Sony Xperia Z2 camera review
Lars Rehm | Published: Aug 19, 2014 at 00:04 UTC37
In the Xperia Z2's default Superior Auto mode you can capture 1080p Full-HD video and take still photos while filming without interrupting the video. However, you have no control over any shooting parameters. By switching into manual mode you can select scene modes for your video or apply exposure compensation and manual white balance settings. You can also deactivate digital image stabilization which is on by default in Superior Auto and, as usual, slightly crops the image.
The Z2 is also capable of capturing 4K-video but for unknown reasons the mode has not been implemented as just another video resolution. Instead 4K has its own dedicated mode and is accessible through the mode button and screen rather than the standard video button. The user interface looks like a hybrid between Superior Auto and manual video and allows you to apply exposure compensation and digital image stabilization.
Below you can see a still frame that was taken from a 4K-clip. The footage offers more detail than standard 1080p output but, as you can see in the 100% crop, the image also shows noise and processing and compression artifacts. Given the huge memory requirements and still relatively low prevalence of 4K-screens shooting 1080p is arguably still the better option for most users but it's good to know the feature is there in case you need it.
Video sample 1: 1080p video in bright light
This video was taken handheld in bright sunlight. As you can see the Xperia Z2 captures smooth video with good detail in these light conditions but the focus hunting is a routine occurrence in all light conditions and therefore quite problematic. Digital image stabilization helps keep things steady though and sound quality is decent for a smartphone.
Video sample 2: 1080p video in low light
This video was shot handheld at night. There is some noise in the footage but overall it is clean and still shows decent detail. That said, the constant focus hunting which is even worse in darker conditions renders the footage almost useless.
Video sample 3: Timeshift video
Timeshift video is accessible through the mode button and shoots 720p video. Afterwards you can mark a portion of the video on a slider to slow it down to approximately 4x slow motion. As you see in the sample this works pretty well and the function is a lot of fun to play with when recording action scenes. However, it's advisable to switch off sound recording in order to avoid the strange sound effects you can hear in the video below.