**It was definitely a surprise to see Sony reveal the Xperia Z1 Compact so soon after the Z1, but it was even more surprising to see the Z1 Compact pack the same 20.7 megapixel camera as the Z1. **But is the camera phone really that good?

Z1 Compact camera: the numbers

As we mentioned before, the Xperia Z1 Compact boasts the same 20.7 megapixel camera that its bigger brother, the Z1 does.

Getting down to the nitty gritty specs, the camera itself features a 1/2.3” sensor, image stabilisation technology, touch focus, geo-tagging and HDR.

The smartphone also sports the standard LED flash and autofocus ability that is now common ground in nearly all recent handsets.

For those of you not down with the camera jargon, this basically means it has all, if not more, of the features you would expect from a smartphone snapper, packing in more megapixels than on any other flagship smartphone , let alone a miniature version.

Z1 Compact promises excellent user experience

Behind all of these numbers, you have a brilliant camera stuck on the back of the Xperia Z1 Compact.

It handles low-light situations very well, often requiring no editing after the picture has been taken.

Image quality is also superb, with pictures emerging sharp and vibrant through multiple levels of brightness.

Comparing the Z1 Compact’s zoom to other smartphones also demonstrates how impressive this camera phone really us. Instead of blurring images at maximum zoom, the Z1 Compact, like the Z1, doesn’t affect the quality of the image nearly as much.

The Z1 Compact also deals with contrasts really well, picking up an array of bright colours brilliantly, making pictures really stand out.

Z1 Compact camera features

An area where the Xperia Z1 Compact really does stand out is in its built-in post-production editing suite. The smartphone’s snapper offers tons of user-friendly features that allow you to enhance your images without going through the hassle of photo-shopping your snaps beyond recognition.

Timeshift Burst:

If you have a shaky hand then this feature is ideal, taking 61 pictures in just two seconds and then allowing you to take your pick from the selection afterwards.

Sony’s Timeshift Burst also records snaps before you’ve even pressed the camera shutter, meaning even if you think you’ve missed your chance at taking a great picture, that the Z1 Compact is already one step ahead.

Use the Z1 Compact underwater:

Ever fancied taking some pictures in the pool when on holiday? You can do that with the Z1 Compact without having to leave your phone to dry out for the rest of the day thanks to its intuitive design.

As long as you close all of the outer caps on the handset, you can take picture underwater for up to half an hour at a depth of 1.5 metres, similarly to the rest of Sony’s range of smartphones.

Social Live:

For all the Facebook lovers out there, Social Live immediately posts pictures you’ve taken on your personal profile and shows you real-time reactions from all your Facebook buddies.

Whether it’s a quick comment or a collection of likes, the Xperia Z1 Compact will let you know exactly what your social media friends think of your day out at the beach, or new shiny car…

Info Eye:

Want some more info about what you’re looking at through the viewfinder? Then the Info Eye is what you need.

The feature quickly gives you a rundown of the site or landmark that you’re taking a snap of, brilliant for discovering all you need to know in unfamiliar places.

AR Effect:

A great piece of kit if you fancy adding some extravagance to your pictures, the AR Effect mode lets animation take over your camera. It adds anything from a prehistoric scene to a fairy-tale background to your picture, all whilst looking through the viewfinder.

It might not be the most professional camera feature but it certainly makes a dreary winter’s picture a bit interesting.

Panorama Mode:

Not exactly rare anymore, the Z1Compact allows you to take a 360 degree picture of your location with its simple and easy to use panorama mode.

So whether you want an all-round view of your living room, or an idyllic beach, you can get a perfect picture of it on the Z1 Compact.

Overall: Xperia Z1 Compact

When it comes down to it, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact offers one of the best smartphone cameras on the market right now, boasting multiple user-friendly features and superb picture quality in a great sized package, all with a minimal price as well.

After taking an in-depth look at the smartphone, one thing is clear: it’s definitely worth investing in the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact if you have a passion for photography,