Android Central

We go hands-on with the Xperia T's 13-megapixel camera

Sony's smartphone cameras have always impressed us. Even the Xperia X10, a device with its fair share of issues, managed to ship with an above average camera assembly. So we were excited to try out the company's latest offering, the Xperia T (or Xperia TL, as it's known in the states), which packs a 13-megapixel Exmor R camera. The rear shooter incorporates Sony's proprietary BSI sensor, and boasts an f/2.4 aperture. So it has all its numbers in the right place -- what about image quality?

We've got a detailed breakdown after the jump, along with a couple dozen photo samples and five minutes of video.

We've been impressed with the quality of both photo and video output from the Xperia T. Sony's latest flagship lives up to its digital imaging heritage, generating high-quality stills, particularly in macro mode. All of our sample shots were taken in the Xperia camera app's "auto" mode, with tap-to-focus enabled. In this mode, the phone seamlessly transitions from close-ups to landscapes. The Xperia T's camera has excellent dynamic range, and though there's no dedicated HDR mode, the camera automatically launches into backlight-corrected HDR mode wherever necessary.

The phone's 13MP sensor doesn't seem to be as noisy as the Xperia S's 12MP unit, though some noise is still apparent in low-light shots when viewed up-close. Speaking of low-light, there's a dedicated night shot mode, which was able to help improve the brightness of pictures shot at night, though unfortunately it's incredibly sensitive to even the slightest bit of movement.

The Xperia T performed well in video mode too, producing silky-smooth footage at 1080p with 30 frames per second and superior dynamic range to what we've seen on the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, though with a slight tendency towards undersaturated colors. One area which impressed us was the Xperia T's ability to focus -- and keep focused -- on the tiniest of moving objects in video mode. You'll see this put to the test in our sample video, where we chase an ant around the top of a stone wall. There's also a dedicated night mode for the video camera, which maximizes visibility in dark scenes at the cost of a little added noise.

Check out our photo and video samples below -- full screen viewing is recommended. The photos have been resized and watermarked, but they haven't been otherwise enhanced or modified.

 
There are 14 comments

Irvgotti says:

Can we get a optimus G vs this camera shootout?

Mobius360 says:

I really like that phone,looks like Sony is building some really great stuff this season.

adinofaries says:

Does the image look a little washed out or is this just me? (especially the video) Could just be because of the high sun but it seemed like the G note 2 handled this better

icebike says:

Which Image? He posted like two dozen. The 100% cropped bee maybe, the rest are fine.

I think most of these are stunning. Even the night shots. Noisy a bit at night, but not as bad as some I've seen from cell cameras.

And the depth of the deep shadows in the daylight shows pretty good handling of range, even without HDR. (One might be tempted to try HDR on those daylight street shots, but its more "artsy" without it).

The close ups are spectacular.

The video suffers from too-fast panning, but other than that it looks fine. Love the frogs in the background. Focus is slow on night shots after a pan.

vinny jr says:

I think my SGS3 is just as good if not better. Honestly, if I thought the Sony was better I would say so. I have some pictures from my SGS3 that are so damn sharp and bright. Just my Opinion.

icebike says:

Side by side tests. Until then, its just your opinion.

tyson.clarke says:

WOW. That's seriously impressive.

I used to be pretty nonchalant about camera quality, that is, until I got into a good camera and actually started using it and sharing pics and vid on G+ with the new interface.

This is great!

Joel Fabiani says:

Really impressive. +1 for a side by side comparison with Optimus G.

jeffreytz says:

I'm really looking forward to this phone. I've always wanted a Sony phone for aesthetic reasons but they've usually been a rev or two behind the competition in hardware. I have an unlocked one on pre-order from Expansys-USA but waiting to see what the actual price will be.

Alex, did you try shooting/capturing a still while shooting video?

aaronwe says:

Very, very impressive, especially compared to the junk that was in the Optimus G sample gallery.

Now I really want a side-by-side Xperia T/Optimus G/SGS3/One X+ shootout. What the hell, why not toss in an iPhone 5 and Lumia 920 while you're at it?

Channan says:

Put this in a Nexus phone. Sheeeet after all the crap cameras we've been getting in the Nexuses, we deserve a great camera this time.

AzD says:

These are OK, but simply jamming more megapixels onto a cell camera sensor is only going to take you so far. The night shot is pretty noisy. f2.4 is simply "OK", nothing spectacular. These don't look significantly better than a lot of the newer 8MP phone cameras I've seen.

leontam says:

Alex, does it have a continuous burst mode, like holding down to the shutter and it'll take pics until you ease off your finger?

n25philly says:

If you are going to be walking around taking picture like these why not use a real camera? Seems like a waste of time.