The Sony Xperia SP is capable of capturing 1080p video footage at 30fps, which is on par with most modern day smartphones. However, as a nice extra touch, the smartphone also offers HDR for video capture, making it one of the few devices to have this feature after the Oppo Find 5 and Sony's own Xperia Z and ZL flagships.
What came as a disappointment for us is the fact that even though the Xperia SP is able to capture still shots while recording video, it only produces images at 1MP resolution. That's less than half the resolution of the individual frames in the video itself and not really worth much. Given that last year's flagships could capture full res stills during video recording, what the Xperia SP offers is inexcusably poor.
What's important, however, is that the Xperia SP does the important things right, at least when it comes to video recording. Videos come up with very good detail and a hover right around the 30fps mark. The bitrate is around 17MBps, which is a decent compromise between quality and file size.
Here is a 1080p video sample we've uploaded on YouTube.
You can also download the untouched 1080p video sample.
The benefits of the HDR mode are not always as easily visible as we hoped, but it still adds some detail in the highlight areas, which, on some occasions, can mean the difference between a usable and a poor video.
You can download the untouched 1080p HDR sample here.
The Sony Xperia SP joins our video quality comparison pool. In contrast to the still camera, the 1080p video recording of the smartphone is quite capable, and even offers good - if a bit grainy - performance under low light. You can take a look at how it compares to other 8MP shooters in the Tools' main page.