Finding it tough to serve up top portrait pictures and slow-motion videography on your smartphone? It’s something that lots of devices struggle with, especially when the subject is moving around at pace and not standing in the same spot, or you’re trying to capture someone who isn’t posing directly in front of you.
Luckily for you, Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, Xperia 1 and its epic triple camera set-up come equipped with professional-grade technologies, including the world’s first Eye Autofocus (AF) in a smartphone.*
To put Xperia 1 through its paces, we took to the tennis court ahead of this year’s US Open Championships. Between dodging balls coming towards us at bullet-like pace, we gathered some intel on how to use the triple camera to the best of its ability.
Lock on with Eye AF
Eye AF stands for Eye AutoFocus. It’s a feature inspired by Sony’s Alpha cameras, and it enables you to lock on to the individual’s eye, making sure that they are in focus for every shot.
When photographing tennis players, the technology hones in on the eye even as the racquet swings back and forth as the tennis player practices her groundstrokes.
Even if the subject is moving or is slightly covered (which will often be the case when shooting athletes), Eye AF can track the subject of the photograph for a professional-quality image.
How to use Eye AF
When you open the built-in camera app, you will see the Eye AF icon next to the gallery button. Make sure this is blue, highlighting that Eye AF is activated.
You will see a green square around the eye of the subject, indicating that you are ready to shoot.
That means the camera has locked onto the subject’s eye. Here, the feature helped ensure the subject was in focus, even when the tennis ball powered into the forefront of the shot.
Don’t be afraid to just open the camera and shoot! Your subject can move around quite athletically and your Xperia 1 will retain its focus on the eyes.
Of course, Xperia 1 is packed with other great features that help ensure your images are crisp, clear and blur-free. Sony’s Optical SteadyShotTM combines optical image stabilisation and electronic stabilisation, meaning you’re safe to shoot on the run without the resulting pictures and video looking as hectic as the movement required to get them!
Capture every moment with burst shooting
When your subject is moving quickly, getting the perfect shot is very tricky. Motions that look fluid to the naked eye can seem awkward when distilled into one single image.
But with 10FPS AF/AE (Auto Focus and Auto Exposure) continuous shooting on Xperia 1, you can shoot clear, focused and balanced shots in burst mode to multiply your chances of capturing the moment. Here we’ve shown a variety of shots we captured by simply holding down the camera button. Of course, the camera doesn’t put all the subjects together for you, but it shows the speed at which the camera captures the tennis player.
Try Bokeh to bring to focus to the front
When using a normal camera, you would need a very low aperture to capture shots with the Bokeh effect, but on Xperia 1 the effect comes pre-installed, blurring the background to manipulate the depth of field.Here, we’ve singled out one of the doubles players to bring focus to the athlete closest to the camera.
Make your videos stand out with Super slow motion
Even lightning-quick serves can be captured with Xperia 1’s 960fps Super slow motion video. In this video the ball is blasted out of the shot in crystal-clear definition.
When it comes to slow motion video, patience is key. It’s best to practice your shot. Here, with such quick and volatile movement, we found it best to pre-empt the ball being hit.
Of course, it’s not just on the tennis court that slow motion excels (take a look at our videos of adorable pets if you want proof). Fast, dramatic movements of all kinds work well, just try to ensure you don’t move too much as you shoot as you’ll introduce unnecessary motion blur.
Have you been to any big sporting events this summer and captured some amazing photography or videography? Share them by tweeting us @SonyMobileNews or by tagging #TakenWithXperia on Instagram.