Device reviews
    23 February 2015


    Photo fun with the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact

    The editing apps on the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact make photography a walk in the park, writes STACEY VEE.

    ‘I’m not much of a photographer,’ I muttered, as I strode through the Johannesburg Botanic Gardens to find a suitably picturesque spot where I could test the photo-editing apps that come with the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. Turns out, you don’t need to be – that’s how easy they make taking good photos. The added bonus is that it makes photography fun.

    Here’s what I learned while testing these two Android camera phones.

    Size doesn’t matter

    Even though the Z3 Compact is smaller than the full-sized Z3, they both have a 20.7MP rear-facing camera, 2.2MP front-facing camera, 25mm wide-angle lens and ISO 12800.

    The only real difference is that the Xperia Z3 has a 5.2-inch display with Full HD (1080 x 1920) resolution, while the Z3 Compact has 4.6-inch display with 720p resolution.

    Editing apps

    There are a multitude of apps that come pre-installed with the Z3 series, some essential (like Timeshift Burst and Panorama), and others more of a novelty and only likely to be used occasionally. I don’t, for instance, expect to regularly use AR Effect, which lets you insert dinosaurs into your images.

    The full set of apps that come with the both Xperia Z3 phones are:

    ·  Superior Auto: take photos and videos with automatically optimised settings.

    ·  Sound Photo: Take photos with background sound (birds chirping, etc.).

    ·  Multi Camera: Record the same scene from multiple angles on a single screen.

    ·  4K video: Record video in 4K ultra high-definition.

    ·  Manual: Manually adjust your camera settings to take photos and videos.

    ·  AR Fun: Play with virtual objects and enrich your photos and videos.

    ·  Face In: Put your face in photos and videos using the front and main cameras.

    ·  Timeshift video: Record high frame-rate video and apply slow-motion effects.

    ·  Live on YouTube: Broadcast video live to YouTube.

    ·  AR Effect: Take photos and videos with virtual scenes and characters.

    ·  Info-eye: Find more information about what you see in the viewfinder!

    ·  Social Live: Share your experience with your friends live on Facebook.

    ·  Background Defocus: Take photos with beautiful background blur like a DSLR camera.

    ·  Creative Effect: Select effects for artistic photos and videos.

    ·  Timeshift Burst: Find the best photos from burst images taken before and after your shot.

    ·  Sweep Panorama: Take a panoramic photo by sweeping your camera.

    ·  Evernote: Take multiple photos that save directly to your Evernote account.

    ·  Portrait Retouch: Select a real-time style to apply to portrait.

    My only gripe is that within minutes of taking experimental snaps there were pop-up alerts on both Xperia phones that they were overheating, and that the camera app would shut down if the temperature continued to rise (which it did).

    Verdict: Of the two, I’d recommend the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact for amateur photographers like myself, as it fits snugly into your hand. More serious photographers would appreciate the Xperia Z3’s larger display and its 3GB of RAM (versus the Z3 Compact’s 2GB).