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Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Review - Performance

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Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings. If you want to see images from the Sony Xperia XZ2 (non-compact version) then have a look here.


Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Colour reproduction is particularly good, and exposure is reliable. Auto mode does a good job of detecting the scene and automatically selects the best settings. Using the HDR modes you can capture a good level of dynamic range. 

As long as you don't look at images at 100%, or assuming you shoot images at 8mp (or simply share images to Facebook), then photos look great. It's when you view images at 100%, that noise (and noise processing) makes image quality suffer. One of the portrait photos has come out well, others images showed high levels of noise over areas of detail. 


Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Lens test images

Lens Performance - The lens performs well, with good image quality into the corners of the frame. Using the Bokeh camera app (an app accessible from within the camera), you can shoot up to 8mp images with adjustable levels of bokeh (or background blur), and results are an improvement over the camera's own ability. Close focus performance is good, with the camera able to focus on subjects relatively close to the camera.

The lack of optical image stabilisation means that the camera can struggle in low-light, and it took us a few attempts to get a sharp shot for the low-light photo above.

Lens flare was an issue at times, however, we did not notice any vignetting except at the highest ISO speeds. Purple fringing and chromatic aberration was difficult to spot.

There are options for lens correction, and you can select to prioritise image quality or distortion correction. 

Selfie camera - 5mp is low by today's standards, and for some reason, even with skin softening switched on, the camera produces images with overly sharpened face details (in good light). This is not flattering in the slightest. Your best bet is to use the main camera if possible.


Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Due to levels of noise in all images, particularly where there is any detail, we would recommend using the lowest ISO speeds where possible, or alternatively shooting at 8mp. If you plan on sharing images on social media then this might not be as much of an issue. Noise is well controlled in smooth areas in images, and colour saturation remains good up to ISO3200. 


Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a slightly warm result under tungsten lighting, and the tungsten preset gives the same result. AWB gives an excellent image in fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a strong yellow colour cast. AWB perfoms well under mixed lighting conditions. 


Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Digital filters

Digital Filters - The Creative Effects app takes 2mp images - and there is no option to take larger images. This is unfortunate as some of the effects are quite good, but you'll need to use another app, such as Snapseed if you want larger images. The panoramic mode can produce a very high-resolution image, with a 3500pixel vertical resolution, we took a 360 panoramic image equal to 73mp. 


Video - The XZ2 Compact can record video using an ISO speed up to ISO4000. It's also unique in offering HDR 4K video recording. There is the option to record 4K video in H.264 or H.265 compression.

Electronic image stabilisation is available for 4K and FullHD video, however, 5-axis image stabilisation is only supported up to FullHD resolution at 30fps, and to use this you need to select "Intelligent Active" Steadyshot.

The HDR mode improves dynamic range recorded in video, boosting shadows, and retaining more detail in highlights. 

You can also record slow-motion video at 960fps, in FullHD or 720p resolution, however, the length of video recorded at the high-speed is quite short. While recording high-speed video, sound stops recording. You can find more XZ2 Compact videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.


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