(upbeat music) – What’s up guys Saf here on SuperSaf TV, and this is my Sony Xperia 1 II camera review. Now it is going to be a little bit different, to the standard SuperSaf Style camera comparisons that you see here on the channel.
Although there will be lots of comparison shots that I am going to be showing, versus the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But it’s different because, this is a different smartphone. The whole camera sets up, the way everything works with the pro apps is quite different, so I thought this would be the best way to cover it.
Now, as part of this video, I’ve also invited the best voice in the YouTube text base. My good friend, Michael Fisher, the Mr. Mobile. So we’ll be hearing some of his thoughts and see if they match up with my thoughts, about the Sony Xperia 1 II cameras as well, which will be a little bit later in this video.
So the Xperia 1 II hardware is excellent. I really like that, Sony have gone with three 12 megapixel cameras, rather than going for 48, 108 megapixel cameras. Like a lot of the competition and doing, even though on those smartphones 99% of the time, you’re still going to be shooting around, 12 megapixels anyway.
So I appreciate that Sony have gone with the setup. Sony actually make the sensors for, pretty much most smartphones out there. And I personally also use the Sony A7 III as well as the Sony ZV1. So hardware is really, really good.
And what I really like about these cameras is that, the colors are very consistent across the three cameras. This is something that we see on many of the cameras, as soon as you switch from one to the other.
Colors can change quite a bit. This is not the case here with the Xperia 1 II and the colors are also quite natural. You see a lot of manufacturers really – boosting up the vibrance and saturation. This is also not the case here with the Xperia 1 II.
And I think this is something that a lot people, are going to appreciate. Now, one of the biggest improvements here, compared to the Xperia 1 last year is dynamic range. I was very much not pleased with the dynamic range, that you got out of the shots with the Xperia 1 last year, but this is being improved quite a bit here – on the Xperia 1 ii, both in the standard auto mode as well as, in the photo pro mode.
Now, thanks to a few of you who did point out that, if you do go into the settings of the photo pro app, you can switch on Auto HDR, which definitely does help. And in a lot of cases, I did prefer the dynamic range on the Xperia 1, compared to something like the iPhone 11 Pro Max, as you can see on a few examples here.
Now, having said that, there was certain instances, where I’d get really good dynamic range from – the ultra wide camera. But when I went to the primary camera, things walk quite a blown out. So this is something that I did find, and hopefully can be improved with software over time.
I’m touching on the photo pro app. I mean, having all of those manual controls is something, that’s really, really useful. And if you ask somebody that’s kind of used to the Sony Alpha line, you’ll be very much at home with, all of the different controls that you have and all of the different settings.
Along with that physical shutter button, which I am sure a lot of people will also appreciate. Now within the pro app. I think for me, the most important thing is the auto focus that we have. The auto focus, which tracks eyes, not only of people, but also of animals.
And this is something that we don’t really see on, pretty much any of the smart phone out there, as well as the ability to have, up to 20 frames a second best shot. So if you are trying to take pictures of- fast moving subjects, then you can be confident, that all of them are going to be in focus.
And this is something that, I think is quite unique on the Xperia 1 ii. Now when we go on to video, things are a little bit different. So the cinema pro app, once again, lots of controls over white balance, ISO, shutter speed, focus.
Now for me personally, I’m already used to a lot of these features, with apps such as FiLMic pro on the iPhone. So they all features that I use a lot. And the other thing about the cinema pro app is that, I found that it was very specific to specific situations, where you had control over lighting.
And that is because once you lock in exposure and start recording, if you are maybe handheld outdoors, as soon as you go from a dark area to a bright area, then things are not going to be looking good.
So this is something that I find is great to have, but it is very, very specific. The other thing that I found was with stabilization, when you are in the cinema pro app, then stabilization is really not good, especially if you are at 4K 60fps and 4K 60fps is only limited to the primary camera.
You do not have 4K 60fps on the ultra-wide or the zoom camera, things that a lot of the competition do offer. Now, when you do switch to the auto mode for video, then yes, you are going to be able to get the different exposures and things.
But I did find, the shots did look quite dark in a lot of instances and the stabilization, although it was better compared to what we had in the pro app, it still wasn’t as good as something like the iPhone.
As you can see in this example here. Now I know a lot of people keep saying to use the pro modes, but really sick speaking. There are lots of situations, where you simply can’t use pro mode, and the pro mode is not available for, the front facing camera and the front facing camera, is something that I also want to touch on because, i’m going to be straight up on all these.
And even though I’m going to get a lot of hate for it, the Sony Xperia 1 ii, does not have a good front facing camera. It’s eight megapixels. It can only film up to 1080P. Dynamic range is really, really bad.
