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9 ways to make the Xperia Z5 camera even better

sony xperia z5 premium camera
© nextpit

Sony knows how to put a good camera in a smartphone, but you can always make something good even better. We've played around with our Xperia Z5 for a while now and wanted to share a few simple tips that can help make the Xperia Z5 camera even better.

1. Demand RAW support

The lack of RAW support was one of the biggest letdowns when the Xperia Z5 broke cover. Sony has admitted it will consider adding RAW support for the Xperia Z5 in the future “if there is a popular demand”, so the only way you're going to get it is if you let Sony know. Hit the link to Sony's support forum to demand RAW on the Xperia Z5.

sony xperia z5 camera mode 3
The Xperia Z5 camera can be made even greater if you know how to use it. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Take control of the wheel

Full manual mode is not for everyone, but Sony has been nice enough to make the manual mode on the Xperia Z5 noob-friendly. You don't have to be a 20-year veteran of DSLR nature photography to make use of the Xperia Z5's manual mode; it has a bunch of convenient scene presets too. Just tap SCN in the camera app and try out the 20-odd settings.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z5 camera 4
Manual mode isn't all that scary, there is plenty of nice preset modes. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Push the button

Even though Sony has been a bit weird about its definition of “waterproof” regarding its Xperia line, it should still be perfectly fine to take the Xperia Z5 for a swim once in a while. The Z5's screen is much better at registering touches while it has water on it (but not fully submerged) than previous Xperias, but using the physical shutter button makes more sense when you're around water.

sony xperia z5 side power button
What's the point of a dedicated shutter button if you never use it? / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Be Quick Draw McGraw

One of my favorite camera features of recent times is the quick launch camera shortcut. The Xperia Z5 has multiple options: you can launch the app on the home screen, from the lock screen or even when the screen is off by holding down the shutter button. With shortcuts like these, there really is no excuse for not being fast enough to catch the critical moment.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z5 camera 1
Home screen, lock screen, off-screen: the Xperia Z5 has camera shortcuts galore. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Keep your cool

The Xperia Z3+ was a hot mess, with thermal throttling and force closes left, right and center. The Xperia Z5 doesn't force close like its predecessor, but it does heat up significantly when shooting in AR mode or 4K. 4K is definitely worth it (see below) but AR mode is really something to show off to your friends and then ignore forever. An already hot phone is much more likely to keel over in these modes, so keep it cool as much as possible.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z5 camera 7
Keep your Xperia Z5 as cool as possible to avoid force closures in the camera app. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Calm your nerves

The Xperia Z5 has stabilization all over the place. So make use of it. In Auto mode, hit the settings and head to the video tab and turn on SteadyShot for stabilized video. In Manual mode, hit the settings and flick the switch for Image stabilizer. In 4K video mode you have a SteadyShot option, so turn that on too. If you get a blurry photo or video after all this, you need to ease back on the caffeine.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z5 camera 3
Enable all the stabilizers! / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Give 4K a shot

4K is great, as long as you have a way of playing it back. Unless you know a trick for turning your Xperia Z5 into a Z5 Premium then you won't be able to see the fruits of your 4K labor on your phone. But that doesn't mean you should write it off. 4K is the future and it won't be long until we're all only shooting video in 4K.

Try shooting 4K video at least once and then track down a TV to play it back on. You'll like what you see. Just be sure to insert a microSD card before you do it; 4K video will chew up space like Cookie Monster at an Oreo factory.

sony xperia z5 sim sd 2
Make sure you have a microSD card inserted before shooting 4K video. / © ANDROIDPIT

8. Don't be seduced by 23 MP

In case you didn't realize, the Xperia Z5 shoots at 8 MP by default, not 23 MP, which is the maximum resolution of its sensor. While 23 MP sounds sexy and all, the main thing it's going to do is use up storage space, much like 4K.

