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Photo quality

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WarVic

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2010
191
61
Well, I quite understand why people are choosing Apple products - there is no substitution for comfort and quality. Also the latest iPhones are just superior in mobile photography as well. At the same time I understand Xperia fans too - someone have to proudly carry a... burden of grief.
 

patrickt

Senior Member
Apr 8, 2021
58
26
Well, I quite understand why people are choosing Apple products - there is no substitution for comfort and quality. Also the latest iPhones are just superior in mobile photography as well. At the same time I understand Xperia fans too - someone have to proudly carry a... burden of grief.
It's sad that Apple fans try to be snarky and can't even do that without help. That's why Apple tries their best to take care of their customers as long as customers realize that Apple controls the hardware, the software, and the users. It's rather like being on welfare. You get take care of up to a point. I actually looked at Apple products back when it was a choice between Apple or CP/M. I decided to wait. CP/M was on the way out and Apple was the precusor to total control and regulation.

Like I said, it's good we have choices. Some of us choose to work, some don't.
 
My main gripe with the camera is the way it processes foliage and especially grass on the main sensor. It smoothens out the grass leafs (maybe to reduce noise) and the result is a blurry mess. Gcam helps a bit, but has other major drawbacks (inaccurate colors and reduced dynamic range).
Second gripe is main camera is not sharp enough compared to the Pixel. If you pixel peep, you will notice a huge difference.
Third gripe: many misses with focus on main camera even on non demanding scenes.
If anyone knows a fix/workaround especially on the firs issue, it would make my day. I took lots of photos above tree line in the mountains, and I was very sad to see the photos afterwards. Grass is poorly handled, and RAW shooting doesn't seem to help with the details.
 

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  • 1
    After mocking around with that "marvelous" PhotoPro app, I've come to the same conclusion - selll this damn thing ASAP to avoid huge money loss. I quite liked "that pro photographer" feeling but I'm after final results after all and I do not like to miss the moments. Currently using Galaxy S21 and LG V60 ThinQ and can't be happier.
    I'm delighted you can't be happier. I can certainly understand. A lot of people over Apple phones. too. Me? I'm keeping my Xperia 5 II.
  • 4
    Here is an additional take on photo quality.

    Main lens (wide angle) in AUTO mode (with standard / Pro apps):
    Good:

    - Noiseless pictures. Much improved from previous generation.
    - Natural looking blur in out-of focus areas (ex: background). Can create natural bokeh for cats, faces, macro, etc.
    - Contrary to what some people say, good dynamic range because the auto HDR mode turns on when needed in most cases. Note that in the Pro app, you can use touch metering and still keep HDR active, a nice addition.
    - Good pictures in low light: very low noise and not too much unnatural brightening of scene.
    - Mostly no lens flares on standard intensity lights. (improved from Xperia 5)
    Not so good:
    - Focus issues at night: lack of TOF and no pre-flash sometimes leads to focus misses. Solution is to use the Pro app with continuous focus ON (mode is not available in standard app). Most often this allows phones to acquire focus except in total darkness.
    - Focus issues with far subjects, such as landscape. Sometimes the camera just won't focus at all. Solution is to use tap to focus (in Pro app, this means you have to turn OFF continuous focus)
    - Focus issues with eye / face detection: it's just not always accurate. Again, much better results with tap to focus.
    - Very bad lens flares (light streaks) when facing a brighter light at some angles. (much worse than Xperia 5). So much for the Zeiss lens!. This issue can sometimes be solved by placing your hand to block the strong light near the lens.
    - Color temperature is a bit too cold. Especially visible in darker environments.

    What about non-auto modes ?
    Good:

    - You can set everything as you wish in Pro app.
    Not so Good:
    - As in previous generations, you will get a lot more noise than in auto mode, esp. beyond 200 ISO. Makes is useless for me. One solution would be using RAW and applying your own denoising filters, but you loose HDR and I didn't get much better results anyways.
    - Takes more time to adjust: not suitable for quick shots.