And when you do try to use, portrait mode from the front facing camera, then dynamic range just goes completely out of the window. There’s been lots of instances where I’ve had, a very blurry image – trying to use the portrait mode, from the front facing camera, which was very, very disappointing for me, for a smartphone that’s retained for around $1,200.
The iPhone SE for example, is a third of the price. And I can tell you hands down, has a much better front facing camera. This was also the case in video dynamic range, for video from the front facing camera was really not good.
And I know a lot of people are going to be saying, Oh, this is for pros, pros don’t take selfies or vlog and things like that. But I know a lot of professional photographers and videographers at every single one of them at least, uses the front facing camera for, Instagram stories and the likes because we are in 2020 and having such a bad front facing camera, on a smartphone that’s retaining for around $1,200 or 1100 pounds is really no excuse in my opinion.
Now, another thing around the pro apps, is that they’re all well and good, but what about, when you want to really take advantage of – competition photography. So to give you a couple of examples, night mode, there is no dedicated night mode on the Xperia 1 ii.
So here you can see an example versus the iPhone and the iPhone is clearly doing a much, much better job. Now yes, I could Mount this on a tripod, but I don’t always have a tripod with me, (indistinct) the object.
If I’m carrying around a tripod with me, then I might as well carry around my Sony A73, instead of trying to shoot on this. The other area is portrait mode. So you do have a defocus mode on here. And once again, portrait shots on the Xperia 1 ii are really, really bad.
I’ve seen lots of budgets, smartphones do a better job. It kind of just does a blur around you and again, dynamic range. This goes completely out the window. As soon as you try to do a portrait shot portrait mode or the defocus mode, is only available on the primary camera, not on the telephoto camera.
Telephoto camera is generally, what you’d use for portrait shots, but again, this is not available. So although, there are lots of positives with the Xperia 1 ii cameras, there are a lot of negatives.
And I was talking to Michael Fisher, about some of these things and i found that he also experienced some similar results. So I thought, let me bring him onto the channel. And then we can have a discussion and kind of share our opinions on these cameras.
Fisher, so good to have you on the channel. – Saf it is great to be here and I really apologize for showing up out of uniform. Let me just get these accessories on there. That’s better, there we go, now I’m ready.
Now I’m ready for it. I’m super set style. – Brilliant. (Fisher laughs) I kind of feel like, cause I’ve actually got my normal glasses on, so maybe, maybe I need to put the sunglasses on too! (Fisher – I wish you would) or maybe it should just (Fisher laughs) be (indistinct).
All right, they were on let’s let’s do this. Fisher, it’s great to, well, firstly chat as well but also have you on the channel! (Fisher – great to be here) – We’ve both been using the Xperia 1 ii. I’d say I’ve been, I’ve had it for about just over a week.
I believe you’ve had it for! (Fisher – about eight days) the same time. There’s a few things, there’s a few opinions I have. And you know, we’ve had a brief conversation about this before as well. – That’s right.
– But what I thought would be good is for us to you know, just have this chat on video so we could, you know, share our views and opinions with the audience. – I love that idea man, thank you for inviting me on.
And you know what, it’s really cool because I feel like, I talked about it on the Android central podcast, a couple like a week ago and I was pretty harsh on it, cause it was really early in my testing.
And then once the review video came out, I was much more fair because I knew it better. But now in it like an hour after publishing, I was like did I go too easy on it? So I think this is perfect. We’re going to strike a perfect middle ground right here.
(Saf laughs) – Perfect, that’s excellent. So let’s initially start with the positives, because you know, there are a lot of positives because there are positives. – Indeed, i really like it when, we had only talked for like an hour with Sony and 12 megapixels on all three sensors.
They’re not going for the megapixel race. They’re not doing 108 megapixel shooters. And they went into detail on why, you know, we want to be able to scan that whole sensor really rapidly, so that we can reduce, what is it, the rolling shutter distortion.
(Saf mumbles) We want to be able to take these burst shots and do these crazy two 20 FPS burst shots, with three times per shot, focus calculation. I mean, that’s a pretty exceptional technical, technological achievement, right? – Yeah.
And I mean like things like auto focus, it’s pretty much not on any of the smart phone camera, right now. – Right, i do love doing that. I mean, you got the physical button and you do the half press to focus and you get the block.
And then the, one of the tiny little blocks jumps up to the eye and it’s like, Oh, this even works on cats. – Yeah. The fact that it also works on animals on a smartphone, is definitely very impressive.
And in terms of like general so like, going out there and taking lots of pictures and things, what, in terms of the results from the pictures, what have you most liked? – You know i feel like Xperia phones have gotten, you know we used to really get down on them, back in the days, of 2014, 2015, 2016, you had all this over sharpening this, very large amounts of digital noise and stuff.
