Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: One for proficient photographers

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium's camera app has plenty of modes to choose from, including Face in Picture.
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium's camera app has plenty of modes to choose from, including Face in Picture. PHOTO: SONY

Sony's Xperia Z5 Premium boasts the highest megapixel (MP) count in this group, with its 23MP image sensor. Complementing it is its 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) 5.5-inch display, which is also the best in the group in terms of resolution.

Its 1/2.3-inch image sensor is bigger than those found in iPhone 6s Plus, LG G4 and Note 5, but on a par with that in the Nexus 6P. However, its pixel size is only 1.12 microns, which is smaller than that of the iPhone 6s Plus and Nexus 6P.

The Z5 has the widest rear camera lens of the group, at 24mm. It is also the only one to have a dedicated shutter-release button.

However, it is the only camera in this round-up to have a single LED flash, while the rest have dual-LED flash. Dual-LED flash is supposed to give better skin tones.


  • PRICE: $1,098

    REAR CAMERA: 23-megapixel (1/2.3-inch) 24mm f/2.0

    FRONT-FACING CAMERA: 5.1-megapixel 25mm f/2.8

The dedicated shutter-release not only doubles as a short-cut button to the camera app but also makes the phone handle like a real compact camera. A half-press allows you to focus on the objects.

The camera app has plenty of modes to choose from. They include Face in Picture, which places your face into the picture by using the front-facing and rear camera simultaneously when you shoot.

Those who are more proficient in photography can use the Manual mode to change settings like white balance, ISO, metering type and autofocusing mode.

In bright sunlight, the images I took looked sharp but the sky was overexposed. However, the darker areas of the images were rich in colour and crisp in texture.

Panoramic images suffered from an overexposed sky, although the exposure was more accurate for the darker areas.

Selfies were slightly soft and lacked sharpness but skin tones were quite accurate.

Under dim artificial light and without flash, images showed the right ambient colours with correct exposure and skin tones. Only Samsung's Note 5 fared better here.

But when shot with flash, the colours looked washed out. There was a bluish tinge to the final product.

Night shots were grainy. You can hardly make out some buildings. The clouds were hardly visible.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium's camera is for people who know their photography and can manually change settings to better exploit the camera's features.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'One for proficient photographers'. Subscribe