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.