Kit Guide: Using the camera on the Sony Z3 and Z3 Compact


It can be confusing trying to figure out all the settings that the Z3 camera's got, so this guide will help you get the best out of things.

Camera layout

  1. Flash: turns the flash on, off, or turns on Auto Mode.
  2. Switch cameras: swaps between the front and rear cameras.
  3. Settings menu: opens the photo and video options screen.
  4. Status area: tells you if options, like geolocation, are on.
  5. Gallery: opens the gallery.
  6. Shutter: takes a photo.
  7. Record video: starts recording a video - tap it again to stop recording.
  8. Mode: changes between photo modes.

The shutter button


There's a button on the right-hand side that you can press to open the camera app. With the camera app open, the shutter button will also let you take pictures. It's a two-stage button as well, so you can push it down halfway to focus it before taking the picture.

Burst shot


'Burst mode' lets you take lots of pictures really quickly, so that you can go through them and find the best one. Using this mode, for example, helps you get a shot with no one blinking or looking away.

After choosing Burst mode in the settings, you just need to press and hold the shutter button and the camera will take pictures until you let it go. Make sure you go through them afterwards though, because you'll have your space taken up by lots of unwanted pictures otherwise.

Self timer


To use the self timer, open the settings menu and choose it. You can pick from a delay of 2 seconds or 10 seconds. When you press the shutter button, the timer will countdown before it takes the picture.

Launch and capture


'Launch and capture' is something that lets you quickly open the camera app and take a picture straight away. It can be really useful if you need to grab a picture fast. To use it, go to the settings menu and choose the 'Quick launch' options.

Zoom and focus


There's two ways to focus the camera, either by tapping the person or object you're taking a picture of, or by half-pressing the shutter button.

To zoom, you can either pinch the screen, or use the volume buttons.

Camera modes


Here's a full list of the settings that you've got.

Superior auto

'Superior auto' mode lets the camera choose the settings automatically. It picks up on light levels and movement to choose the best way to take the picture. You'll notice a small icon that changes, next to the mode button, depending on what settings it's picked up.


'Manual' mode lets you choose all the settings yourself. This means you can choose scenes as well, like night, landscape, macro, sports etc. It'll also let you choose what size picture to take, from as small as 2MP, to the full 20.7MP.

4K videos

Being able to record videos in 4K is quite new to phones. The standard resolution is around 2000 pixels, but 4K is around 4000 pixels. It means that even if you can't find a 4K screen to watch the video on, you'll still see a lot more detail in the video on a normal HD display.

AR fun and AR effects

'AR' or 'Augmented reality' means you can put fun features into your pictures. 'AR fun' mode lets you tap to add effects, while 'AR effects' lets you choose bigger effects that will automatically come on the screen. That means you'll be able to photograph your friends playing with dinosaurs, sharks and more.


To be able to use multi-camera, you'll need a few friends who've got Xperia phones as well. You'll all need to open the multi-camera mode, and then use Bluetooth or NFC to connect them together. If you all record a video, the phone'll combine them together to make one shot.

Face in

'Face in' lets your put your face into the picture you're taking, by using the front and rear cameras at the same time. It's great for family shots, to make sure everyone's in the picture, but it's also a cool way to put yourself into the background of the picture you're taking.

Background defocus

The Z3 lets you blur out the background of photos, giving you a cool effect like you get from a DSLR camera. It means that the object of your picture is more eye catching, because the background is blurred out.

Other modes

These are some of the other modes you can use with your camera.

  • Sound Photo: record sound with a picture.
  • Timeshift Video: add a slow-motion effect to videos.
  • Live on YouTube: record live to YouTube.
  • Creative effect: add filters to your photos.
  • Info-eye: point the camera at a point of interest or landmark to read information about it.
  • Timeshift burst: look through a burst of photos and choose the best one.
  • Social live: send videos live to social networks.
  • Sweep Panorama: take a panorama shot.
  • Vine: make Vine videos and upload them straight away.

Hopefully that's you sorted, but if you need more help, you can get in touch with a Team Knowhow expert here.

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