Sony has been relatively quiet about phones since the Xperia 1 II roll out. However, rumors have been heating up on the Xperia 5 II, which is a lower-cost alternative to the flagship phone but very nearly as capable without the best screen or construction but not skimming on features. The latest rumor mentions a spec sheet that makes it a 4k 120fps recording phone which may show that handsets still are seen as innovators when it comes to cameras since very few consumer devices in the camera world can record at that frame rate.
We were not very happy that Sony basically killed the super slow motion mode on the Xperia 1 II phone which kind of showed that Sony was putting stills and regular video at the forefront without making compromises in sensors that needed to shoot at higher frame rates. Sony chose to do cleaner regular frame rate video and stills that were better than any Sony phone before at the cost of not having a do it all sensor. Slow motion from Sony was all but killed but the Xperia 5 II now makes us second guess that fate…
The just released Xperia XZ3 had a lot of rumors surrounding the slow-motion capability which was to be a cut above previous releases but as first-hand reviewers have shown, the camera module is carried over from the XZ2 and what the phone really changes are the first ever Sony OLED display in HDR, larger battery and a larger screen as main feature changes.
The Slow Motion component is unchanged from the XZ2 at 960fps in Full HD 1080p and 720p with just 6.4 seconds worth of playback at 30fps and 3.2 seconds at 1080p 30fps timeline. The hone only records for 0.1 seconds at 960fps in 1080p and 0.2 sec for 720p. Hardly a usable slow motion format for the people looking to capture long slow motion in the several second time-range.
Apple has really improved the slow-motion quality of the iPhone with the release of the 8, 8 plus and X phones. The 1080p 240fps mode is not only detailed but has very few aliasing artifacts that were the most prominent flaw of the 7 and 6 variants of the handset when shooting at high frame rates.
While the samples are few and far between, the increase in quality is very noticeable with the added benefit of better dynamic range across the board in highlights and shadows. While more tests are needed it is safe to say that at first glance the iPhone 8 and for that matter the iPhone X cameras are probably the best video smartphones released to date when it comes to slow motion video quality. Well done Apple!
The newly released iPad Pro 2017 refresh in both 10.5 and 12.9 inches share a new camera module that really is a direct transfer from the iPhone 7. It makes sense for Apple to offer their best camera yet in the best iPad they have ever built when it comes to performance. However, you will not get anything in the camera department that makes the iPad Pro a leap forward in frame rates or other imaging specs.
The dual camera setup of the iPhone 7 Plus is not included in the iPad Pro so that is one aspect where the iPhone is still ahead. The new tablets are for all intents and purposes a refinement with speed and software productivity capabilities as the two main goals for the line. They want to be a laptop replacement and they are aiming at the crowd who is fed up with the weight and bulk of traditional laptops.
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