Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Camera Review, Capture Samples

by Chetan Bhawani 11

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Camera Review

When we talk of Sony Xperia smartphones and its cameras, there is a lot of appreciation for the software side, where Sony has included several great modes, effects for the users to try out, and with the 20.7-megapixel G Lens camera in the Xperia Z3 compact, it is the same. But the hardware again disappoints, with the device with glass body heating up very easily in a few minutes of 4K video recording. There are a few things to consider here. The temperature in the room was not very low, at 31°C. And, with regards to the temperatures, we are talking of the 4K recording. On the other modes and effects, the heating up is not much alarming.

When the software is the same and the camera module too is, there is little you can expect as a difference from the camera of the Xperia Z3, and that is what defines the camera of the Xperia Z3 compact. The 20.7-megapixel camera does a good job, and as is the case with Xperia Z3, the improvements from the camera in the predecessor are clearly visible.

The camera app is totally the same, with the similar modes as in the Z3, and the effects under Manual mode having the high ISO sensitivity setting as well, the one which was newly added to the Z3 (with the max. sensitivity of 12800). And the captures under the high ISO in low light conditions were indeed better than the Superior Auto (which automatically takes up Low light mode) or Manual mode with night scene mode.

Head to the Sony Xperia Z3 camera review if you wanted to know more about the big list of modes available in the camera app.

We’ll start off with the bad news. The glass body of the Xperia Z3 compact doesn’t get any space to dissipate the heat rapidly, and thus in a few minutes, it gets heated up to an extent where the camera app closes by itself, although the good thing here is – if you were recording a video, the content gets saved before the camera app closes. But were you not capturing the entire scene in front of you and expecting the phone to continuously run the camera app for you? It has been a disappointment since the Xperia Z2, and it hasn’t changed at all.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Camera App 4K

The device gets heated up majorly towards the center and just below the camera lens, and the temperature went up to 48.6 °C, before the app gave up and shut down after recording a 4K video continuously for 8 minutes 58 seconds. Not bad for a reason that the video was being recorded in a closed room, and in open conditions, this can go up if we aren’t trying it under the sun directly.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Camera Temperature

Now, let’s talk about the capture quality – for both photo and video. The color reproduction is good already, but the Backlight Correction HDR mode and Landscape mode, both in the Manual mode make the color output even better.

Using the flash in a dark room

This was an interesting part, as you already do not know what you are capturing, until the phone activates the flash to focus on the object, and again does it to capture the same. But, the flash can be used in two ways – Fill Flash, and Torch. For most of the cases, turning the Torch ON did a better job, because with Fill Flash, there was excessive light, brightening the object unnaturally. But with the Torch, the flash light is always ON and thus, there is a uniform light in the either frame being captured.

Background Defocus Mode

The background defocus works perfect when you are using the specified mode, and for this, there is a rule to be applied, or the results won’t be impressive – the object should be closer to the camera (same rule for anything, a face or a little stationary object), and the background should be far.

Once the capture is done, you would be able to set the amount of defocus and also have a defocus with circular blur for the background objects, or horizontal/vertical blur.

How good is the low light photography?

In the low light conditions (differs from a place where there is no light at all), the Xperia Z3 compact did a brilliant job of retaining the colors, detailing the object with very little noise. At par with the flagship Z3, but for me, this was better than those smartphone cameras that are known for low light captures. Especially for the high ISO sensitivity mode, where the brightness is increased, but that didn’t lead to any loss in details and color reproduction.

Video Recording

We’d share the video recording samples very soon, but talking of the quality, both the 4K recording and 1080p one were good in quality, except for some shakes that were not well negotiated with, thus resulting in shaky video parts in between. Apart from that, for the normal movement of the camera, it took that very well and no such shakes were noticed here when trying to take a panoramic view of the scene in the video.

Overall, the Sony Xperia Z3 compact does a commendable job with the 20.7-megapixel camera of its. No where impressive with the front camera, especially when there are some superb selfie camera smartphones out there in the market, but Sony has made a mark with the rear shooter and the software side having an app that gives the users more than what they would actually use on regular basis.

Chetan Bhawani

Chetan Bhawani is a dentist, a tech blogger and a passionate writer in the field of technology. He keeps himself connected to the web for the entire day, of course except when he's dozed off! Add +Chetan Bhawani on Google Plus for more!

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    This smartphone has lots of cool camera options but its temperature rises due to which it shut downs ??? What?? Well ita good feature so it can be avoided

    • Suraj Racharla

      Well with good comes bad. Yes this phone has some problems but they shouldn’t be so big that they stop you from buying the phone. It not okay to hear about this problem and hopefully Sony will fix this flaw because according to there reputation they will

  • I was never much of a fan of picture taking before I got my first smart phone. Now, good camera quality is important for me, in my pursuit of a great smart phone.

    • Suraj Racharla

      If you are looking for A compact phone then may have come to your companion. This phone has really good specs and can deliver the expirience you would want and dream with them. The camera is also great and I think one of the best possible things on this phone right now. The design is also first class and is really a phone to consider

  • Jugal Mudoi

    Really a great camera phone and its rear camera has much more to impress everyone. Btw this is one of the best camera reviews I’ve ever read.. detailed and descriptive.

    • Suraj Racharla

      Yes Phone Radar always makes high class reviews and they are always detailed. The Z3 camera is also high in class and it is super to see Sony integrate a top notch camera into a thin and slim device whole maintaining a good design

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    love to have but cannot afford

  • Shashank Chourey


    • Suraj Racharla

      I know its a great compact phone and possibly the best out there right now . This phone has high specs and a hell of a camera. The phone still has a slim profile and has a nice too notch design. Up The Z3 compact is a great option for people wanting a power and compact phone

  • Joshua Akinsola

    Sony released a great compact variant phone wielding a beast camera. If all else fails no one will be dissapointed with the quality of the camera. The pictures were clear and flash looked really balanced I still prefer hdr on full light pics to superior auto and torch flash really illuminated the image using little concentation of light. Background defocus is perplexingly strong and iso sensitivity on the low lights gave off a warmer sharper color.

  • Android

    It is amazing to see Sony include most of the Z’3 features into a more compact version and then also putting an amazing camera also into it. The camera is superior and it provide flsgship quality photos. Comparing it too other compact phones like The galaxy alpha Sony performs much better and i am sure other people will also agree. The HDR and selective focus also is good on the Sony Z 3 compact and it looks like it works better than the G3. The pictures looked flawless and the amount of details in the pics were abundant and great to look at. Amazing to see Sony put such an amazing camera into a compact phone