It is a shame. Sony still can’t improve the cameras of its smartphones

It is a shame. Sony still can’t improve the cameras of its smartphones
It is a shame. Sony still can’t improve the cameras of its smartphones

It doesn’t take bad pictures, but the test result of the compact Xperia 5 V does not inspire any enthusiasm at all compared to the competition. The DxO Mark organization gave the latest model from Sony a score of 118 points, which is really not enough for a high-end and well-equipped smartphone. Even if we don’t compare Sony with the very best and stay “a level below”, so to speak, the loss to the competition is huge. For example, the basic iPhone 15 has 145 points in the text of photomobiles, the older and cheaper Pixel 7 has 140 points, the Samsung Galaxy S23 has 133 points. And, for example, the two-year-old Zenfone 8 has 116 points, i.e. only two less than the Xperia 5 V.

A comparison with last year’s Sony models also indicates that something is not quite right: last year’s high-end Xperia 1 IV has the same total score in the DxO Mark test as the current novelty, the direct predecessor of the compact model, i.e. the Xperia 5 IV, has 119 points, i.e. one point more. And so far, it’s the best Sony camera to pass the DxO Mark test. Let’s just add that this year’s Xperia 1 V, which combines both a telephoto lens with smooth zoom and a new 48-megapixel main camera chip, did not pass the test.

Thus, the Xperia 5 V only shows the “power” of the new 48-megapixel chip in the test, which it inherited from its bigger sister. On the contrary, she lost the zoom completely. While last year’s Xperia 5 IV had a telephoto lens with about 2.5x zoom and thus a total of three camera lenses, the Xperia 5 V has two lenses. At Sony, they probably figured that thanks to the large number of megapixels, they can solve the zoom using software magic and cutouts. Well, they can, but certainly not as well as the predecessor with a dedicated telephoto lens.

And that is also the reason why this year’s compact Xperia did not surpass last year’s sister in the photomobile test. For the zoom area, the novelty received only 86 points, while last year’s model has 111 points. This is a huge difference, but in addition to the worse score in the telephoto area (57 compared to last year’s 79 points), the dismal performance is crowned by the deterioration in the wide-angle lens. This year’s model has 82 points compared to 91, and it’s a bit incomprehensible: the hardware is the same, this year’s model has a better processor, so there should be a slight improvement here. At Sony, they probably simply messed up on tuning the wide-angle camera.

Sony smartphones in the ranking of DxO Mark photomobiles

119 – Sony Xperia 5 IV
118 – Sony Xperia 5 V
118 – Sony Xperia 1 IV
105 – Sony Xperia 1 III
78 – Sony Xperia 10 V
63 – Sony Xperia 10 IV

In the overall score, the zoom deficit is more pronounced than the fact that this year’s Xperia 5 V has a lead over last year’s model in most other disciplines. That lead is moderate. Really moderate: when taking photos with the main camera, this year’s model shines with a value of 124 points, last year’s has 121 points, and this absolutely does not correspond to the technical progress that took place in xperia. This again shows that Sony does not know how to deal with software, from the same number of megapixels they can extract significantly more from the competition. It’s similar for video, 118 points versus 113 is a shift, but not dramatic. Xperia 5 V also improved the bokeh effect (60 vs. 55 points), on the other hand, the preview on the display is worse (58 vs. 62 points).

Similar losses and differences prevail even in comparison with last year’s Xperia 1 IV, whose zoom was not rated dramatically better by DxO Mark than the zoom of the 5 IV model, by the way. Basically, this means that the hardware innovations that Sony brings to its models have only a minimal benefit in practice. The smooth zoom of last year’s high-end model is not dramatically better than the fixed zoom of last year’s compact type. And this year’s megapixel load isn’t a significant improvement over last year’s twelve-megapixel models.

Similarly, Sony is not doing well with the cheaper models. This year’s Xperia 10 V earned a not-so-good score of 78 points in the DxO Mark test. Compared to last year’s Xperia 10 IV model, this is a shift of 15 points, and you can tell, here the extra megapixels (the 10 V also has a 48-megapixel chip, instead of 12 in the 10 IV) had a positive effect. Even so, Sony loses dramatically to other smartphones in its price category, which can often be a worthy competitor to top-of-the-line photomobiles (see, for example, the Pixel 7a).

The article is in Czech

Tags: shame Sony improve cameras smartphones


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