Camera comparison: Lumia 950 vs Sony Xperia XZ

sony xperia xz colours

We attended the Cape Town press event for the Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact smartphones this week. Now, the actual release information has been available for a while now, but the event did give us the opportunity to compare the camera to my personal Lumia 950.

So then, does the Sony smartphone blow Microsoft’s device out of the water? Well, check out the gallery for our very unscientific test.

The Xperia XZ does have a higher resolution 23MP camera though, compared to the 950’s 20-megapixel shooter. But it still makes for an interesting comparison. We disabled the 950’s Rich Capture trickery and set the XZ to capture in manual mode (without HDR or any other modes).

The Xperia XZ and Lumia 950 go head to head in a cross-platform camera battle

We stood on roughly the same spots when taking pictures, but the XZ was able to pack more of the scene into the shot. So the results won’t be completely identical in this regard.

On an unrelated note, it appears that the phone still suffers from the same infamous overheating issue as the Xperia X and the Z5 Compact when it comes to recording video. I was able to film six minutes of 1080p/60FPS video before the overheating message popped up. The more things change…

Anyway, check the results below (full-size images are available by clicking on the desired image).

Lumia 950 versus Xperia XZ
left right

Lumia 950 Sample 1

The Lumia captured a cooler scene here (perhaps due to white balance issues), but the detail is good anyway, while not appearing too sharpened.

Sony Xperia Xz Sample 1

The XZ's first attempt lacked detail compared to the 950, but the second take sees it edge ahead. The Sony phone does seem to be doing the smearing thing. Look at the red boxes as an example.

Lumia 950 Sample 2

At first glance, both shots are similar here... The flower on the left does bleed a bit of white though.

Sony Xperia Xz Sample 2

The XZ did turn much of the flowers a blinding white, losing detail as well. In fact, general detail was lagging behind the 950.

Lumia 950 Sample 3

The Lumia 950 manages to capture a more detailed image here, especially in the background.

Sony Xperia Xz Sample 3

The XZ messed up the whites (try reading the words on the various white elements), but the background detail isn't as good either. Look at the tree and security guard, for instance.

Lumia 950 Sample 4

The Lumia 950 cranked up the saturation here, resulting in a rather artificial look. It still packs a comparable level of resolvable detail.

Sony Xperia Xz Sample 4

The XZ kept colours in check over here, although it did smear the edges of the burger and other objects. But the phone kept the black tablecloth in check (in the background), unlike the Lumia.

Lumia 950 Sample 5

Another, albeit milder example of the Lumia 950 cranking up the colours. Still, it delivers a detailed image anyway.

Sony Xperia Xz Sample 5

The XZ spat out a muted photo compared to the Lumia 950. This would come down to preference if the XZ didn't smear the details once again.

Lumia 950 Sample 6

One of the more competitive shots in my opinion. The Microsoft phone did however capture more number plate detail and better captured the Xperia branding on the bakkie.

Sony Xperia Xz Sample 6

The Xperia XZ captured a good shot here, featuring more realistic colours. The 950 does feature more detail for the most part, but the XZ managed to better capture the silver car's plates.



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