    What about the other lenses ?
    - Ultra wide gives ok results. Not worse than other flagships from what I've seen.
    - Zoom lens is more noisy. Only suitable in daylight IMO.
    - Selfie: never used.

    My conclusion:
    - With Xperia 5 II, you can get great pictures with a photographic look in the right situations. But some pictures may out-of-focus and some will get bad lens flares. Also it needs too much attention to settings for me.
    - So I sold the phone and kept my Xperia 5 1st gen. Photos have a bit more noise, but it's more dependable in focusing and rarely misses a picture. Colors are also warmer and more accurate at least to my taste.

    Note that Xperia 1 II may not have these focusing issues but I didn't try it.

    Some examples:

    Xperia 5 II: flares
    2020.10.28 - 15h47.58 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.30 - 10h42.31 - 000.JPG
    Xperia 5: no flare
    2020.10.28 - 15h47.46 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.30 - 10h45.29 - 000.JPG

    Xperia 5 II: bad focus at night
    2020.10.30 - 00h41.41 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.24 - 21h06.24 - 000.JPG

    Xperia 5: better focus at night
    2020.10.30 - 00h44.17 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.24 - 21h06.48 - 000.JPG

    Xperia 5 II: natural bokeh
    2020.10.26 - 22h31.15 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.19 - 16h50.44 - 000.JPG

    Xperia 5: not much bokeh
    2020.10.26 - 22h33.45 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.19 - 16h50.36 - 000.JPG

    Xperia 5 II: less noise
    2020.10.24 - 22h46.27 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.24 - 19h02.25 - 000.JPG

    Xperia 5: more noise
    2020.10.24 - 22h47.36 - 000.JPG
    2020.10.24 - 19h03.30 - 000.JPG


    Xperia 5 II: the 3 lenses:
    Ultra wide
    2020.11.17 - 17h22.53 - 000.JPG
    wide
    2020.11.17 - 17h21.53 - 000.JPG
    zoom
    2020.11.17 - 17h23.23 - 000.JPG
    3
    Has the camera, especially regular camera app in auto mode, had any improvements in later firmware updates? Like the less consistant performance on autofocus mentioned in this thread?
    Eventually I gave this phone a 2nd try as it got cheaper and also because we can download the new Photo Pro app from the Xperia 1iii. Unofficial but works good.

    For sure in the model I got this time, Sony must have changed the camera glass cover, because I'm no longer getting crazy lens flares.

    The focus issues for landscapes and far objects are solved also, no idea if it is the hardware or the software which evolved.

    For me the new Photo Pro app is better and more versatile. I never use the standard app any more.

    The only remaining issue for me is the shutter speed sometimes gets just too slow in auto/basic mode at night: 1/5 s. This can lead to some blurry pics. Can be solved by darkening a bit with the brightness slider, usually enough to bump shutter to 1/10 s and avoid blur.
    Of course you can set shutter manually but I was talking about auto mode.
    2
    I didn't listen and I'll have to pay the price...
    The photo pro program indeed has a problem with AF. It's a software problem, not acclaimed by Sony, not going to be fixed, I guess.
    I did a simple test for close up shot with photo pro and lightroom. The result - the first shows a locked focus, but in the resulting image the focus is a little bit further away. With LR, the focus is right at the focus point. No wonder why on all of my child's photos, the focus is not in the eye, where the program locks it, but on the collar of the outfit.
    Adding the signal drop if 5G is active, leads to selling this overpriced piece of garbage.
    2
    Some other pics from X5 II (in right situations)
    2020.11.21 - 16h04.05 - 000.JPG
    2020.11.21 - 15h47.04 - 000.JPG
    2020.11.21 - 16h21.27 - 000.JPG
    2020.11.21 - 16h25.17 - 000.JPG
    2020.11.22 - 16h37.58 - 000.JPG
    2020.11.22 - 16h45.22 - 000.JPG
    2020.11.22 - 16h46.50 - 000.JPG (<- with zoom lens)
    2020.11.14 - 16h48.46 - 000.JPG (<- ultra wide lens)
    2
    Here an example - eye focus worked just fine with a cat through a fence(although there's not much of bokeh to see the difference :) )