The good news is that Sony made 8 MP the default because, at that setting, the Xperia Z5 is capable of lossless zoom. This is basically an oversampling trick, where the camera sensor takes information from the 23 MP sensor for an 8 MP shot. It means you can zoom in on a part of an 8 MP photo and still have sufficient detail for a normal 8 MP photo.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z5 camera 5
The Xperia Z5 shoots at 8 MP by default for a good reason. / © ANDROIDPIT

9. Ditch what you don't need

When you launch the camera modes menu in the Xperia Z5 camera app, you'll see a bunch of tiles for the different settings. if you long-press a tile you can drag it around. This is great for prioritizing the settings you actually use and shifting others – such as AR mode – to the bottom of the list. But you can also delete some options. Just long-press them and look for the trash can at the top of the screen. 

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia Z5 camera 2
Drag unused presets to the bottom of the list or delete them completely. / © ANDROIDPIT

How do you like the Xperia Z5 camera? What other tips for the Xperia Z5 do you have? Share them in the comments.

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Kris Carlon

Kris Carlon
Senior Editor

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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  • 1
    Czarek P Jul 3, 2016 Link to comment

    how do i preview a photo? shortcut doesn't work, i can click on a thumb nail of a photo i've just taken all day long and nothing happens, no such problem on a experia z1

  • 2
    Dex Hannon Mar 23, 2016 Link to comment

    I have a few issues with this article. There is no full manual mode with this phone, not at the 23mp setting. Which is a shame. I can shoot lovely shots on auto or 'pretend' manual mode, but as a photographer I want the control of ISO and would like the IS plus I want to decide when to shoot at macro.

    These are only allowed when you shoot at 8mp. I have asked the questions to Sony themselves and have got nowhere. Only apologies. They also wont allow external camera apps use the 23mp camera setting...

    3 things spring to mind.
    1. Either the Z5 was released with a half built camera system.
    2. The Z5 isnt actually a 23mp camera (I know it sounds absurd but they wouldn't answer this with a straight reply just more apologies..?)
    3. They don't have the tech team to actually finish the job.

    2 months in and still not one person in their tech team can give me a straight answer.

    All sounds fishy to me.

  • 1
    Fredrik Alvelöv Jan 24, 2016 Link to comment

    I have seen sample pictures from the Z5 in broad daylight with extreme loss of details due to noise reduction. Who needs noise reduction at ISO 100?

  • Pigumon 2
    Pigumon Dec 24, 2015 Link to comment

    So, there is NO way to access the camera in a way to get the RAW information even if it's supported by the OS?

  • n13L5 14
    n13L5 Dec 13, 2015 Link to comment

    I wouldn't care about RAW so much if the noise reduction wasn't so ridiculously aggressive, that it turns details into mush, so the high resolution becomes pointless. Might as well have a 3MP camera if that's all the detail I end up with on a 23MP camera...

    So yeah, if Sony can't handle being respectful of the shots we take in their processing, they should just leave it up to us, what we want to do about noise.

    Or do less by processing and more by combining pixels, which *should* reduce noise without side effects, other than quartering the resolution and so getting one awesome 8MP image... theoretically...


  • 21
    Peter Harwood Dec 12, 2015 Link to comment

    the best

  • Ski Cummins 2
    Ski Cummins Nov 3, 2015 Link to comment

    would like to upgrade to this phone right now is it available with your service

  • Ski Cummins 2
    Ski Cummins Nov 3, 2015 Link to comment

    I believe there is a 30-day customer satisfaction grace. For me to trade the phone in and I'm going to have to say the battery only lasts for 4 hours so far I've been stranded twice yes wife that is because the battery was dead and also people cant hear me because your service actively echoes and they can't understand me please work with me though because it I'd like to use your service then I have already got 4 more customers if you can make it right on there's no contract do I owe you if I just cancel my s*** and keep this phone thanks I'm going to go sell it at the f****** pawn shop if I have to you inveterate alright I don't mean that but man you sucking dicks are stranded like a mother f***** can I trade this phone in please

  • Ski Cummins 2
    Ski Cummins Nov 3, 2015 Link to comment

    so far I think your service kind of sucks and the battery only lasts for 4 hours on my phone there's a 30 day 30 day correctcustomer

  • Christopher Silva 17
    Christopher Silva Nov 2, 2015 Link to comment

    I currently have the Z3 and it's camera software is miserable. The sad thing is that other companies are able eke more out of Sony's camera modules than Sony. Now that is scary.


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