Tag Archives: India

Sony launches Alpha 9 III Camera at ₹5,29,990 in India

Sony India recently unveiled the Alpha 9 III, a camera incorporating a global shutter system, marking a noteworthy advancement in digital imaging technology. This new model promises to mitigate common photography challenges, such as distortion and blackout during high-speed captures, offering burst speeds up to 120 frames per second.

The device is outfitted with Sony’s cutting-edge autofocus system, capable of executing up to 120 focus calculations per second, and supports flash synchronization at any shooting speed. This combination of features is designed to meet the demands of professional photographers who require precision and reliability to capture fleeting moments.

Mukesh Srivastava, Head of Digital Imaging Business at Sony India, highlighted the camera’s potential to set new standards in photography, emphasizing its ground-breaking 120 fps shooting capability and global shutter technology.

Featuring a 24.6-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and the BIONZ XR image processor, the Alpha 9 III delivers high-speed continuous shooting with autofocus and auto-exposure tracking. This model represents a leap forward in still image performance and video capabilities, ensuring minimal distortion and improved usability for professional environments. Additionally, the camera’s enhanced video functionalities include 4K recording at 120p without crop and 4K at 60p with 6K oversampling, complemented by S-Cinetone colour science for natural skin tones and subject depiction.

The Alpha 9 III has been designed with operability and reliability in mind, featuring an ergonomic grip and optional vertical grip for extended use, a 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor, and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder to accommodate professional shooting conditions.

Moreover, the camera is equipped to support a high-speed workflow and offers scalability with features like image selection filters, dual media slots for CFexpress Type A and SD cards, and compatibility with professional mobile applications for streamlined content delivery and remote operation.

Priced at ₹5,29,990, the Alpha 9 III will be available from 26th February 2024 at Sony retail outlets and online platforms across India.

Xiaomi Unveils Xiaomi 14 Ultra and Xiaomi 14 in India

Xiaomi has recently unveiled its latest smartphones, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and Xiaomi 14, marking the debut of its new flagship series in India. The devices, developed in collaboration with Leica, aim to advance Xiaomi’s presence in the realm of mobile photography. Both models are the inaugural smartphones from the brand to operate on Xiaomi’s HyperOS straight from the box.

The launch event highlighted the collaborative efforts between Xiaomi and Leica in enhancing smartphone imaging technologies. According to Anuj Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer at Xiaomi India, the partnership has led to significant advancements in mobile photography, underscored by the introduction of the Xiaomi 14 Series. The new line-up incorporates Leica Summilux optics and a 75mm floating telephoto lens among other features, emphasizing Xiaomi’s commitment to innovation in mobile imaging.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is presented as the zenith of mobile photography, drawing on design cues from professional cameras. It boasts a 50MP quad-camera array, covering a wide range of focal lengths and supported by a 1-inch image sensor for high dynamic range photography. Additionally, the device enhances videography with 8K video recording capabilities across all cameras and introduces features like a Movie mode for cinematic shooting and a Director mode for multi-camera setups.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra features a unibody metal structure with nano-tech Vegan Leather, offering enhanced wear resistance. It also sports a Quad Curved Display with 2K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, complemented by Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for an immersive viewing experience.

The Xiaomi 14, while smaller in size, does not compromise on technology or design. It features a high-definition display, a 3D curved back, and is powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform as the Ultra model. The camera system, co-engineered with Leica, includes a primary lens with a custom sensor for superior photography.

Both models incorporate Xiaomi’s Surge battery management system for optimized battery performance. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra offers rapid wired and wireless charging, while the Xiaomi 14 supports fast charging technologies as well.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra, equipped with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB storage option, is priced at INR 99,999. Sales for this model are scheduled to start at 12 noon on April 12, 2024. For enthusiasts looking to secure their purchase early, a limited Reserve Edition will be up for booking starting March 11, 2024, at 12 noon, with a reservation fee of INR 9,999. This edition boasts exclusive items such as a limited-edition case and a 67mm filter adapter, among other surprises, with early access sales kicking off on April 8, 2024, available exclusively at Mi.com and Mi Homes.

The Xiaomi 14, offering 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is available for ₹69,999 and will also be available for an effective price of INR 59,999 after taking into account the INR 5,000 discount on ICICI bank cards, the exchange bonus, and a 24-month no-cost EMI option. This model will be on sale from 12 noon, March 11, 2024, across various platforms including Mi.com, Xiaomi retail stores, Amazon India, and Flipkart.

Xiaomi 14 Series purchasers will enjoy additional benefits such as one free screen replacement within the first six months, a complimentary one-year out-of-warranty repair service covering labor costs, access to a dedicated relationship manager, and a three-month free subscription to YouTube Premium, enhancing the overall user experience and value proposition of these flagship devices.

