By Rich W Woods
I have been spending a lot of time with the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact as of late. They are both a pleasure to use. In fact, I’ve developed a bit of a preference for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. While I intend to compare the Sony Xperia Z3, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to all of the competing phones that I have in stock right now, for some reason it seemed proper to start the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact with a comparison with the iPhone 6.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact blows away the specs of the iPhone 6 in every way. That being said, the cameras are comparable. You have to understand that megapixels don’t matter. After all, a 4K display is 8.3 MP, so the iPhone 6’s 8 MP camera won’t make a difference with a 20.7 MP photo taken with the Xperia Z3 Compact. In fact, I have used 8 MP photos taken with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact for the purpose of this comparison.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs iPhone 6: Specs
|Sony Xperia Z3 Compact||iPhone 6|
|Processor||2.5 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 801||1.4 GHz Dual Core A8|
|Display||4.6″, 720p, 319 ppi, LCD||4.7″, 750p, 326 ppi, LCD|
|Body||127×64.9×8.6 mm, 129 g||138.1x67x6.9 mm, 129 g|
|Camera||20.7 MP, 5248×3996, 2.2 MP Front||8 MP, 3264×2448, 1.2 MP Front|
|Video||4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 120 fps||1080p at 60 fps, 1080p at 30 fps|
|Storage||16 GB||16/64/128 GB|
|RAM||2 GB||1 GB|
Ok, this really isn’t a fair comparison of specs. After all, Apple is not a spec company. Both phones run different operating systems and a 1.4 GHz dual core A8 runs just as well with iOS as the 2.5 GHz quad core Snapdragon 801 running Android. This is the benefits that Apple has in designing both the hardware and the software.
The scope of this review is not to say whether the iPhone is better than an Android phone. That has been done to death in other places and to be honest, For the Love of Tech is not the place for it. The scope of this review is to compare the cameras of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and the iPhone 6.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs iPhone 6: Rear Camera
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a 20.7 MP rear camera and the iPhone 6 has an 8 MP rear camera. As I said above, the only reason the difference in megapixels would be important would be to zoom in on the photo after it’s been taken.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a physical camera button, a feature that I love in a smart phone camera. This is actually really interesting. I have used plenty of phones that have physical camera buttons. There is something special about the camera button on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It is something about the size of the phone and the shape and positioning of the button that really makes it feel like a digital camera. Let’s look at some samples.
I don’t believe I have ever compared two cameras that appear to be more equal, at least in regular lighting situations. I would say the iPhone beats the Sony Xperia Z3 in regular lighting situations by a very narrow margin. The colors are a bit more vibrant but without losing the naturalness.
The being said, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is much better in low light. Although the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is better in low light, it doesn’t do great with the flash on. To me, this is ok because it does so great without the flash. The low light photos were taken at night with no other lighting around, so clearly it does pretty well.
Another thing that should be said is that the iPhone 6 is a very automated camera. There is camera, video, slo-mo, time-lapse, panorama, and square, but there is no special features. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a manual mode, sound photo which allows the user to record a background sound to the photo, Info-eye which allows which allows the user to take a picture while the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact searches Google for more information about the photo, Live on YouTube which allows the user to create a live YouTube stream, and more.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs iPhone 6: Front Camera
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact uses a 2.2 MP front facing camera and the iPhone 6 uses a 1.2 MP camera. Because of this, the Xperia Z3 Compact can take 1080p video at 30 fps from the front camera while the iPhone 6 can take 720p video at 30 fps.
Megapixels don’t matter on a rear camera because the resolution of the photo is higher than the resolution of the display the user is viewing it on. It is different with a front facing camera. A 720p display is 1 MP and a 1080p display is 2.1 MP, so the difference between 1.2 MP and a 2.2 MP front facing camera is considerable.
Obviously, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact shoots the front facing camera in 16:9 by default. The iPhone 6 doesn’t even allow users to choose an aspect ratio.
Although the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a higher resolution front camera, it really doesn’t measure up to not only the iPhone 6, but other phones that I’ve compared the Sony Xperia Z3 to such as the OnePlus One and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
I think that in most situations, the iPhone 6 does a little bit better than the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact; however, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has some really cool features. The ability to easily set up a live stream can be very useful. I just imagine that an immigrant would be able to live stream her wedding to her parents in El Salvador. Someone else might be able to live stream their child’s first birthday party to their cousin in the hospital.
Both of these cameras are blazingly fast. In fact, it’s fairly surprising with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. The Nokia Lumia 930, Icon, and 1520 all have 20 MP cameras and they are much slower (which will be fixed with Lumia Denim).
This is something where you really can’t go wrong with either one. If you plan to zoom in on the photo after you take it, you’re going to want those extra megapixels.
In the end, the iPhone 6 takes slightly better photos in regular lighting, but the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact takes higher resolution photos, it’s much better in low light, and it has more features.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Vote at the poll or leave a comment if you have more to say. Whatever you do, stay tuned, there are tons of camera comparisons and reviews coming form the Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and the Note 4, so follow me on Twitter or like us on Facebook.