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Hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium ‘Motion Eye’ Camera Review: Super Slow Motion Insanity

Sony’s new Xperia XZ Premium ultra-flagship phone (as well as the new Xperia XZs handset) boasts the Japanese giant’s latest Motion Eye camera tech, which offers a step up from the tri-sensor snapper found on the original Xperia XZ. Here’s our full hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium camera review, including the incredible new Super Slow Motion video feature.

We’re big fans of Sony Mobile’s camera tech and the recent Xperia XZ flagship packed the Japanese manufacturer’s best mobile snapper to date. This tri-sensor camera is impressively flexible, offering strong performance in almost any light as well as some advanced shooting features to rival other flagships.

However, the freshly announced Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs handsets boast an all-new ‘Mobile Eye’ camera which can do everything the XZ can and more. Here’s all you need to know about the Xperia XZ Premium’s new 19-megapixel snapper.

Hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium Camera Review: Specs

Sony’s new 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera found in the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs packs an Exmor RS for mobile lens. This 1/2.3 sensor is 19 percent bigger than the XZ’s which hopefully will make for even brighter images in low light, while also proving incredibly fast in action.

Sony’s new Predictive Capture capabilities thanks to its Bionz for mobile tech is a natural progression of the prediction technology already found in the Xperia X and XZ. Along with a tiny 0.2-second latency when capturing action shots, the Xperia XZ Premium will automatically detect fast-moving objects and capture four photos instead of just one. The phone will then choose the best result and present it for saving.

General image quality is just as strong of course, as you’d expect from Sony’s smartphone snappers. Our quick test session produced some crisp results with clear textures and true-to-life colours in standard light, while you can expect less grain and brighter results in low light.

Hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium Camera Review: UI

Sony fans will probably be happy enough to hear that the camera UI hasn’t changed much at all for the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs. Once again you have Superior Auto mode for capturing standard shots, plus a Manual mode if you’re a bit of a pro and want to tweak the individual camera settings yourself.

Flick up and down and you’ll skip between the different modes – Superior Auto, Manual, Video and the bonus camera features. This includes, as ever, Sony’s AR modes for adding cartoon creations to your photos and video.

Hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium Camera Review: Super Slow Motion video capture

One of the biggest new camera modes found on the Xperia XZ Premium is the Super Slow Motion video capture feature, built into the standard video UI.

Slow mo is of course a pretty standard smartphone camera feature these days, but the XZ Premium goes a step beyond the competition with its rather ridiculous 960 frames-per-second capture. In comparison, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus maxes out at 240 frames-per-second, at 720p resolution.

The resulting footage is truly stunning, offering very smooth results indeed. Check out our comparison footage of slow motion video shot on the Xperia XZs, alongside that from the iPhone 7 Plus, in our video review below – quite the difference.

However, the method of capture is a little awkward on Sony’s phone as you have to tap the slow-mo button at the precise moment that you want the effect to take place.

What you need to do is flip to video mode, and then tap the new Super Slow Motion button above the on-screen shutter. This enters Super Slow Motion mode. However, any footage you record will be at standard speed until you tap that button again, at which point a super-quick burst of 960fps footage is recorded. You’ll need to be incredibly exact, as this slow-mo footage is only recorded for about a second in real time. When that’s over, the phone returns to recording at standard speed.

There’s no way to edit the slow-mo section after the video has been shot, presumably because recording at 960fps over an extended period would take some serious storage. This feature really is designed for use on special occasions, capturing some ridiculously good-looking footage at a split second’s notice.

This makes us wonder how often it’ll get used in real life, although there’s no denying how impressive Sony’s camera tech is to even manage such a feat.

Check out our hands-on Sony Xperia XZ Premium review, and our in-depth review will be coming soon. And for more on Sony’s new XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra, check out our MWC 2017 hub.

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