Vivo V30, V30 Pro launched in India

Vivo has recently expanded its smartphone line-up in India with the introduction of the V30 and V30 Pro models, highlighting advanced camera capabilities and a slim design. The company announced that these devices, continuing the legacy of the V-Series, offer the thinnest design yet in the series, complemented by a powerful 5000 mAh battery. In a move to enhance the photography experience, Vivo has partnered with ZEISS for the V30 Pro model, aiming to bring professional-grade portrait photography into users’ hands.

The Vivo V30 is available in Andaman Blue, Peacock Green, and Classic Black, with prices starting at ₹33,999 for the 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant, and going up to ₹37,999 for the 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage option. The V30 Pro comes in Andaman Blue and Classic Black, priced at ₹41,999 for the 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage model, and ₹46,999 for the 12 GB RAM and 512 GB storage variant. Pre-booking for both devices will start from March 14, 2024, across Flipkart, the Vivo India e-store, and select retail partners.

The V30 series boasts significant improvements in camera technology. The Vivo V30 features a triple camera setup, including a 50MP main camera with Optical Image Stabilization, a 50MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 50MP group selfie camera with Eye Autofocus. The V30 Pro elevates the camera experience further with a ZEISS co-engineered triple camera system, incorporating a 50 MP professional portrait camera, a 50MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and cinematic video bokeh effects powered by AI. Both models offer a 6.78-inch 3D curved AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, housed in a sleek 7.45 mm body.

Under the hood, the Vivo V30 is powered by a Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor, while the V30 Pro utilizes a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 SoC, both supported by a 5000 mAh battery with 80W FlashCharge technology. The devices run on FunTouch OS 14 and are promised to receive three generations of Android updates and four years of security updates, ensuring longevity and reliability for users.

With their latest V30 series, Vivo aims to blend style with performance, offering consumers high-end camera capabilities, a refined design, and robust battery life without compromising on the overall user experience.

Nikon Acquires Cinema Camera Manufacturer RED

In a significant move for the film and photography industry, Nikon has announced its acquisition of RED, an American company known for its high-quality digital cinema cameras. This acquisition marks a notable expansion for the Japanese camera giant, allowing it to incorporate RED’s advanced cinema technology into its offerings.

RED, headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, and founded in 2005 by Oakley founder Jim Jannard, has been a prominent player in the digital cinema industry. The company has over 200 employees and has made a name for itself with innovations that have pushed the boundaries of film technology. Notably, RED introduced the world to 4K resolution filming with its RED ONE camera in 2007, setting a new standard in the industry.

The acquisition gives Nikon access to RED’s esteemed product line, including the RED One 4K and V-Raptor X cameras, along with pioneering image compression and colour science technologies that have contributed to the success of numerous acclaimed films and television shows.

RED’s technologies have continually evolved to meet the demanding needs of filmmakers, earning the brand a preferred status among professional cinematographers worldwide. The merger is expected to bring together the strengths of both companies, promising advancements in digital cinema and photography technology.

Despite a history of legal disputes between Nikon and RED over patent infringement allegations, the two companies have moved past their differences, seeing a shared future in technological innovation. RED’s president, Jarred Land, expressed optimism about the merger on social media, suggesting a collaborative path forward aimed at reshaping the professional digital cinema camera market.

The acquisition comes after RED’s attempt to enter the smartphone market in 2018 with a holographically capable device, a venture that faced criticism and did not achieve commercial success. Nonetheless, this move demonstrated RED’s willingness to explore new technological frontiers, a spirit Nikon seems eager to embrace as the companies embark on this new chapter together.

OnePlus 12R vs Redmi Note 13 Pro+ Camera Comparison Test

Welcome to Asian Photography Magazine’s latest smartphone camera review. Today, we’re focusing on the camera capabilities of two recently launched mid-range smartphones: the OnePlus 12R and the Redmi Note 13 Pro+. Both models are priced competitively, with the OnePlus 12R starting at ₹39,999 and the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ at ₹31,999.

Interestingly, the OnePlus 12R hasn’t seen any updates to its camera compared to its predecessor, the 11R. However, it now features the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and some under-the-hood improvements, which could enhance its camera performance. On the flip side, the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ boasts a significant camera upgrade, moving from a 50 MP to a 200 MP main camera. It also comes equipped with the MediaTek Dimensity 7200-Ultra processor, promising better overall performance.

In this review, we’ll dive into which smartphone offers the better camera experience for consumers looking for quality photography without breaking the bank. Let’s find out which device takes the lead in the mid-range camera showdown.

