In todays world we are all connected, being via a tablet, phone, computer or whatever device you prefer.
As you all know there are several devices but I always think of them as follows, the Apple devices and the Android devices, yeah I know I skip some devices but let’s be honest these two are the biggest. Now it’s no secret I use a lot of Apple product (as most creative people I think), that doesn’t mean however that I’m not interested in what else is going on and how that can improve my workflow, work or give me more creative options…… I guess you are the same way right?
A few years ago we owned a Sony AVCHD camera that was it, however at one point our JVC home theater projector got replaced by a Sony for the simple reason that Sony beat JVC on a lot of points that I found important (at the moment we use the Sony W500 4K unit which is not only very good but also has a price point for a 4K projector that is very interesting). After the projector switch, much to my surprise, I sold all my Canon gear to venture into the A99 universe, a camera I still love and use a lot (although the added A7r actually makes me use the A99 less and less).
Because we travel a lot and Apple still doesn’t make a Macbook on which you can also use a pen to operate Photoshop/Lightroom I decided to buy a Windows machine and after some disappointing tests I ended up with….. the Sony Vaio Duo13…. pfffff another Sony product (do you start to see a pattern?)
Last week I was asked to testdrive the new Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and as you know I love my iPhone 5s and at this point I don’t see myself switching to the Android system, however……. I will be looking very seriously at the phone and the options it gives me. I hear you ask “Frank you can do everything you want with Android that you can do with an iPhone” and I agree on the app area, some apps are not on the Android system but I can live without them, however as some of you know I’m very much into the whole “active” stuff and seeing what Apple is doing with the future iPhone series and wearable devices I think I will really gonna love that. However….. there are many people walking around with 2 phones and I won’t care so who knows. For now I will test the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact next to my iPhone 5s and keep you updated on the stuff that really matters for us photographers. Think about camera functions, video editing, social media etc.
A phone is a phone
Well this is true for some, but for me (and I guess many with me) will agree that in todays world a phone is so much more, if I look at it I will probably only use my phone for less than 10% for making calls or texting. Most of the time I’m checking social media, making images, recording some video and of course surf the web. But also with my sporting I use the phone a lot, it’s a great GPS device, and with apps like run keeper you can keep track of everything you do, it’s a vital part of everyone’s life.
Because this is the first part of the review I will first give you some simple things that attracted me to do the review, because just like you my time is limited and I don’t want to spend a lot of time on a review if I’m sure I’m not gonna like it.
Some things that drew me towards the review
First of all the camera function.
I’m not that impressed with high MP specs but dynamic range is something I do really like in almost all Sony cameras so seeing that the camera is using the Sony sensor and using a 20MP resolution did trigger my imagination to be honest because a lot of the shots I take during the day are with my phone and the better they can be… well the better. But it doesn’t stop there.
During trips I always try to keep a sort of video diary for online sharing, it’s nothing really special just a lot of short segments in a video about what happened that day, on the iPhone I use iMovie for the editing and although it’s fast and easy, it can always go quicker and when I heard that the Android system had some apps that makes video editing much faster and more spectacular I was really looking forward to test-driving this also.
Full waterproof is also something that I think is almost weird that it isn’t a standard feature on other phones. It happens a lot that I’m cycling and suddenly it starts to rain (the Netherlands remember), with my iPhone I have to stop and make sure it’s dry, or use a special case (which I own by the way) which makes the iPhone waterproof.
Glove use is also nice, in the winter it’s cold over here and we were cloves on a lot of days, with the iPhone I bought special gloves which works like a charm but on the Z1 there is an option to use any glove you want, meaning I can also use the gloves I normally prefer for cycling and shooting.
Miracast support is also something that is a real eye-catcher for me, I love airplay but for photography it’s almost useless because most apps don’t support it, with miracast this is no issue because it mirrors the whole phone including apps. Combine this with the NFC option and the A7r and you have something really interesting, which I will explain in a next review part.
During the following weeks I will update the blog with reviews and I know some of you are already thinking “why? keep it to photography”, but I have to be honest to you, this is I think a very important series of reviews for the simple reason that although it’s not a camera or lens, it will be something like a hub between my work and the world, and most of all a tool that I use during every day work, and I think a phone now a days is a more important tool than a new 50mm lens 😀