z5 if in development and use it. And do not fear about the camera quality. It will be good as ever, only the resolution will be decreased :)

  • SopNaw

    I did not tried yet. As long as you download the SW2 app from Sony on Play Store, normally it’s OK. But i’m not sure 100% that it is going to be compatible with the android/bluetooth version of the XZ1C since it’s a old watch. If not compatible, I will use it like a regular watch to see the time anyway because it looks nice.

  • Alex Norris
  • Tomislav Matić

    If you now how wide angle lens works you wouldn’t say that. Wide angle lenses distort things and enhance perspective. So every tipe of this lens have distorsio, some less, some more, so to fix this is only software fix. Samsung has the same fix from S7 series. Even some digital cameras have the same fix.

  • Santos

    It’s a Wide Angle lens

  • (NinJer)

    This isn’t a wide angle lens, you’re comparing apples with oranges.

  • arcu de triumf

    The main issue here is how come that the great Sony came out with such a bad camera? It’s like a deja vu from the old 5MP from Xperia U. And it wasn’t a flagship. They don’t check the phones before sell them? There’s no one there to take a picture before? Check the Sony forum as here too, many complaints about photos. And from a company that has good performance with the lens and normal cameras. That’s quite a paradox. And it’s not about the distorsions, it’s about clarity and noise.

  • Tomislav Matić

    Yes it is. It is 25mm wide G Lens. From XPERIA Z3 Sony uses wide angle on flagships.
    And front camera is 22mm wide angle.

  • Koh Yuan Chen

    Great to hear that Sony heard our pleas and fixed this issue fast unlike those at Apple still not fixing the Backlight shutter bug that has plague iPhone since iOS 10

  • Rajiv Bedi

    Also, now you can set ISO and Shutter speed simultaneously. Did any one notice that!

  • S.H.U.R.O.
  • paul_cus

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I think it’s a cool looking watch as well. I think I’ll probably get one and hope for the best. At worst, it’s a Sony wristwatch. That’s not a bad thing at all, haha.

  • JC

    Not gonna happen, Z series is dead.

  • SC

    Now make xperias use camera2 API so we can use Google’s hdr+ and capture raw

  • JC

    lol, not happening

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    What does it good for then ? Baby, Pet ? lol

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Don’t talk to a robot…

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Don’t make me cry.

  • Sperelli

    How can I do that?

  • androexpert00

    Honestly guys don’t expect the miracle after this fix. I tested it a lot in the past 2 days and I can tell you that there is less details and a very little more noise to the image. Somehow also the viewing angle of the cam changes, seems to be a little
    more far

  • çoban

    pixel has f1.8 aperture and 1.4 um pixel size. its hardware better than xzp. if you put such a small pixel and aperture you have to put ois in camera.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    It’s depend on what’re you shoot. If you shoot anything that has straight line from the front then I guess it’s better to turn this option on.

    If not then turn it off.

    I don’t know if this option on samsung s7 also reduce the detail.

    Hope SONY change the camera module and be more careful on lens implementation.

    Current lens implementation is really bad.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    I hope SONY will use dual camera on the new Xperia with wide angle and telephoto setup so that Xperia wouldn’t have strange wave distortion and will have barrel distortion which look much better.

  • Actually it’s a great news for people who take pictures consiting straight lines, which is pretty much everybody.
    Maybe except people who don’t want to accept the fact that this issue exists..

  • Alex Norris

    In XZ1, the pixel size it`s not much less, 1.22 microns, it’s not a small pixel size like 1mcr. on lg V30. The aperture on phones – does not play a significant role like as on DSLR cameras, and the aperture difference between F/2.0 and F/1.8 , not big. It’s all depends in algorithms. If Pixel had the same aperture and pixel size as on Sony, it still was be better, than xperia, because in Google working good programmers, unlike in Sony.
    Sony have two serious problems: stupid programmers and greedy management. No one did not prevent Sony to put optical stabilization in these long 4 years. This is their choice and their problem, not mine.
    The flagship camera must be show good quality in any light conditions, but xperia`s shows good resault only in daytime, but also worse than Htc and other competitors. Sony does not have a flagship level camera. In fact, you overpay for a smartphone that does not have a good camera.

  • azzido

    Xperia blog is sleeping?
    Meanwhile Sony released new smartphones (only india and only low ends but still released) :

    https://www.tabletowo.pl/2017/10/27/premiera-sony-xperia-r1-xperia-r1-plus-specyfikacja-cena-gdzie-kupic/

    + I can confirm distortion is fixed in new android 8.0! They did it! :) :) :)

  • Rajiv Bedi

    in manual mode

  • kaostheory

    Why not use 835 and compete? With Sony’s software and updates at this price would wipe out a lot of Chinese phones? And why only fm on their average phones?

  • Matiss

    please check the sensors, Tof sensor and RGBC

  • Phaneendra Satya Ram

    Finally sony entered again into lower midrange in india with xperia R1 and R1 plus

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    That’s right !

  • Lee17788

    Yes and 4K is now in the Resolution Option in the Video Mode and not more an extra app, it’s great :)

  • azzido

    I am missing FM Radio too :(

  • azzido

    They have talented devs, see how they fixed distortion? It is management who is taking decisions: both on hardware specs (no ois, F2.0, small pixels) and software (fix the issue or not? What will we focus on etc.)

  • Hobbyist4Life

    What sensors are you talking about?

    I have XZ Premium Dual and I don’t see any problems

  • usersparadise

    The real problem: After so many years of Xperia still no OIS, no f1.8 or better, no algorithms like HDR+, no “real” use of their camera experience… Many customers including me have been loyal over the years, but now? I would still buy Xperia, but now I switched to HTC U11. When they don´t change their strategy only to “save” their compact camera business they will lose this game like Nokia did years ago :-(

  • Gary

    they appear to be different resolutions, so not comparable IMO. However, the HTC11 doesn’t lose detail in, for example, the flower beds whereas the xzP is horrible there.

  • You see? They listen. Unlike some ‘fruit’ who gives out overrated and overpriced phones that no longer works by the name itself.

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