Camera Setup

OnePlus 12R

  • Wide: 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • Ultra-Wide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, 112˚, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
  • Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4
  • Rear Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, gyro-EIS, OIS
  • Front: 16 MP, f/2.4, 26mm, 1/3″, 1.0µm
  • Front Video: 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS

Redmi Note 13 Pro+

  • Wide: 200 MP, f/1.7, 23mm, 1/1.4″, 0.56µm, multi-directional PDAF, OIS
  • Ultra-Wide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚
  • Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4
  • Rear Video: 4K@24/30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS
  • Front: 16 MP, f/2.4
  • Front Video: 1080p@30/60fps

Daylight Main Camera

The OnePlus 12R has a 50 MP Sony IMX 890 camera, while the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ features a 200 MP main camera. Despite these differences, both phones produce images with a similar quality of 12.5 megapixels. The Redmi’s photos look more true to life, and the OnePlus’ photos are brighter and more colourful, which might be more appealing to some people, though I personally prefer the more natural look of the Redmi.

When it comes to how clear and detailed the photos are, both phones are pretty much the same. However, because the OnePlus makes images more vibrant, they can seem a bit sharper. The OnePlus also does a better job with HDR, making photos have better contrast and making colours look warmer and more inviting. Additionally, the OnePlus captures skin tones more realistically, while the Redmi tends to lighten them a bit too much.

Daylight Ultra-Wide Camera

In the ultra-wide camera category, both phones are equipped with an 8-MP sensor and produce images at this resolution. The pictures from both devices are warm, vibrant, and pleasing to look at. However, the Redmi sometimes shows slight colour fringing. On the other hand, the OnePlus occasionally suffers from over-sharpening, leading to a loss of detail in shadows and highlights in some images. Despite these minor issues, the performance of the ultra-wide cameras in both phones is quite similar, leaving little to differentiate between them.

Daylight Telephoto Camera

Both phones, the OnePlus and the Redmi, don’t have a special zoom camera, so they zoom in using their main camera and make the picture smaller to fit. The OnePlus can zoom in 2X, 5X, and 10X, while the Redmi does 2X, 4X, and 10X zoom. Despite this, both phones still produce photos that are 12.5 megapixels in size.

When zooming up to 5X, the OnePlus takes pictures that look warmer and more colourful, but the Redmi’s photos are clearer and sharper. This difference is even more noticeable when you zoom in more. At 10X zoom, thanks to its 200-megapixel sensor, the Redmi captures images that are much sharper and detailed, while the OnePlus photos show a lot of graininess.

Lowlight Main Camera

When it comes to taking pictures in low light, the quality of the photos from the main camera changes a lot compared to daylight. The Redmi’s pictures look yellowish, too bright, and the colours are too warm. On the other hand, the OnePlus takes pictures that look more real and gentle, which makes them nicer to look at. The OnePlus pictures also have more contrast, making them stand out more. However, just like in bright light, the Redmi pictures are sharper and have more details than the OnePlus pictures.

Lowlight Ultra-Wide Camera

In low light, the Redmi’s photos have a yellow tint, while the OnePlus photos lean slightly red. However, the Redmi’s images show noticeable distortion, making the OnePlus the better choice for clearer pictures. The OnePlus also captures colours that look more natural. When it comes to details and sharpness, both phones perform almost the same, offering very similar quality.

Lowlight Telephoto Camera

In low light conditions using zoom, the quality difference between the cameras becomes clearer. The OnePlus doesn’t capture details as sharply as the Redmi does. However, the OnePlus photos look more pleasing and natural, while the Redmi photos have a yellow tint and are more vivid than the actual scene.


When it comes to taking portraits, the OnePlus phone does a better job. The pictures are more colourful and vibrant, making them more appealing to look at. They also have a warmer tone, while the Redmi phone’s photos have a slight blue tint. If you zoom in, you’ll notice that the images from the OnePlus are clearer and more detailed. Both phones are pretty good at figuring out where the edges of objects are, though.

In low light situations, the OnePlus phone still takes better pictures, showing off more detail and contrast. The Redmi phone’s pictures tend to have a reddish colour on people’s skin. Also, the OnePlus is better at recognizing edges in these conditions.


Honestly, I don’t see the point of including a 2-MP macro camera in these phones. It feels outdated, and it doesn’t really add much value. I understand that brands want to offer a triple camera setup at an affordable price, but it would be better if they included features that are actually useful.

From my experience, the image quality from these macro cameras is just average. They’re okay for basic use, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on them for macro photography.

Front Camera

Both phones have a 16 MP camera for selfies. The OnePlus phone takes more natural-looking photos, while the Redmi phone’s pictures look a bit yellow in dim light. Also, the Redmi tends to make skin look smoother in photos, but the OnePlus provides sharper contrast.


