15 best Android tablets in the world
If you're reading this section because you plan on buying the Sony Xperia Tablet Z to use as a camera, then we really can't say anything. There are no words. Other than to warn you that you will look like a moron holding this up in the air as if it's a Pentax camera.
Bear in mind, too, that taking photos outdoors on the Sony Xperia Tablet Z isn't ideal in any way, because the glossy screen reflects sunlight and makes it difficult to view in bright, outdoor light.
The camera on the back is a respectable 8.1MP job, with another 2.2MP unit on the front.
10 best tablet PCs in the world today
We say "respectable" because it does the job well, but this is by no means a camera replacement. If it were, Sony would have included a flash. Which it doesn't. In fact, what it has done is bundle the software we got on the Xperia Z phone, made it work with a mediocre camera unit on the tablet, applied a bit of sticky tape and sent the Sony Xperia Tablet Z on its merry way.
The software that came as standard on the Xperia Z phone was pretty good - especially the Auto Plus mode, which works out your scene and what you're looking at, and changes the settings all by itself.
But as with the phone, the tablet makes pictures look great as you're looking through the viewfinder, then they go a bit wrong as they save, gaining noise and so on.
The unit gives a real plethora of scene modes - everything from obvious ones such as Beach to Pet for when you want to Instagram your dog, and Gourmet, which presumably is aimed at those who love to partake in the 'tweetwhatyoueat' hashtag (it's not cool, guys. Seriously, if you're using a tablet to take pictures of food then you're doing life wrong).
Shooting in anything but amazing light yields pretty poor results, as does shooting in the dark, since you have no help in the form of a flash or LED light.
If you have any sense, you'll stick to using the front camera for Skype video calls and put the rest down to experience. That works well enough as advertised.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is also adept at shooting Full HD video (1080p at 30fps) on both the front and back cameras. Again, you'll need perfect lighting here and a memory card, because those files are huge.
We found that videos shot in decent light still looked quite grainy, and going between really strong light to poor light didn't seem to be something it could cope that well with. On top of that, there's no real depth of field - stand a fair distance away from your subject and it looks on the screen as though you're staring into its mouth.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z's front-facing camera is passable, but a smile makes things look better.
Even under bright studio lights, the shot looks grainy.
But you can add some pointless effects to hide that.
Under bright spotlights photos look OK when small, but not blown up.
In poor light, they're not brilliant.
And without a flash, there's no hope in darkness.
Pet mode doesn't make that much difference. Our pooch still looks cute.
Changing the scene mode makes colours slightly change, but doesn't make much difference overall.