Two smartphones with 20MP sensors: Nokia Lumia 1520 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (3)
No, these are not the best shots I got artistically, but I'll share them anyway since I believe they're interesting in itself. In my previous two comparisons, I shared shots from the 20MP results from both the Nokia Lumia as the Sony Xperia.
In the first comparison, the Sony obviously lost, in the second comparison - in bright sunlight - its result was already a lot better and some might just prefer it since it simply looks sharper at first sight.
I promised some shots comparing the Sony on its "Superior Auto" setting, and compare that with the Nokia Lumia 1520. In Superior Auto, you can only shoot in 16:9 at the moment, but it wouldn't suprise me if an update will change that, since in Barcelona I've seen 4:3 in the same setting on the Xperia Z2.
So I need to choose 16:9 on the Lumia 1520 as well, but: which setting to choose? Everything on auto? Change the white balance? I didn't have much time to experiment since the sun was setting when I took these shots, but the differences are interesting.
There was another "problem": Sony's 8MP versus Nokia's 5MP resolution. Some advised me to shoot on high-res with the Lumia and manually adjust that to 8MP, but I don't have the software (nor the knowledge) to "oversample" shots on my PC . Moreover, I think it's fair to show what you get as a consumer just using the device.
Here are the few shots I captured in the setting sun. As usual, Lumia 1520 first, Xperia Z1 Compact second, both on auto settings (so the Xperia on Superior Auto)
As you can see, the difference are marginal - the only thing is you'll get a bit more of the scene with the Lumia 1520 (as usual, I didn't move an inch). Next, two crops from these two shots - again you'll see that choosing 640 x 360, you'll get "closer" in the 8MP shot of the Xperia Z1 Compact.
I think it's safe to say that shooting in these modes, in this case the oversampled results are quite similiar, although there seems to be a small difference in light. That's a matter of taste however.
Next, a close-up from a sunlit tree, now with both devices on manual, white balance set to "sunny".
In this case, the Lumia 1520 seems to give a bit "darker" result. To be honest, in that moment, I can't remember which is the more accurate shot as far as the light of the setting sun is concerned. Let's have a look at the 640 x 360 crops of these shots.
And last - this time without cropping - I'll share three shots of a similar scene. First: the Nokia Lumia 1520 on auto settings, followed by the Nokia Lumia 1520 with white ballance changed to sunny.
Now to be honest, I'm really surprised about how huge the difference is. And in this case I'm very sure the second shot is much more realistic - I think it'll be obvious for everyone to notice the first version (on auto) is way too green...
To conclude, this is the same scene coming from the Sony Xperia Z1 in Superior Auto, captured from the same distance. Again, I didn't move an inch: notice the consequences of the different focal length.
I tried it twice, both times with the same result - not sure why the Xperia seems to have so much more trouble capturing this scene - the bright light coming from the right? Since I got the same result twice I thought it'd be useful to share the difference, moreover since I've seen this "hazy" effect more often on Sony's Xperia devices (and I know I'm not the only one either).
As far as using settings is concerned, I found these results a bit confusing. I usually compare devices with all settings on "auto", since I always figured that's the way most people will use their smartphone anyway, and it will show you best how devices react to similiar circumstances. In this last example however, it's clearly of major importance to choose the setting that suits the circumstances best.
Apart from the last result I got from the Xperia Z1 Compact, I think this short comparison has shown that when you're using the Xperia Z1 Compact in it's Superior Auto setting, you may expect very acceptable results. The only thing is the settings menu is quite limited, but like I wrote I suspect an update will bring some improvement there - think I'll write about Sony's settings some more in a next post.