When recording 4K videos at 30 FPS with the back cameras, the OnePlus phone clearly outperforms the Redmi. The colours in the OnePlus videos are brighter and more eye-catching. Plus, the OnePlus videos are smoother and have better contrast. On the other hand, the Redmi’s videos sometimes show burn marks, and when shooting in low light, there are noticeable flares and ghost-like effects. Overall, the OnePlus delivers superior video quality.


When comparing these phones, I initially thought the OnePlus 12R wouldn’t perform well in photography because it has the same camera setup as the 11R, especially since the Redmi has introduced an upgraded main camera. However, the OnePlus 12R actually offers more consistent camera performance. Additionally, its software, OxygenOS, provides a smoother and more optimized experience, making it worth the extra cost.

So, if you’re deciding which phone to buy, the OnePlus 12R not only has superior cameras but is also the better choice overall.

Text and Images by Bhavya Desai

Vivo X100 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Comparison Test

Welcome to Asian Photography! Today, we’re excited to compare two eagerly awaited flagship smartphones: The Vivo X100 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The Vivo X100 Pro is priced at ₹89,999, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at ₹1,59,900. These are the top models from each brand, showcasing their unique approaches to design and technology. Vivo focuses on high megapixel counts to enhance image quality, whereas Apple prioritizes its software and technology optimization for superior performance.

In this review, we’ll determine which phone’s camera excels across various categories.

The difference in philosophy between the two brands is apparent not just in their cameras, but also in their overall design. Apple opts for a titanium build with a flatter, wider shape, offering a better grip for photography. In contrast, Vivo aims for a sleeker look with a taller, slimmer profile and curved edges.

Moreover, Vivo collaborates with Zeiss, a renowned optics firm, for its camera development, ensuring top-notch quality. Apple, however, develops its cameras in-house, focusing on seamless integration with its hardware for optimal results.

Camera Setup

Vivo X100 Pro

  • Primary: 50MP 1/0.98″ sensor, f/1.75-aperture lens, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 50MP, 1/2.76″ sensor, 15mm equivalent f/2.0-aperture lens, AF
  • Tele: 50MP 1/2″ sensor, 100mm equivalent f/2.5-aperture lens, AF, OIS
  • Video: 8K, 4K at 60/30fps, 1080p at 60/30fps

iPhone 15 Pro Max

  • Primary: 48MP sensor, 2.44µm quad pixels, 24mm equivalent f/1.78-aperture lens, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP sensor, 13mm equivalent f/2.2-aperture lens, Dual Pixel AF
  • Tele: 12MP sensor, 1.12µm pixels, 120 mm equivalent f/2.8-aperture lens, Dual Pixel AF
  • Video: 4K at 60/24fps, 1080p at 60/25fps

Daylight Main Camera

When it comes to the main camera, the Vivo X100 Pro boasts a 50-megapixel sensor, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes equipped with a 48-megapixel camera. Here are two key points to note:

Firstly, both smartphones use Sony sensors for their main cameras. The Vivo is equipped with the Sony IMX 989 sensor, a large 1-inch sensor, whereas Apple has opted for the IMX 803 sensor, the same one found in the 14 Pro Max.

Secondly, despite its higher megapixel count, the Vivo X100 Pro processes its images to output at 12.5 MP from its main camera. On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses a technology called stacked pixel binning to deliver a 24-MP image output. This comparison is fascinating because it pits a 12.5 MP image from a larger sensor against a 24-MP image from a smaller one.

Both phones produce high-quality images that are sharp, detailed, and visually appealing. To the unaided eye, the differences between them are minimal. However, the Vivo tends to slightly enhance shadows and highlights, leading to a minor over-sharpening effect in its pictures. Upon closer inspection, images from the iPhone appear clearer due to this. Additionally, in certain situations, the Vivo may show a slight reddish tint in its images, as observed in a specific photo of a plant.

Daylight Ultra-Wide Camera

In the ultra-wide camera category, the Vivo X100 Pro features a 50-MP sensor with a 15 mm lens, whereas the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses a 12-MP sensor with a 13 mm lens. Interestingly, their output resolutions are quite similar, with the Vivo producing images at 12.5 MP and the iPhone at 12 MP.

In this comparison, the Vivo X100 Pro stands out for its ultra-wide shots. Its images are more vibrant and sharper than those from the iPhone. The Vivo’s pictures are well-exposed and generally look more appealing than the iPhone’s, which tend to be slightly underexposed and less sharp. Both phones occasionally exhibit a reddish or yellowish tint in their images.

However, when it comes to handling distortion, the iPhone 15 Pro Max performs better. Images of buildings and huts, for example, show less distortion and appear less slanted in the iPhone’s photos compared to those from the Vivo.

