Taking the background in an image and blurring it is currently the big thing in mobile photography. HTC touted the feature when raving about the M8's duo camera. Google added a similar lens blur effect in the camera app it recently uploaded to the Play Store. Samsung, too, unsurprisingly packed this feature in alongside the plethora of others it crams into the Galaxy S5. Now Sony has uploaded its pre-existing effort to the Play Store, where it can more easily roll out future updates.

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Sony's background defocus app lets photographers bring an object into focus by blurring out the background, simulating a shallow depth of field. It does this by capturing two photos with different focus settings. The app remains exclusive to certain Xperia devices, but here are the instructions Sony's provided for those who are able to use the feature.

How to use Background defocus:
1. Start the Camera and select Background defocus as camera mode
2. Tap the object you want to focus on in the viewfinder
3. Tap the camera key to take a photo
4. Change the blur level and blur effect with the controls on the screen
5. Tap the save buttonTips for best photos:

Xperia owners can get their hands on the app via the widget below.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Ryan Callihan

    2014: Year of the Blur

  • Kailen

    Get a proper DSLR, guys... this shi*y "bokeh" makes me want to die..

    • ANex

      No, the whole phone camera thing makes me want to die, actually.

      • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

        Get a One+ One and call it a day.

        • George Av

          Nah no sd card for the images! 64GB is rubbish nowerdays i'm ordering a 128GB sd card!

    • Adam Truelove

      So I'm supposed to carry around a DSLR with me everywhere I go?

      • ithehappy

        Yes, unless you are a kid who has no idea about photography, I mean the basic ideas. Don't even think about going far anyway, cause when you ask about DSLR, it's already too late :/

        • Killo

          Anyone else want to punch these photography Nazis? Who cares that the effect is not 100% perfect to mimic a DSLR, it looks nice and works well for non pro photographers. Get the camera lens out of your asses for once. Geez.

          • NinoBr0wn

            Everyone is pro on the internet. I don't think punching these asshats will do them justice.

          • Marcell Lévai

            Nuff said!

        • George Av

          I personally own a DSLR and love photography, but I can't take it everywhere, it's just a hassle to carry it and it's lenses. Phone will have to suffice when i don't have it with me.

    • NinoBr0wn

      By all means..

  • Danish Prakash

    way too better than "lens blur"

    • ddpacino

      way too better...?

      • PPDacino

        way better than too way? K, thx, by

        • NinoBr0wn


          • pharmacy


        • lancebukkake


          • christopher3712


  • sam

    Apk anyone ?

    • Zlatty

      Tried using this, and their extension. Did not work unfortunately. http://apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/

      • christopher3712

        You actually got the .apk and it didn't work? Or that site didn't work for the download?

        • Zlatty

          The apk downloader was not able to get the .apk file. I used the extension and mocked a Sony Z1 on ATT as my phone to be compatible in the Play Store.

    • JoHnNy08PL

      Latest 1.2.6 version http://d-h.st/Iy6

      • Zlatty

        Nice, but won't install on my Note II :(

        • JoHnNy08PL

          Yep, won't install on my One X aswell.

  • Guest


  • Jephri

    Ironically, the Sony Z1s produces beautiful bokeh without any silly post processing app. Here is an example of a picture I took without any extra bokeh added.

    • Jephri

      Another example

      • Gaurav Arora

        I must say, Z1 produces amazing shots!

    • Jephri

      And one more

    • Ambroos

      That's what a larger sensor and large aperture do!

  • Guest

    3 Months from now. Apple with patent it. Lawsuit. They already are trying to patent the pattern lock.

  • xHabeasCorpusx

    3 Months from now. Apple will patent it. Lawsuit. They already are trying to patent the pattern lock.

  • adffgh

    "Xperia owners can get their hands on the app via the widget below."

    More like high-end Xperia owners can get their hands on the app, it's probably only compatible with Xperia Z, Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z2.

    • Ambroos

      It should work on all Xperia's that support the new Camera Apps framework. Also includes the Xperia Z and variants.

    • basteagow

      Working quite nicely on my ZL, with minor imperfections (see jar handle).

  • tintin.92

    Is there a single one of these apps that is compatible with JB 4.1?

  • Alim

    Hey guys, why this camera doesnt open in my galaxy s4 mini ???