Tag Archives: Tech Review

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.

Portrait

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.

Macro

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.

Video

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.

Conclusion

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

OnePlus 12 vs iQOO 12 Camera Comparison Test

Both, the OnePlus 12 and the iQOO 12 launched in December 2023 and January 2024, within a gap of a month. And since the time of these launches, there has been a lot of buzz about their cameras, especially since both of these brands are owned by the same parent company. BBK Electronics owns both, OnePlus and Vivo, and Vivo internally owns iQOO.

And both these devices have a very similar camera set-up, in fact they also use similar sensors and processors as well, making this comparison very interesting. The OnePlus 12 starts at ₹69,999 and the iQOO 12 starts at ₹57,999 and let’s find out which is the better camera between the two.

Look, Body & Feel

The iQOO 12 has been designed in association with the BMW M edition and you can see the reminiscence of that across the design, I really like the weight of the phone, it is really light and you hardly feel as if you are holding anything. But the camera module perspective the iQOO is very simple, they’ve not spent much time in trying to jazz up the module. It pretty much slapping on the module in the black background. The OnePlus on the other hand have some unique things about the 12, like the glitter effect when the light falls on it, also the flowy texture.

I have spoken about that in detail in my review of the OnePlus 12 Review here so you can see that as well.

Now both of the phones come with a triple camera set up and they have been updated of the latest software of Funtouch and Oxygen OS.

Camera Set-up:

iQOO 12

  • Wide: 50 MP, f/1.7, 23mm, 1/1.3″, 1.2µm, multi-directional PDAF, OIS
  • Telephoto: 64 MP, f/2.6, 70mm, 1/2.0″, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • Ultra-Wide: 50 MP, f/2.0, 15mm, 119˚, AF
  • Rear Video: 8K@30fps, 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, gyro-EIS
  • Front: 16 MP, f/2.5
  • Front Video: 1080p@30fps

OnePlus 12

  • Wide: 50 MP, f/1.6, 23mm, 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, multi-directional PDAF, OIS
  • Telephoto: 64 MP, f/2.6, 70mm, 1/2.0″, 0.7µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • Ultra-Wide: 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 114˚, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
  • Rear Video: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240/480fps
  • Front: 32 MP, f/2.4, 21mm (wide), 1/2.74″, 0.8µm
  • Front Video: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS

Daylight Main Camera

In the primary camera both of these have a 50-MP camera but they feature different sensors, the OP12 features the Sony LYT808 sensor while the iQOO 12 features the OmniVision OV50H sensor. But the output from OnePlus is at 14.3 MP and the iQOO is close behind at 13.9 MP. Now why is this important for you to understand. While all manufacturers claim that the phones have a 200-MP camera, 50-MP etc., the output actually it captures isn’t in its full resolution, unless you are activating it. So, these things can be deceptive and often users feel that this is the resolution that the phone shoots at.

To test the phones, I chose a setting where there are shadows, darker areas and also brighter areas so that it pushes the phones to do more and the images from the iQOO were slightly underexposed and over sharpened in most cases, while the OnePlus gives more saturated output. The colour vibrancy is also visibly more on the OnePlus than the iQOO. In terms of the HDR performance, in some cases the iQOO is much better with bringing out the shadows and highlights, while in the other the OnePlus is better. There is also a hint of slight reddish tinge in the images from the iQOO. In terms of sharpness and details both the phones deliver a good performance overall.

Daylight Ultra-Wide Camera

In the ultra-wide category the iQOO shoots with a 50-MP camera at a 15mm focal range and the OP shoots with a 48-MP camera with a 14mm focal range, and the output is bigger also in the iQOO with a 13.8 MP vs the 13.2 MP of the OP.

And in this case the performance was mixed from both the phones, in some cases the OP would be better and in the other iQOO would be better. Neither of them gives a consistent performance that you can really nail. Sometimes the images are underexposed on the OP and sometimes on the iQOO. Sometimes the HDR is better on the OP and other times better on the iQOO.