Daylight Telephoto Camera

In the telephoto lens category, the differences between the Vivo X100 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max are quite notable. The Vivo uses a 50-MP sensor for its telephoto camera, offering 4.3x optical zoom, which can extend up to 100x digital zoom. It also features floating lens technology, enabling users to take close-up macro shots. Meanwhile, the iPhone has upgraded its telephoto lens in this model, providing a 5x optical zoom with a maximum digital zoom of 25x.

Despite both phones producing images that are well-saturated, sharp, and detailed, the Vivo stands out due to its 50-MP camera and superior resolution, delivering remarkably impressive results that the iPhone struggles to match. However, it’s not a clear-cut victory across all scenarios. At 2x zoom, the Vivo tends to underexpose its images, whereas the iPhone offers more natural-looking results. But as you zoom in further, the Vivo’s images become significantly sharper. This difference in performance becomes increasingly evident at higher zoom levels. At 5x zoom, although the Vivo still tends to underexpose, the sharpness and detail it captures are much superior to the iPhone’s output. By the time you reach 10x zoom, the Vivo’s ability to retain detail and sharpness makes you overlook its exposure issues.

Therefore, it seems likely that users who prioritize detail and sharpness in their zoomed images might prefer the Vivo’s telephoto capabilities over the iPhone’s, despite some of the exposure challenges at lower zoom levels.

Lowlight Main Camera

In low-light conditions, the performance of the main cameras on both the Vivo X100 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max shows varied results. While both cameras produce images that are vibrant and well-saturated, there are instances where the photos may exhibit a reddish or yellowish tint. The handling of shadows and highlights by both devices is commendable, but there are noticeable differences in their approach to image processing. The Vivo tends to over-sharpen its images, whereas the iPhone opts to make them slightly brighter.

Interestingly, in low-light scenarios, the Vivo often delivers a more natural representation of the actual scene compared to the iPhone. This is particularly evident when zooming into the images, where the Vivo’s photos display superior sharpness. This suggests that users who value a more true-to-life depiction of low-light scenes, with an emphasis on detail upon close inspection, might find the Vivo’s main camera to be more aligned with their preferences.

Lowlight Ultra-Wide Camera

In the ultra-wide category, both the Vivo X100 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max exhibit similar performance characteristics to their low-light main camera results. Images from both devices again show a slight reddish and yellowish tinge. Upon zooming in, the Vivo’s ultra-wide images maintain superior sharpness compared to those from the iPhone, consistent with the trend observed in their main cameras.

However, a notable difference in the ultra-wide performance is the level of distortion. The Vivo’s images show more distortion compared to those from the iPhone. This aspect may affect the overall visual appeal of the images, especially in scenarios where straight lines and architectural features are prominent. Users who prioritize image sharpness might still lean towards the Vivo for its detail retention, but those who are sensitive to distortion in their ultra-wide shots might prefer the iPhone’s performance in this aspect.

Lowlight Telephoto Camera

The tendency of the Vivo X100 Pro to over-sharpen its images, which might be seen as a drawback in some photography scenarios, actually becomes an advantage when it comes to its telephoto capabilities. This characteristic enhances the telephoto images, making them sharper and more detailed, particularly noticeable in daylight conditions.

The result is impressively clear telephoto shots that stand out, especially for users who frequently utilize the telephoto lens for zoomed-in photography. This aspect of the Vivo’s performance underscores how its approach to image processing can significantly benefit certain types of photography, showcasing the device’s strength in capturing distant subjects with remarkable clarity and detail.

Macro Mode

The Vivo X100 Pro’s advantage in telephoto sharpness extends impressively into its macro photography capabilities. Thanks to its floating telephoto lens, the Vivo offers a significant benefit: the ability to get extremely close to subjects. Coupled with its super macro mode, the images produced are strikingly well-saturated, sharp, and full of detail.

While the iPhone also supports close-up photography and can capture good quality pictures, it tends to lose focus as you move closer to a subject. This limitation highlights the Vivo’s superiority in macro photography. The Vivo’s ability to maintain focus and detail at very close distances makes it a more suitable choice for users who prioritize macro photography, offering them a level of performance and versatility in close-up shots that is challenging for the iPhone to match.

Portrait Mode

In the realm of portrait photography, the Vivo X100 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max offer different features and results. The Vivo provides users with five focal length options for shooting portraits, whereas the iPhone offers three, giving Vivo users a bit more versatility in how they can frame their subjects.

Image quality from both devices is commendable, but they handle portraits differently. The Vivo tends to brighten the exposure and applies a smoothing effect to skin tones, which might appeal to users looking for a more polished look straight out of the camera. In contrast, the iPhone aims to capture the scene as accurately as possible, reflecting the actual lighting conditions and textures without additional smoothing. This approach may appeal to users who prefer a more natural look.

