Gone are the days of large protruding optical zoom cameras ala Samsung Galaxy Zoom which are not only bulky, but lacks in quality as well. Fast-forward to the present, we’re now presented with two flagship smartphones in the market with telephoto capabilities: the Huawei P30 series, and the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom. You’ve seen how the P30 has fared in our previous review, as well as an early impressions of OPPO’s 10X Zoom camera prototype.
In the interest of fairness and a follow up to the previous test, we give the finalised cameras equipped on the OPPO Reno 10X a spin to see if there are any improvements or difference compared to its prototype.
48MP Main Camera
In broad daylight, the Reno 10X’s camera does wonders. With the AI switched on, the camera will automatically determine the types of scenes you’re capturing (Greenery, Scenery, Clouds, etc) which prioritises the respective details to enhance in order to make the photo pop. For instance; if you’re shooting a hillside area with the sky taking a major portion of the photo, the camera will add in High Dynamic Range (HDR) to give more sharper details to the scene, lower the highlights of the sky, and enhance the saturation to greenery and sky. The photo shown above is an example of a Scenery styled shot with AI enabled. Of course, for those who prefer to edit their photos themselves, you can always disable this feature.
The ultra-wide angle camera performs great, thanks to how much scenery it could actually capture in a shot. However, the sensor does capture less light compared to the 48MP main, so expect certain wide angle shots to appear far less bright or vibrant compared to the former. Surprisingly, it barely shows any sign of struggle when it comes to low-light photography.
Low-light photography on the OPPO Reno 10X is actually pretty impressive. Even on default camera mode, images are captured in rich detail with tiny hints of noise or any noticeable noise reduction filtering. As usual, a common setback in most smartphone cameras when shooting in low-light is the reduced shutter speeds, so the Reno 10X will still capture movement blurs in most occasions.
Enabling Night Mode will definitely add more details to your low-light shots by adding HDR which reduces shadows and highlights, thus making your shots to appear more dramatic. The mode itself is indeed impressive, but honestly, the Reno 10X’s camera does very well on its own without even relying on it. You can notice the differences in the photos above with the first shot on default, while the latter on Night Mode. Take note that the Shaw Brothers’ logo is more detailed and visible in the second photo.
Probably the star of the OPPO Reno 10X’s cameras. As the name implies, the camera is able to capture high detailed photos when zoomed 10 times in, but not 100% optical. The telephoto lens could only go up to 6X optically, while the 10X is actually a hybrid zooming method which basically mashes the details taken from the 48MP and overlays it on top of the actual zoomed images from the telephoto.
The result? It’s actually pretty good. Damn good, to be exact, but not without its flaws. In most cases, you’ll capture excellent far off images in spectacular detail while in some instances, the camera fails to actually focus on distant objects. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what caused this; it could be the camera or the software that’s causing this problem. Again, take note that there is a rare chance for this to happen and it could be an issue for just the review unit that we got.
The above photo is taken at 20X. As you can see, the details is still pretty decent thanks to its hybrid function. If that's not enough for you, take it all the way to 60X. While that may sound impressive on paper, you’re not getting anything out of it when you test it out. Zooming all the way to 60X will definitely give you a good idea of what you’re looking at, but you can throw sharpness and details out of the window.
Compared to my first impressions of its prototype, much has been retained and even added to the final product that is included with the OPPO Reno 10x smartphone. Aside from the hiccups I encountered with the focusing when zooming, its camera still left a very good impression for the capabilities of smartphone photography. It definitely has proven that smartphone-sized lenses and camera sensors have evolved and improved since its beginnings, and offers so much to users who plan to explore more in mobile photography without the need of a digital camera or DSLR.
Stay tuned for our full review of the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom smartphone soon. Heck, we might do a camera comparison between the Reno and the Huawei P30 as well.