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[Xperia X] Camera autofocus or picture sharpness seems non-optimal

Tracked by Jolla (In progress)

asked 2017-10-15 02:07:43 +0300

ajalkane gravatar image

updated 2017-10-19 23:41:29 +0300

pawel gravatar image

First the good parts, the pictures taken with Sony Xperia X are much better than previous Jolla 1/C at least in regards to color reproduction.

However, while on first glance the pictures look quite a bit better, but when you inspect them a bit closer (like zooming slightly) they're quite blurry.

To me it seems like camera's autofocus doesn't choose optimal setting, because when I manually tap the screen to refocus there seems to be a sharper version before it settles to what is chosen for taking the picture with. I should note that the pictures I've compared with so far have been in-doors, so that may play part.

But I don't know about the details of camera magic. All I know is that I've compared pictures taken in same conditions with Sony Xperia X, Jolla C and some Huawei Android phone. The Huawei produced crisp detailed picture. Jolla C provided what it could, but it was crispier in details though more grainy than Xperia X. Xperia X gave good color reproduction but the picture was blurry, like it was slightly out of focus.

Since the camera in this device should be top-notch, I'll categorize this as a bug. But it'd be good to hear other's experiences as there's possibility it's just a problem with my device.

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I'm probably wrong, but I remember reading back in the days something like the top-notch image quality of the phone comes from limiting the resolution to lower than the maximum to kick in Sony's proprietary image enhancing technology that is available only on Android and requires the phone to have DRM-keys to work and if you lose the DRM-keys, the image quality goes down little bit due to missing the Sony's image enhancing.

avhakola ( 2017-10-15 02:37:07 +0300 )edit

That is true. The missing DRM-keys knock the resolution down from 23Mpix to 16Mpix, but that doesn't explain the lack of sharpness in the pictures I'm witnessing. Jolla C had 12Mpix, the Android phone had also 16Mpix.

I don't think the missing megapixels are the culprit.

ajalkane ( 2017-10-15 02:40:36 +0300 )edit

Simply the focus doesn't work well, if you try to focus manually sometimes (not every time) you can get the focus work properly... And this is just 1 issue of the lots with the camera. I noticed also if you change the light options maybe you can get better results, but this seems like a gambling. The thing is, most of the times in android I could get the best result with the automatic option, now I need to change the light settings + tap for the focus even more times until I get better result, but still nothing similar then before... + Video recording no comment...

liqquid ( 2017-10-15 03:07:30 +0300 )edit

Same here. Somehow the autofocus simply doesn't work as it should. Focus is slightly off in all test images I took so far. Especially at shorter distance where focus errors are more visible than at near infinity. In fact, the images of the front camera look sharper.

ziellos ( 2017-10-15 10:57:11 +0300 )edit

Jolla should pay somebody afap to get all the camproblems fixed. IMO its the biggest show stopper for sailfish. Ever wondered if its just the hardware which is crap or also the software. in the case of Xperia X its the software for sure...

h.berd ( 2017-10-15 15:23:14 +0300 )edit

14 Answers

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answered 2018-01-23 16:29:33 +0300

zash1958 gravatar image

updated 2018-01-23 16:30:05 +0300

As I read on the german SFOS Forum the problem resides in the camera driver. And if this is true NO camera app can give You better results. I have tested a bunch of camera apps forward and backwards. All with the same result: Ugly and unfocussed pictures. And the problem is way bigger in bad ambience light. Quality like a 75€ shit-android phone.

So it may be uncertain if we EVER get a better camera result. It depends on the SONY driver from their Open Devices program.

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Of course you can adjust picture quality in software and correct slight autofocus issues. It's probably just not as effective as when you do this with the hardware itself. But a lot of the actual picture quality from the Sony devices are archived via software enhancements (which is why we lose them when unlocking the device). But there is nothing preventing us from recreating those features (except probably knowledge).

Regarding the Sony drivers, there has been a recent update for AOSP (see my recent post). So let's hope we will see an update from Jolla soon.

ghling ( 2018-01-23 17:09:55 +0300 )edit

It is possible to slightly enhance soft pictures by sharpening. But it is not possible to compensate for missed focus by software corrections.

The current implementation of the autofocus algorithm (in the main camera's driver) results in missed focus in nearly all pictures. In my tests the situation is the same with all camera apps (native and Android-based).

It's interesting that the results of the front camera are far better regarding to focus accuracy. This also indicates that the problem is in the driver, not in the apps.

ziellos ( 2018-01-24 16:06:26 +0300 )edit

answered 2018-01-27 23:28:35 +0300

LVPVS gravatar image

updated 2018-01-30 13:34:51 +0300


These DRM certificates(?), do they have effect without the Android system on the device? I mean, are they used by the low level drivers(?) which we still have(?) under Sailfish? Or do the Android OS and the proprietary Sony applications use them?

I have the original TA partition of my Xperia X. If I could flash it back somehow, would my camera performance improve?

Just a few thoughts.


Converted into an answer to get more attention.


LVPVS over.

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I don't own Xperia, but if I have understood things correctly the DRM certificates works only with Sony's stock Android systems, but the benefits (or at least all of them) aren't limited to Sony's apps only. The keys are also wiped when you flash other OS' to the phone and they shouldn't even exists anymore on the phone if you flash SFOS or any custom Android version to the phone and you lose the benefits.

avhakola ( 2018-02-07 23:53:23 +0300 )edit

long story short, you can't restore TA without losing Sailfish.

lolek ( 2018-03-19 22:26:30 +0300 )edit

answered 2018-06-03 15:51:21 +0300

makarch gravatar image

Any progress here?

Does anyone know if there is an Android or SFOS App, which brings a better result? I wanted to make some pictures this weekend during a music festival. I forgot my cam at home and the pictures I took with my Xperia X are really really dreadful.

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I heard about Android's Opencam. You could try this.

wosrediinanatour ( 2018-06-03 16:08:56 +0300 )edit

Thx. I will!

makarch ( 2018-06-04 12:10:15 +0300 )edit

answered 2018-06-03 16:55:58 +0300

jimjamz gravatar image

Not really the long-term answer you're looking for, but a temporary workaround if you're in a bind and need a fast and better result than what you're currently receiving.

  1. Just before taking your photo, switch to Video-Mode. The Video-Mode is much more capable of selecting a correct and continuous auto-focus from my experiences with it.
  2. Once the Video-Mode has auto-focussed, switch back to Photo-Mode.
  3. There will be a brief (and much better effort) from the auto-focus. Quickly, take your photo.

The better auto-focus from the Video-Mode carries over to the Photo-Mode for about 2 seconds. Once it settles and the lens idles, the Photo-Mode auto-focus will have another attempt. Make sure you take your photo before this happens!

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its not only about the autofocus but the quality as well!

makarch ( 2018-06-03 21:56:10 +0300 )edit

In 2.20 there is no CAF for pictures anymore. This seems te be more reliable .

yomark ( 2018-06-03 23:17:29 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2017-10-15 02:07:43 +0300

Seen: 7,885 times

Last updated: Jun 03 '18