Mystery of the Sony Xperia ZL Camera Sensor Solved
So Andrew Martonik’s excellent review of the Sony Xperia ZL had the answer: turns out when you use the “superior auto” camera mode, the ZL shifts the sensor into a 12MP mode. Why? Good question, but the fact is if you put the camera in “normal” mode (where you get access to all the settings) the ZL’s sensor shifts into 13MP mode and you’ll see that on the settings panel.
When you select Superior Auto mode there’s even a little pop up message that tells you “still image size changed to 12MP upon mode change”, I just never noticed it because I’ve just been using Superior Auto mode, it works that well.
So, mystery solved, I was only half-crazy. Good to know it really does have a 13MP sensor.