Heads up Lumia 1020, there’s a new kid on the block, say hi to the Xperia Z1

Before I start, don’t get me wrong. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a brilliant camera, maybe even up to the point where it becomes a point-and-shoot replacement for some. No doubt about it, Nokia has once again got the upper hand in the camera-side of the smartphone business with it’s 41 Megapixel, Carl Zeiss lens equipped shooter. However, to the majority of the world’s disappointment, it is on an OS that is used by very few.

There are some decent rivals, such as the iPhone 5 (and now, probably the iPhone 5S), and over at the Android side, the Galaxy S4, LG G2 and Galaxy Note II, but none of them have been able to even come close to where the Lumia 1020 is perched. Until now.

Looking around today I happened to chance upon one of the very first low-light camera samples of the Xperia Z1, and my word, am I speechless. Looking through the photos graciously taken by unleashthephones.com, I was overjoyed. Finally, an answer. The Xperia Z1, with its 1/2.3″ 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS image sensor, BIONZ image processing engine and a 27mm wide-angle f/2.0 Sony G Lens, on paper is certainly no slouch.

In it’s default Superior Auto mode it snaps 8 MP photos, but set it to Manual and it will take the photos at it’s full 20 MP capability. This allows it’s digital zoom to prevent any loss in detail and puts it’s image post-processing high in the sky with the likes of the Lumia 1020, with barely any noise and high clarity in it’s low-light photos. The photos below, (again gratefully taken by unleashthephones.com), were taking in Tiong Bahru, Singapore from 1930 hours to 2130 hours. I’ll simply let the photos speak their thousand words. To see these in their full glory, click on this link, which will lead you to the full set on Flickr.

UPDATE 1: unleashthephones.com has again gratefully provided us with daylight shots. I’ve attached some below, but to see the rest of the gallery, go here.

Night Shots:

The Xperia Z1 is without a doubt absolutely flawless in artificial light.
The Xperia Z1 is without a doubt absolutely flawless in artificial light.

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No direct light on this building, but still a very impressive shot.
No direct light on this building, but still a very impressive shot.

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This photo is a prime example of this phone's lossless digital zoom. Even with  digital zoom, enough detail is present.
This photo is a prime example of this phone’s lossless digital zoom. Even with digital zoom, enough detail is present.

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Another example of the Z1's digital zoom.
Another example of the Z1’s digital zoom.

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One of the best examples of the digital zoom in action, with the words "Air Raid Shelter" more than sufficiently clear.
One of the best examples of the digital zoom in action, with the words “Air Raid Shelter” more than sufficiently clear.

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Good images being produced, low noise and high detail.
Good images being produced, low noise and high detail.

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Photo was taken with only the street lamps providing light. Staggering.
Photo was taken with only the street lamps providing light. Staggering.

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The only source of light was a street light opposite this building.
The only source of light was a street light opposite this building.
Bonus Lamborghini Murcielago!
Bonus Lamborghini Murcielago!
This was taken with the very bare minimum of light available. The post-image processing is surprisingly good.
This was taken with the very bare minimum of light available. The post-image processing is surprisingly good.

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Taken with zero light, with the help of the LED flash at the rear of the phone.
Taken with zero light, with the help of the LED flash at the rear of the phone.

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Huge amount of detail in this close-up, note the unevenness of the paint on the wall.
Huge amount of detail in this close-up, note the unevenness of the paint on the wall.
A quite dimly lit corridor.
A quite dimly lit corridor.
Zoomed in photo.
Zoomed in photo.

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Day Shots:

Day 2 Day 3 Day1

UPDATE 2:
Thanks to GSMArena, we can now see the video camera samples as well, embedded below.

This was taken in Superior Auto mode.

This was taken in Manual mode.

This was taken in HDR mode.

What I have to say is this, this may very well be one of the best cameras in a phone to date, right up there with the Nokia 808 PureView and Nokia Lumia 1020 PureView. It is without a doubt the best camera on an alternative OS to Windows Phone 8, and with Sony’s sudden trump card, Nokia better watch their backs in the camera department, because I believe that in it’s next flagship, Sony is not going to take prisoners. So, with that I leave you with the glory that is the Xperia Z1’s camera.

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7 thoughts on “Heads up Lumia 1020, there’s a new kid on the block, say hi to the Xperia Z1

  1. These images definitely look amazingly sharp and clear. But, I still prefer the Nokia Lumia 1020 because of the sheer amount of options available in the camera interface.

  2. I rarely leave responses, however i did a few searching and
    wound up here Heads up Lumia 1020, theres a new kid on the block, say
    hi to the Xperia Z1 | Twenty First Tech. And I actually do have
    a few questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be just me or does it
    seem like some of the remarks look like they are left
    by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on other online social
    sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Could
    you make a list of all of your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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