It's a well known fact that the quality of phone cameras has been incrementally increasing for a long time now.
Some users would even say the chance to get an improved camera is the main reason they hold out for an upgrade – and the rise and rise of image-oriented social media such as Instagram has only compounded that trend.
To highlight the standard of its latest smartphone camera incorporated into the Xperia X, Sony partnered with the conservation parks Port Lympne Reserve in Kent and Parque de Cabarceno in the Spanish region of Cantabria.
Park rangers at both sites were tasked with capturing wildlife in motion. Given that these professionals have a unique relationship with the animals in their charge, they can witness many funny, entertaining and emotion moments that are not typically seen by the general public.
This led Sony to believe they would be ideally placed to catch images with the 23-megapixel camera on the Xperia X.
European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Neil Aldridge gave the rangers a masterclass, sharing some of his personal photography tips from his experience of working with animals in the wild. He also outlined some of the features of the Xperia X that make it possible to take a photo of animals at their most interesting.
Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, makes it possible to keep objects in focus when they are moving by reducing blur. This keeps the final image sharp – even when monkeys are swinging from branches or bears are marching through their enclosures.
Sony Mobile product experience manager Diana Hernandez Gonzalez noted that this is likely to be a hit with other users who like snapping images of animals – park rangers or not.
“One of the main features of Xperia X's new camera is the new Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, which makes it easier than ever to capture movement – and the most unpredictable moments come out in the sharpest detail,” she commented.
“What better way to put the camera to the test than work with the most unpredictable and spontaneous things that we love to photograph – animals!”
The Quick Launch and Capture feature made it easier for the rangers to quickly snap a funny expression or a stampeded when the animals weren't expecting it, as the device can go from standby to taking a photo in less than a second.
Parque de Cabarceno spokesperson Santiago Borragan Santos emphasised the fact that the main focus of the conservation park is to ensure the animals enjoy a spacious environment with semi-free living conditions.
“Our park rangers and keepers know each animal's individual quirks and personalities, so it's a fantastic opportunity to allow them to show the rest of the world special moments that are usually just reserved for them.”
Parque de Cabarceno is spread across an 1,900 acres in Cantabria – and it is a naturalised space reclaimed from a former open pit mine. It is also a home to more than 100 animal species originating from five continents.
Abandoned elephant Cristina is one of the site's most enduring inhabitants – and Xperia X photography caught her playfully catching apples being fed to her.