And I feel like, they’ve calmed down on that over the past few years, to the point where even last year Xperia 1, i was pretty satisfied with the image quality and the color science on. This one yields very closely to that.
– Okay – In fact, I was really having a great time with it man, until I went side by side with the pixel. And I’m just personally speaking the way I shoot, the way I like my images to come out. Yes, the pixel really does over processing a lot of the time, but i tend to prefer its results probably! (Saf – okay)four times out of five.
I don’t know if you had a similar experience. – Yeah. So I totally agree with you that, my personal point, from that is that, you know when I did put them, put the images, which I’ve shown in the video, side-by-side against the iPhone, more often than not, I did personally prefer images from the iPhone, but my argument has always been that, having a pro app is amazing.
It’s great to have that. Personally speaking on my iPhone, i do have filmic pro, which I use very regularly and that kind of has a lot of those – settings that you can dial in when you need it. But I would like to have both those options.
So the thing for me with the Xperia 1 was that, I really enjoyed the pro experience, but as soon as it came back to the regular experience, then I found myself just more often than not, preferring images from the likes of a pixel or an iPhone.
– Definitely. And you know people, i was posting some teaser images on Instagram and people really jump all over here for even, deigning to use the auto mode on a Sony. And that’s not the point. That’s not what’s for sure, but even the best pro photographer, you know, sees a once in a lifetime shot passed by and just needs to get it.
You just need to double click and shoot. You don’t always have time to, for a pro app. And you know, I was having a great time with the cinema pro app as well. You mentioned video mode. I was using shooting at – my host segments for my review video.
And it was great to be able to say, “hey, stand-in David and Mel have Android authority, who lives with me? Come sit in this chair. (indistinct), I’m going to get focused, I’m going to expose for you white balance and shoot in 21 by nine.
And it’s so fun. – Yeah totally. – But it for that kind of set up, it’s useful for the kind of thing we’re like, okay, well now I’m going to pan from the walk sign, down the road of no, there’s no auto settings for any of that.
(Saf laughs) – Yeah. – It just won’t adapt! – Exactly, exactly. So I mean you mentioned a really important thing there that, you know, when you were trying to stand in, get David to stand in for you. So that kind of brings me over onto the front facing camera.
Because you know, smart phone cameras. Now there are an all round package, right? We’ve got the ultra wide, we’ve got primary telephoto, but the front facing camera is also quite an important part. And I know not everybody takes selfies, but you know, there are lots of times when, you will be using the front facing camera, whether that’s for images and video.
Now, I’m very interested to hear, your opinion on the front facing camera of the Xperia 1 ii. – They brought over the same component as last year. I mean, I think front to back, the entire package is the same from the Xperia 1.
Which is fine. I’ve had good luck with it in daylight. I would always (indistinct), have you tried a video call with the phone yet? – I haven’t tried a video call, but I’ve recorded lots of short videos with the phone.
– Now i wonder if you had the same experience, because on the video calls, the skin smoothening was just outrageous. – Okay! – I had, i was lucky enough to have a Twitter user or a comment, or let me know, hey, you got to test this.
And I did. And i was like, Oh wow, this, this camera makes me look like I’m 17 years old. Okay. That’s interesting. (Saf laughs) – Okay. That’s something that, I have not tested, but having a test of, you know, taking lots of pictures from the front facing camera, as well as video, you know, in comparison to pretty much all of the flagship smartphones out there, I found it to be really behind personally.
I mean, you know, highlights, overexposes most of the time dynamic range isn’t great. As soon as you use portrait mode, then you can, you can say goodbye to highlights and dynamic range just goes out the window.
As soon as you, switch on portrait mode from the front facing camera. And that’s something that I found very disappointing, because regardless of whether you take selfies or not for an 1100 pound a smartphone, which is going up against, you know, pretty much every of the flagships out there, that’s something that I think that they really did, they just seem to concentrate all on the pro modes and the rear facing cameras and completely messed up the front facing camera, in my opinion.
– And that’s exactly right. Yeah. And I think that, translates across the whole camera experience and the whole package. It’s like, yes, thank you for doing what we’ve been asking for so long, which is I’m recording this my half of the video, on a Sony camera.
I’ve been shooting on Sony gear for seven or eight years. And we’ve said for most of those seven or eight years, “hey, Sony lean into this. You guys make the cameras for most smartphones. You have a loyal following of camera photographer and videographer people.
Why not build more of that into your phones? And they’re doing that. The problem is I feel like for whatever reason, they are just unable to match the auto mode performance, that will appeal to normal folks as well.
So it almost feels like a crutch where they say, well, yeah, it’s $1,200, but if you’re a photographer, you have a budget for that. You know, you can go buy this phone. I’m like, sure, but I already have an A9, to take all those bursts out shots with.