Upon zooming into the portraits, the Vivo’s images appear sharper than those from the iPhone. Both phones perform well in terms of edge detection, accurately distinguishing between the subject and the background. However, the Vivo slightly outperforms the iPhone in this aspect, with its subjects appearing sharper against the background, enhancing the depth effect typical of portrait shots.

This comparison marks a significant observation. Having used iPhones for many years and comparing them against various competitors, it’s been rare to see another phone outperform the iPhone in portrait photography—a domain where the iPhone has traditionally excelled. Yet, in this instance, it appears the Vivo X100 Pro has not only matched but surpassed the iPhone 15 Pro Max in delivering superior portrait photos. This outcome highlights the Vivo’s exceptional capabilities in this photography genre, positioning it as a strong contender for users who prioritize portrait photography.

Front Camera

The iPhone clearly beats the Vivo when it comes to the front camera. Although the iPhone’s front camera is just 12-MP compared to Vivo’s 32-MP, the iPhone still takes better pictures. The Vivo’s pictures often look too sharp and too bright, making them look unnatural. It even smooths out skin tones even when you turn that feature off. On the other hand, the iPhone captures more natural-looking images, especially in portrait mode. However, Vivo’s photos might look more detailed because of the heavy editing, but the results don’t look as real, especially when it comes to eyes and faces.

Video quality is another area where the iPhone stands out. The Vivo can only record videos in 1080p, while the iPhone can go up to 4K, offering much clearer and better-quality videos. This was also a point I mentioned in my review of the Vivo X100 Pro, highlighting that the front camera definitely needs improvement.


The Vivo phone can record videos in 8K resolution, which is higher than the iPhone’s 4K at 60 frames per second. However, the iPhone excels in other areas like auto-tracking, HDR, and stabilization, making its video quality appear superior. Although the Vivo’s video quality is impressive on its own, it doesn’t quite match up to the iPhone when directly compared. Additionally, the iPhone offers the option to shoot in ProRes format, a feature not available on the Vivo, providing a significant advantage for users interested in higher-quality video production.


When I began this review, I was almost certain that the Vivo would outshine the iPhone in camera performance. However, I’ve been taken aback by how well the iPhone identifies scenes. Surprisingly, despite having lower megapixels in its non-primary cameras compared to Vivo, the iPhone showcases Apple’s strength in harmonizing software with hardware.

Breaking it down: the iPhone takes the lead with its main camera and also excels in selfies and video quality. On the other hand, Vivo wins in the wide and telephoto lens categories, and its macro and portrait shots are outstanding. What gives the iPhone an edge is its user-friendly interface, which many find appealing.

Yet, when considering the cameras alone, the Vivo X100 Pro emerges as the superior choice.

Vivo X100 Pro Camera Review

The Vivo X100 Pro is the latest flagship from the company and is priced at ₹89,999. This phone was launched in China a recently and made it to India in January this month. Since the time of its rumours, there was a lot of hype about this as being one of the best cameras in a smartphone. The cameras are co-engineered along with Zeiss and it is also the only camera phone to get a certification from Zeiss as well.

Vivo X100 Pro

So, we set out to find out if the cameras are worth all the hype? And put it through all the test to see what it delivers.

The phone that I reviewed was the maxed-out variant with a 16 GB RAM and 256 storages.The phone was also updated with the Fun Touch OS 14 and also is updated to the latest version.

Camera Set Up

At the back, the phone features a three-camera set up, all of which have a 50-MP sensors with a 32-MP camera in the front. What’s interesting is that the X100 Pro comes with a dedicated V3 chip and is also powered by the Mediatek Dimesity 9300 processor, which is the latest flagship from the company.

Vivo X100 Pro Camera

When I look at the cameras at the back, it immediately reminds of the OnePlus Open, which also features a big circular camera module. The shape of the camera set up in the Vivo is inspired by the Solar Eclipse and when you look closely than it actually resembles that design as well. But honestly I am not a fan of such big bumps.

But, you have to give it to Vivo, from the packaging to its build, the phone looks and feels premium. I also loved the small touches that they have given not just in the camera but in general. For instance, the Void warranty sticker in the box. When you peal the sticker, it says void underneath. Or the small letters on top that say Professional Photography. I like the placement of the flash as well.

But while these things are good, because of the texture of the phone, using this without the cover might be difficult. Its slippery and it isn’t the best camera grip on a phone owing to the slimmer and taller form factor.

Daylight Main Camera

The X100 Pro features a 50-mp main camera and inside this houses a 1-inch Sony IMX 989 sensor. And that is also one of the reasons why it needs such a big housing. At 1X the camera much like other phones these days gives you shortcuts to use different focal ranges to shoot from. But the important info is that it shoots a 12.5 MP stacked image from the main camera. You also have the option to choose from three styles and I’ve chosen the Zeiss Natural look for the images shot.