But like the primary camera, the iQOO again gives hints of reddish tone in them. While the OP 12 continues to give a slightly more vibrant image, which is slightly more saturated than the original scene. In terms of the sharpness and detail they both have a neck-to-neck performance with hardly to choose between them.

Daylight Telephoto Camera

In daylight both the phones feature the same sensor, which is the 64-MP OmniVision sensor, but the zoom capabilities that both of these offer are different. The OP 12 gives a range of 3x and 6x zoom which goes all the way up to 120x. On the other hand, the iQOO gives a zoom of 3x and 10X zoom up to 100x hybrid zoom.

In the images I like the fact that the iQOO gives you a more consistent tonal range across the focal range, which I found the OP 12 to not give. But yes, from the images perspective, both these phones give a good output. There is good sharpness and details in both, but slight over sharpening in the iQOO, especially at the higher focal range because of which the images also seem processed and sharper.

At the max focal range both the phones deliver ok result. You can’t really use these images, but one thing I’d like to mention is that with OP it’s a lot easier to shoot at the max focal range since it locks focus, which is very difficult to do with the iQOO.

Lowlight Main Camera

The performance in the lowlight category from both the phones is very different. When it comes to the primary camera, the results from the iQOO are slightly underexposed and over sharpened. The OP also over sharpens images in some cases, but is able to deliver a more natural and accurate output of the two. But I found the HDR performance of the iQOO to be much better in this case.

Lowlight Wide Camera

In the wide category the images similar to the daylight, both phones had a mixed output. Giving underexposed images sometimes and giving proper natural output the other times. But the images overall seemed more natural from the OP than the iQOO.

Lowlight Telephoto Camera

And much like the daylight performance the lowlight telephoto performance is also varied. You can see the difference in the images and the tonal range between the different focal range. The images are more contrasty and poppy in the OP and the iQOO processes those images more. Now both of these have the same sensors, but the OP delivers a closer to the real look. It’s as if they’ve been able to tweak the processing and signalling much better than iQOO. But the images are sharp and detailed in both phones, however at the max focal ranges you can see the stark difference in the output between both of them.

Macro

While OP has a higher hand in lowlight telephoto, in macro the iQOO with its super macro mode is really good. It allows you to blur the background which the OP won’t do. The images from the OP 12 also come out nice, but with the super macro mode the images from the iQOO are much better.

Portrait

In portraits both the phones allow you to shoot at 1,2 and 3x but the performance varies in both of them. They do deliver sharp and detailed images, but the OP gives a much warmer tone in the images, which might be liked more by the users. The iQOO adds a slight yellow tinge to the subject while the OP adds a slight reddish tinge. Neither of the phones deliver the actual scene in daylight. But in terms of the edge detection in daylight the iQOO is much better, sharper and well defined edges as compared to the OP.

But as good as the iQOO is in the daylight with edge detection, it’s is pretty average overall in lowlight portraits. The images are oversaturated, much too warm and also sometimes at the high focal range shows colour fringing again. The OP in this case delivers an OK performance, the images come slightly underexposed, but much better that the iQOO for sure. So overall in this case I would say the OP is more consistent overall in portraits. 

Front camera

And OP is able to continue that in the front camera as well. It has a new 32-MP camera versus the iQOO 16-MP camera which at best delivers an ok performance. The images from the OP are sharper, much better and also is able to deliver more. Even in portrait the camera is able to sense the depth much better. For instance, I took this pic at F1.4 from both the phones and the iQOO gave less depth as compared to the OP. Yes, it does go as wide as 0.95 but even then I thought the depth was ok. In edge detection also the camera is much better.

Video Performance

In video both can shoot up to 8k but the iQOO goes up to 30 fps whereas the OP can go up to 24 fps. The OP also gives you 5 lenses to shoot from as compared to the iQOO.

In terms of output both the phones have a good output, but the samples from OP looks more vibrant and natural, the stabilisation is good in both but it is better in the OP again and overall in the video as well I felt that OP was better.

