Camera smackdown: Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPhone 5 vs Oppo Find 5

by: AdrianJanuary 22, 2013

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After many years of living in the shadows, Sony looks like it could finally break into the high society of smartphones with the Xperia Z. There’s an unprecedented level of excitement surrounding the latest Sony flagship, and if something doesn’t go terribly wrong, we expect the 5-incher to be one of the most popular Android handhelds in the next months.

But, as it so often happens in the overcrowded and uber-competitive tech world, the details will most likely make or break the Xperia Z. Details like the battery’s autonomy or display’s sharpness in real-life conditions, but also the camera’s capabilities.

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In theory, the 13.1 MP snapper fitted on Xperia Z’s back should be nothing short of spectacular. With an Exmor RS sensor, HDR photo and video options and features like touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, sweep panorama, continuous autofocus and video stabilizer, this is one of the most complex cams in the history of smartphones.

But the road from tech theory to practice, while paved with good intentions, can often be awfully bumpy, which is why we shouldn’t yet assume the Z’s cam will be better than the fantastic 8 MP ones on the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3.

Fortunately, while the Z is not out yet, a camera smackdown is, putting Sony’s 5-incher against the iPhone 5 and Oppo’s Find 5. The comparison is far from comprehensive, being based on 100% cropped sample shots, but there are still a few conclusions to be drawn here.

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First off, the Find 5 is no match for Sony’s flagship from this standpoint. Which is a bit surprising, because Oppo’s beast also has a 13 MP cam with an Exmor RS sensor. As for the iPhone 5, that’s much closer to the Z, especially in daylight conditions.

In fact, choosing the winner between Apple and Sony’s cameras is almost impossible, as they both have their highs and lows. We would probably go for the Z overall, mostly because of the HDR and color crispness, but it’s definitely really, really tight. Which is why we’ll just call it a draw and let you pick your winner. Is it the Xperia Z or the iPhone 5?

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  • RarestName

    The iPhone 5’s images look better IMO.

  • wow, the Z sucks

  • atav

    as much as I love android the Iphone pics win here with no doubt.

    • MasterMuffin

      only when the sun shines directly to the camera xperia z wins :(

  • Mike Bates

    For all the hype that people have been throwing out there, the Find 5 isn’t acutally all that great.

  • iHater

    even though i am an iHater, have to agree with @RarestName, iPhone 5 pics look more natural and warm

  • Can’t understand why ISO on Oppo Find 5 is always 100. Something is wrong here

    • Matt Attwood

      I noticed that, It’s really not a fair test when all are using different ISO and apertures.

    • MasterMuffin

      maybe their automatic mode sucks?

  • I think we can say that the iPhone 5 is the winner here, followed closely by Xperia Z.

    In my opinion, with the little I know about photography and digital cameras. The camera of the Xperia Z could have an increase in quality, with some minor software adjustments. For example, where the iPhone uses ISO 640, Z 800 uses. With that, let the lights a little burst, and the picture grainier. The color adjustments and the white balance of iPhone 5 also remains more faithful.

  • ronak

    are you guys dumb?
    First of all im not iphond hater.

    Just look at pics above, sony gives true color with excellent focus. Where as iphone has cooler and washed out colors. In auto focuing it is obvious that sony z is excellent.

    Overall:- sony xperia z is best.

  • Doug

    Let’s just say, all small sensor cameras suck, especially in low light.

  • Daniel Rocha

    I’d have to check each picture personally to verify which one is more natural. Looking at the last picture (guy’s shirt), given the color difference, it almost feel like the photos from iPhone and Z are from different shirts.

  • showdlab

    Is someone realize all the Iphone pictures turn to red…it’s awfull.

    Best in all condition is Sony, more neutral and natural (except with in sunshine ‘s front conditions)

    • I saw that. A red tinge to all the pics almost. Odd. But the IPhones take good pics for a cell phone.

  • krishna

    Xperia z having natural color……….whereas iphone pictures looks like whitish………….

  • The “deeper” colour on the IPhone 5 actually looks like a different colour in all the photos. Assuming that the IPhone’s colour is not the only correct one between the three, the Sony would definitely be the winner. Focus seems to be the best in all the pics as well. Xperia Z, IPhone in close second (although the colour accuracy seems funky), with the Oppo bringing up the rear.

  • fenderbender

    funny thing is that all the cameras here on these phones are from sony

  • GF

    The Xperia Z is obviously the winner with considerably better color reproduction and sharper photos, although the iPhone 5 wins hands down in low light performance.

  • goonie

    Personally they all look like shxxt to me, but I am no expert. I would have expected us to be at a higher level of mobile picture quality…but that is just me. With all phones I feel like the image looks better on my phone then when it gets to my CPU it looks like crap.

    If I just had to judge I would base it on the last photo of the guys shirt where it looks just over saturated his face just looks unnatural and noisey almost to the point where it feels like he has a saturation effect on the Iphone. I like the detail of the iphone but I like the color reproduction of the Sony and Oppo. Again to me they all look like shxt.