Why do I need my phone to do it? It’s very confusing, confusing positioning. – No it’s really good to hear your feedback as well, because then, you know, I kind of know that it’s just not me, that’s thinking this.
And I’ve also been speaking to other friends and a bond from board outwork, Tom, the tech chap, and they’ve all been having similar experiences. And, you know, like there’s other things you know, smartphone photography, as I said, has come such a long way and there’s so much more to it than, it’s very different in my opinion, to taking your pro mirror less camera whatever it is out, for some shots, smartphone photography, you know we’ve got some amazing software for night mode, for example, portrait mode, another thing.
So, again, something that I personally found on, I’d love to hear what your experience was, was this as well. I was trying to take some low light shots and the Sony, unless I had a tripod with me, I would not be able to get any sort of, decent low light photography, whereas on the pixel with the iPhone, I just put on night mode, boom.
And I’ve got a really, really great looking night image, that’s captured on the smartphone. – That’s exactly the experience I had, man. You are word for word recounting my experience, on the East river, looking at Manhattan last Monday night, beautiful night shot like nine or 10 at night.
I had to set up the Xperia on a portable tripod. I sit along exposure, set all the values and I eventually, after some trial and error got a shot that I didn’t completely hate. It was actually quite good, but it took a lot of time to get an approximation of that same shot with the pixel, which wasn’t quite as good, but I’d say about 95%, took me one shot and it was handheld, you know, it took me five seconds to do with the pixel, most of what I was able to do with the Xperia.
So I do feel like Sony, is sort of chasing the wrong ball in that, respect. – Totally. – It’s like, it’s a cool pride point to be able to say, “hey, we get it right in the camera. We’re focusing on optics and we’re giving you all the tools you’re used to, from your pro camera.
But if the results aren’t there for most people, it’s just doomed to be a niche product forever. Right? – I think I’m glad you said niche rather than niche. (laughs) Just let me just mention that. Cause Whenever I’m speaking to Marquez, it’s like niche and then I’ll just kind of like expect, sorry.
Niche, niche. Yeah, no, I think you hit the nail on the head. It seems to me that this is, a smartphone camera for a very niche audience. Now what I would have loved, I would have loved to have had a great auto mode, which does take advantage of all the things that, we’re used to now on smartphone photography, such as, you know, portrait mode, night mode, all of these things that make smartphone photography great.
As well as a pro level camera. So I would have loved to have had both of those things, which I think is completely possible in today’s day and age. Fisher thank you so much for, coming on. I think, you know, you shared some great insight from your side as well.
And I think the audience is going to really, really appreciate that as well. So thank you so much for coming on. – Can I, stick a quick word in for, for sure you can. – Of course. – Now that we are talking about Sony.
I have to say it cause I have to fess up a little bit, when I first took delivery on the 1 ii. – Yeah. – I forgot that Sony had also announced the Xperia Pro – alongside it and that’s what I really wanted and hoped this was.
So I feel like the Xperia Pro, is going to be the first thing they release, that is actually able to do what they want to do, which is serve the needs and solve some real problems for again, a niche avenue of people, videographers in this case.
But, I’m very excited to try that out. So if we, if either one of us gets it, let’s have another talk and let’s bring this conversation back, man. Cause I want to hear your thoughts on it too when it hits.
– For sure. I mean, that would be awesome, but yeah, Fisher, thank you so much for being on the channel. I really appreciate you taking the time out to, share your thoughts as well. And definitely let’s do this again sometime.
– I look forward to that and you stay well man. I look forward to seeing your face again, sometime say in the indefinable future. – Yeah man, same. I’m missing, all of you guys, quite a bit. So I hope we get to hang out again soon.
– Likewise. – Take care. Big thanks to the Mr Mobile, Michael Fisher for joining us on this video and sharing his opinions. He’s actually done a great review as all of his reviews, on his channel. I’ll be linking that review of the Xperia 1 ii, in the description below as well as in the cards.
And in terms of my conclusion, my opinions on the Xperia 1 ii, you’ve heard the word niche, spoken about a lot in this video. That’s what this is, in my opinion, the Xperia 1 ii is very much a niche device and the camera’s also targeted at a very small niche, but nevertheless, in my opinion, that gives no excuse for having a really bad, front facing camera and not including features like night mode, a good portrait mode, which we have on many of the other competition.
Why can’t we also have those as well as those pro features. That’s what I think. What do you guys think? Definitely. Let me know what the comments below. I’m sure, I’m still going to get a lot of heat from experienced fans, but Hey, that’s fine.
I’m giving you my honest opinions. If this is the smartphone for you, then that’s all well and good. I’d love to hear why that is in the comments below. (upbeat music) You want to see more content like this, then be sure to subscribe and hit on.
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