Sony’s brand new Xperia X lineup will soon be available here in the U.S., and the headlining feature will be the camera technology equipped in its higher end models (Xperia X and Xperia X Performance). While the 23-megapixel sensor isn’t all that unusual in the mobile market, Sony says it has worked closely with its Alpha team to create a camera unlike anything smartphone users have seen before. For what it’s worth, there’s also a 13-megapixel front-facing camera for all you selfie fanatics.
The biggest new feature is known as Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, which Sony says will choose a subject and then predict its motion. Say you have a child who refuses to sit still, the Predictive autofocus should compensate for this and ensure you get the sharpest possible photos without motion blur. I have only had the opportunity to use the device for a few days and didn’t necessarily find the feature worked any better or worse than what you’d get from a Galaxy S7.
Meanwhile, Sony says that its SteadyShot technology will remove shakiness from on-the-move videos, which means you shouldn’t get that jello effect when recording home videos. That seems to be a big Achilles heel for a lot of mobile shooters (and even expensive dedicated cameras; I’m looking at you A6300).
The good news is that all of this stuff is built around Sony’s algorithms, which can be improved upon in future updates. We typically see mobile cameras improve as new software is released, so chances are the performance we saw will be different months from now. Sony told us it worked closely with the Android team to ensure the best possible software performance, so we hope that means quick software updates as well.
We aren’t here to judge the pictures and dissect them against the competition. Instead, we simply wanted to provide a gallery so you guys can get an idea of what the quality will be like should you decide to purchase an Xperia X, which you can get for $549.99. Sony has a wonderful reputation for offering some of the best full-frame and mirrorless cameras on the market, but mobile has always been a different story.
Of course, there’s only so much you can do inside of a tiny phone like the Xperia X.
For what it’s worth, the camera shoots 8-megapixel pictures (16:9) out of the box, so we changed it to 23-megapixels (4:3) and used the device’s Superior Auto setting. The images in the gallery above were watermarked and resized. You can view the originals here.
What do you guys think? Sony has some big competitors in devices such as the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s Plus. Check out the gallery above.