Other things

Every time that I was shooting with the IQOO the screen would show the live feed much darker than the actual output. That was surprising since there was no way for me to tell if what is the output the camera would show. Also the iQOO was heating up more than the OP as well.

The camera UI is something that I have included in this comparison coz I felt that the fluency of the camera app was better in the OnePlus and also the screen at 4500 nits is just phenomenal.

Conclusion

So which is the better camera between the two? Yes, both of these manufacturers need to work on certain aspects of their cameras even now, but overall in terms of not only the camera, but also the specs, the optimisation of how the phone works overall, OnePlus is the much better camera and phone in most aspects.

Text and Images by Bhavya Desai

OnePlus 12 Camera Review

The OnePlus 12 was launched recently and this is the 4th year of the collaboration between Hasselblad and OnePlus, which started with the OnePlus 9 series, where they initially had decided to invest 150 million over the next three years in the development of the cameras. Now I have used all the devices since the OnePlus 9 and some of the cameras have been really good and some not. But what’s exciting about this camera is that OnePlus has changed their thought process in this one. Which makes it exciting for the people that were waiting for a phone like this.

Camera Set Up

At first glance you can immediately understand that the cameras of the 12 are much bigger than the 11 and the telephoto lens is different. Also the small touches given to the camera module are interesting, like when the light hits the camera module then you can see that slight glitter with the flowy emerald design also has its touch inside the camera module as well.

Now what’s very interesting about the camera of the 12 is that it is the same set up as the OnePlus Open, except the placements of the camera.

Triple Cameras

  • Wide: 50 MP, f/1.6, 23mm, 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, multi-directional PDAF, OIS
  • Telephoto: 64 MP, f/2.6, 70mm, 1/2.0″, 0.7µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • Ultra-Wide: 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 114˚, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
  • Rear Video: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240/480fps
  • Front: 32 MP, f/2.4, 21mm (wide), 1/2.74″, 0.8µm
  • Front Video: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS

And the phone is powered by the latest Snapdragon Gen 3 processor. The phone that we have reviewed is the maxed-out version with a 16GB RAM and the 512 GB storage. The good thing is that there is a major bump from the cameras of the OnePlus 11, which also had a 50-MP and a 48-MP cameras, but the telephoto was only 32-MP and the front camera was a 16-MP one.

Daylight Wide Camera

The main camera is powered by the 50-MP Sony LYT808 sensor, which is a stacked sensor and it is supposed to let it 25% more light than before. This will give you a 23mm focal range to shoot from and the actual output of this camera is at 14.3 MP, which is better than the 12 MP of the OnePlus Open and the 12.5 MP of the OnePlus 11.

The images from the phone are good. They are sharp and detailed, well saturated as well, but they seem slightly vibrant than the original scenes. In most cases I felt that the colours were really popping out as opposed to what the actual scene was. But yes, in general nothing to complain about the wide camera.

The phone has a new HDR algorithm and we had also kept the HDR setting to Auto, and in this case I thought the performance was ok, nothing different than what I had seen in the previous phones.

Daylight Ultrawide Camera

For the ultrawide the phone offers a 48-MP camera which shoots at 14mm and also doubles up as the macro camera.

The images from the phone are sharp and detailed but the performance is varied and inconsistent. In some cases, the images from the phone are slightly contrasty and in the others, there is a slight reddish tinge as well in them. The colours however are good and saturated and continues the vibrancy in this lens as well. But there is visible distortion in the images that I shot and I wish that all wide lenses would have better distortion performance overall in all phones.

Daylight Telephoto Camera

The 12 has a new 64-MP OmniVision telephoto lens, and it’s the same one that is featured in the Open and also the iQOO 12 as well. This shoots at 70mm on 3x and can go all the way upto 120x as well.

