Sony Xperia S review: Camera, photo and video samples

We’ve spent most of the last week captivated by the staggeringly sharp screen of the new Sony Xperia S, while putting together what will hopefully be something resembling a review for you all to read very shortly.

In the meantime, to be getting on with, here are a few sample photos and videos, taken using Sony’s latest phone’s 12.1megapixel sensor. Could we live with this image quality in our pockets? Yes, is the short answer. Here’s visual evidence:

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Full resolution 12.1MP shots from the Xperia S and its Exmor R sensor. There’s nothing wrong with the camera, the sky really was that grey on that day. It brightened up later, but that’s not important.

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These two are captured at 9megapixels. At that resolution images are recorded in 16:9 aspect ratio. Take the megapixel count up to the 12.1 maximum and images are saved in 4:3 format. No doubt there’s a fine technical reason for that.

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This is the camera app. Some options are there on screen, others contained behind the menu button. It will be familiar to anyone who used one of Sony Ericsson’s Android models last year, albeit slightly simpler and lacking the slide-in gallery preview and options pane that featured on older Xperia software. Which is a shame. They were nice.

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To the right is the setting screen for the camera button, where you can have it “launch and capture” to open the camera app and instantly take a photo when you hold down the physical camera button. We found that a bit too sudden, so preferred just having it open the camera so we could manually focus and line up the shot.

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Plenty of options to play with, nice and fast in use. No holes to pick here.

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Stitched portrait shots. The panorama app does a better job of capturing these images than it did on Sony Ericsson’s Android phones of last year, generating fewer “You’re doing it wrong” error messages. Nice, big results, too.

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Images are slightly noisier indoors, as you’d expect, but it’s still doing a great job, even with the flash on in darker rooms.

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See, I told you it brightened up.

A 1080p video sample, if you click through to YouTube and watch the super-sized original. The camera’s fast to focus, lets you zoom in while recording and produces very clean results at maximum res. There’s the occasional missing frame or two, but the images are very detailed and otherwise free from artifacting. Looks good to us.

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Those are the video options. We’re running out of things to say.

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In summary. Yet another extremely impressive mobile phone camera from Sony here, that’s a good performer both indoors and out. 1080p video’s as sharp as we’ve seen on any mobile, plus still shots are colourful and capture a lot of detail, even in the backgrounds. The Xperia S camera is comparable with the best on the market today, in fact, we’d say.

2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. DTEG

     /  March 10, 2012

    Glad you mention the existence of the physical camera button (in common to the whole of Sony’s new range I believe?) People moan so much about 99% of phones NOT having such a button, then when a manufacturer does something about it, the silence has seemed somewhat mystifying. Thank you for helping celebrate :O)

  2. Is there a close up option (Macro mode) ?