In terms of the images the pics shot on the main camera are pretty good. What I liked the most is that it was able to deliver images and the tonal range very accurately and similar to what your eye is seeing. In terms of sharpness and detail, yes there is a slight over sharpening in some cases, but not something that will bother you. The saturation and colour reproduction of the main camera is also pretty and I was slightly surprised by this. Androids usually have a tendency to over saturate pics and that’s also one of the reasons why I really like the iPhones, coz they reproduce the image the way it is. But in this case the pics are pretty good.

Daylight Ultra-Wide

In the ultra-wide camera, the X100 Pro gives you the option to shoot at 15mm and uses the 50 MP sensor.

Overall in this case also the images were pretty good. The phone delivers good results that are pleasing to the eye and in terms of sharpness like most wide-angle lenses, the images weren’t very sharp. I also felt that the wide-angle lens was displaying a lot of perspective distortion. In most cases the building would come slanted, subjects slightly broader and this is important coz it changes the perspective of the image.

Daylight Telephoto

The telephoto lens of this camera is really special and for me the most impressive as well. It features a 50 MP sensor again and provides 4.3x Optical zoom which can go up all the way to 100x. But what’s important is that it also has a floating lens like the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which means it acts as a good macro lens as well.

The images from the phone are really good and thoroughly impressive in the telephoto category. If you remember, recently I had mentioned that the OnePlus Open has a very good telephoto lens, probably one of the best in the business. But this is even better. The images are sharp, well saturated and also extremely detailed up to 4.3x and up to 10x as well actually.

But beyond 25-30x I just feel that most of these lenses can’t be used anyways. However, the camera does deliver ok images even at the highest focal range.

Lowlight Main Camera

In terms of lowlight with Main camera the images are surely sharp and AI surely does its bit here. You can see that it is over sharpening the images visibly. But to the naked eye they seem pretty good. In terms of accuracy and reproduction, I feel the performance was a mixed one.

In some cases, it would actually reproduce the image exactly how it is and in some it would have a slightly reddish or bluish tinge.

Lowlight Ultra-Wide Camera

In the ultra-wide I shot the same frame as the main camera and you can see the difference in the performance. The picture isn’t that saturated and in this case. It looks more natural and not over sharpened, which I liked a lot.

Again the sharpness is lacking but it was pretty dark. In fact, across the board in the wide pictures I found the images being delivered very accurately.

Lowlight Telephoto

Much like its daylight performance, the images with the telephoto in lowlight are pretty impressive. The colour accuracy is good across the range and also the sharpness that the phone is able to deliver is just great.


When it comes to portraits the phone gives you host of focal ranges to shoot fromand also options to shoot with like skin smoothening etc.

But when it comes to performance, the images are pretty good. They are sharp, detailed and look pleasing to the eye. Yes, there is a slightly over saturation when it comes to colours sometimes, but overall the images are good across most conditions. The edge detection is also very good with the phone recognising strands of hair as well and blurring the background.

You also have the portrait package that makes you choose different styles of bokeh. The bokeh performance is decent I would say use the natural setting. So whether in daylight or in lowlight the images in portraits are pretty good in this case.


With the ability of the phone to get close using the floating lens, the macro images are just great and also very easy to shoot. The output is really good and once you activate the super macro mode then you can get blurred backgrounds as well. For users that like macro, they will really enjoy it as you can see from the images. Yes, the images are slightly over saturated, but I am not complaining. They just look good.

Front Camera

The phone features a front camera with a 32-megapixel sensor and honestly I think all the front cameras across the board need to improve their performance. The images from the front camera are ok. In lowlight you can see visible noise in a backlit scenario and in terms of portraits as well I thought the performance was ok.

The biggest challenge is that in video this shoot up to 1080p, which I think should now be upgraded to 4k. So overall I think the front camera can deliver a much better performance, but yes to do regular things it is pretty decent. 


In terms of video the phone can shoot 8k up to 30 fps from back camera and 4k up to 60 fps and the overall performance in video is decent. The output is good and the phone is able to focus fast as well. The stabilisation is also decent and you have the option to shoot cinematic video etc. as well. And also one thing that I liked is that you can switch between the lenses while shooting.

Other Interesting things

User Interface

The camera UI is very android like and I think if the phone had an overall better UI then it would just be so much more appealing to me. The thing is that we have now been spoilt with the Pixels, iPhones, OnePlus’s that UI is actually one of the reasons why users also don’t change their phones.


The display of the phone is amazing. It features a 6.78 LTPO AMOLED Display with 120 Hz refresh rate. In fact, even the peak brightness is 3000 nits, which is very impressive and you won’t have any challenge using it in daylight conditions.