And the images much like the Open are really good. OnePlus has found a great partner in OmniVision for this camera and it really works for them. The images are sharp, well saturated and really detailed. But yes, there is a slight difference in the image from the 2x to 3x. For instance, the images shot at 2x show a different colour while 3x and above show a different colour. But the resolution and sharpness of this lens is really good. And easily the telephoto is the best lens that it has.

Lowlight Wide Camera

In terms of lowlight the performance of the wide camera is good. Much like the daylight it delivers good and sharp images, the images look slightly pushed in some cases, but the output is nice. Infact the shadows and highlights also in this case come out well and the performance of the HDR is pretty good.

Lowlight Ultrawide Camera

And the performance in the ultrawide is also similar. Good output, well saturated images, sometimes they are slightly processed but from the normal perspective they are pretty good. Although underexposed sometimes, the images overall were decent and like most lens in the ultrawide category, the sharpness could be better.

Lowlight Telephoto Camera

Like daylight, the telephoto in lowlight is also pretty good. It delivers consistent performance and also the images are sharp, detailed and well saturated. Yes, on zooming in a lot you will find that the images aren’t sharp, but in most cases you aren’t really going to use that in such cases anyways. Although there were these occasional cases when I saw some colour fringing but that was just one odd occasion and you can surely give it a pass.

Portrait

For shooting portraits, the 12 gives you the option of three cameras to shoot from and honestly, I found the camera to deliver decent results. Across the different focal range, when shooting people, the images showed reddish and yellowish tinge under the same scenarios, the images are also contrasty sometime.

But the edge detection, sharpness and bokeh performance is really good and I am happy that like many phones of today it doesn’t really over sharpen or smoothens your skin. But yes, the performance surely leaves you wanting for more.

Macro

The wide lens also doubles us as the macro lens and the performance from the same is good. It doesn’t have a super macro mode like some of the cameras out there, but the performance from the lens is nice. The colours are vibrant, poppy, may be oversaturated sometimes, but they still look good to the naked eye. Infact I really like the bokeh as well that it was delivering when getting close to the subject.

Front Camera

The 12 features a new front camera in the form of 32-MP and it also now shoots 4k as opposed to the Full HD in the 11.

But where they have given the upgraded camera, it still doesn’t give the option to shoot with wide lens even now. The pinhole camera on the 12 has also moved to the centre instead of the left in the 11, which means you can now look straight instead of the side.

The images from the front camera are good and surely a big upgrade from what it was before and this is a big welcome change that I am happy to see in the 12. And in terms of the video as well the phone now shoots 4k upto 30 fps and that a really good sight to see. The performance is also good as you can see from the image.

Video

In terms of video the phone shoots 8k upto 24 fps and 4k upto 60 fps. The output is pretty good, the phone focuses fast and also the stabilisation is also nice. And in this regard the delivers whatever you ask of it, which is a good overall performance in this category.

Other Things

The phone with the 8 Gen 3 processors and the Trinity Engine is really fast and silky smooth top use. The good thing is also that it doesn’t lag as well when you shoot lot photos with the cameras and in most cases it will keep up to everything that you are doing.

The peak brightness is a whopping 4500 nits, and this thing can literally light up the moon as well. Even in high sunlight you will find its usage to be very easy and that’s a great thing.

Conclusion

So how do I find the OnePlus 12 cameras? Honestly, I have been using the OnePlus phones since a long time and I have mixed feeling reviewing this phone. From a general phone perspective this has the makings of being a good phone for the price, but from the cameras performance, for some reason it is just too inconsistent for me as of now. For instance, the main camera is really good and delivers vibrant pics, but the colour varies from the 2x to 3x cameras.

At the time of this review this phone has not received any update yet, and these are things that can easily be fixed with updates, and OnePlus is known to do that as well. So I am hoping that it gets fixed in time because I would surely like to see the Hasselblad and OnePlus team do much better than this.

Text and Images: 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.

Video

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.

Conclusion

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.

Portraits

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.

Macro

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. 

Video

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.

Display

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.

Conclusion

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