So how do I find the X100 Pro – I actually want to talk about a couple of things here. First let just talk about the cameras. The performance of the camera is very good. Overall across all cameras the phone is able to deliver sharp well detailed results and it is consistent. And the telephoto in this is really impressive. It really looks like Zeiss and Vivo have worked hard on these cameras.

But and here is a the big but.

While everything about this phone screams premium, its build quality, display, cameras, performance, it truly justifies the price billing of 90k as well. But since the time I have started using this phone there is one thing that is really eating my head. Would a user really spend nearly 90k on a Vivo phone? Because has Vivo been successful in positioning their brand as that premium a product? Because purely from a phones perspective there is nothing that it is doing wrong. It’s fast, it’s light, it’s slim, delivers an awesome performance, and there really isn’t much to complain about.

Text and Images: Bhavya Desai

India Travel Retail Market


Travel Retail is the next great frontier of the Indian Retail Sector, and as people’s incomes rise, India’s position as a business powerhouse and tourist destination will also continue to solidify, leading to the growth and prosperity of this industry.

Covid-19 has all but wiped out the travel industry in India and the passenger numbers continue to be affected in India even in 2021 owing to existing lockdowns and restrictions in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic. In 2020, less than 3 million foreign tourists visited India with a dip of around 75% when compared to 2019 due to travel restrictions imposed. The Covid-19 outbreak is impacting duty-free shopping behaviour, spend, and browsing likelihood on a category level, with this being particularly the case with luxury items in India. As a result of the pandemic, shoppers have moved to online shopping in greater swathes than before, and several travel retail operators, including Delhi Duty-Free, have introduced new online retail services facilitating home delivery of travel retail exclusive and duty-absorbed products.

A combination of a large and growing population, increasing air connectivity, inbound tourism, and the growing disposable incomes and propensity to travel internationally by India’s middle class are some of the major factors fuelling the growth of India’s travel retail market.

As per a research, it is estimated that nearly 80% of the country’s duty-free shoppers are Indians which is quite unlike other markets in the region, such as Korea or Thailand, where most duty-free sales are from international travellers rather than local travellers. However, this is likely to change with the growth in international tourism in the country. While India accounts for only 4.8% of the Asia Pacific region’s total international tourist arrivals, its year-on-year growth rate has been well above the region’s average in recent years and as of 2019, India attracted nearly 17.9 million international tourists. The changes by the Indian Government to its e-visa regime are simplifying procedures, making it friendlier to international tourists and these developments will further help in the growth of India’s travel retail market.

The growth of e-commerce can be seen as part of a broader digitalisation of the travel industry in India and especially airports. This is in part due to younger profiles of travellers, growth of low-cost airlines, and airport privatisation. The introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) has decreased the cost and time of logistics and interstate transport which has made the Indian retail market more lucrative for foreign investors who can invest in single brands, multi brands, wholesale/ cash and carry, e-commerce and duty free.

Travel Retail is commonly used to describe the duty-free retail industry, in addition to all retail activities dedicated to travellers and tourists. A complete background analysis of the Indian Travel Retail Market which includes an assessment of the economy, market overview, market size estimation for key segments, and emerging trends in the market, market dynamics, and key company profiles are covered in the report. The Indian Travel Retail Market is segmented by Product Type into Fashion and Accessories, Wine & Spirits, Tobacco, Food & Confectionary, Fragrances and Cosmetics, Others (Stationery, Electronics, Watches, Jewelry, etc.) and by Distribution Channel into Airports, Airlines, Ferries and Other Distribution Channels. The report offers market size and forecasts for the Indian Travel Retail Market in terms of value (USD Billion) for all the above segments.

Airports Constitute the Major Retail Channels in India’s Travel Retail Market

Nearly 50% of an international airport’s revenue is generated from duty-free and travel retail activities and in terms of sheer size and range offered, the duty-free retail areas at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai are nothing less than high-end malls. The largest duty-free area in India is currently operated by Mumbai Duty-Free at Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) followed by New Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) which is operated by New Delhi Duty-Free Services (DDFS). The duty-free revenue per passenger for New Delhi and Mumbai was the highest in India at USD 11 and 10 per passenger for FY2019.

The future of airport retail is defined by data, omnichannel, and personalisation. Online pre-purchase orders for airport pickup are more popular in the Indian market than anywhere else in the Asia Pacific region and there is a growing response by duty-free operators to the increasing flexible payment, ordering pickup, and delivery needs of customers. Delhi Duty-Free’s ‘Shop and Collect’ plan for instance offers an extra 10% discount to those who pre-book orders at the airport on their outbound journey and pick them upon return.