Photography and video
The name of Oppo Reno 10x Zoom reveals its photography capabilities – the phone is distinguishable with a triple camera, with a mechanical, flat-placed telephoto lens equipped with a periscope. It does not matter that the 10x zoom mentioned in the name is a hybrid one – there is a lot to brag about.
To be specific – we have a basic camera with a hybrid autofocus (laser + PDAF) and optical stabilization, 48 Mpx matrix, 26mm lens with an f/1.7 aperture, supported by 8-megapixel camera with wide-angle 16mm f/2.2 lens.
The third camera is the mentioned periscope with a 130 mm focal length, with an optical stabilization and an f/3.0 aperture. In reality – it gives a 6x lossless zoom, and further on – the hybrid or digital zoom takes place that can reach impressive 60x. In addition we have the front camera, with a 16 Mpx matrix and 26 mm lens, f/2.0. And what are the results of photography?
They are great of course! During the day – there is absolutely nothing to criticize – photos are sharp, well-lighted with natural colours. In addition, besides HDR, Reno offers the Dazzle Color mode – for those who like things a bit more colourful.
This is a good mode for taking photos of plants and the sky, but it provides eye-pleasant effects with the architecture as well. Photos taken during the night are worthy of a flagship, though sometimes we can see some noises and artefacts.
The night mode does not try to break physics – it only gives photos a nice touch, especially when there are brighter parts in the shot. Unfortunately, this trick does not work with the Moon – but photos – contrary to those taken by Huawei’s flagships – look like they are really taken at night, and not just before dawn. What is important – we can see colours even in night time shots, which is not so obvious in the market segment of top smartphones. I will add that the camera has an Expert mode – that is a manual one, there is an integration with Google Lens as well.
The wide-angle lens can be likeable as well, but in its case we must remember about the worse aperture (which is natural) and about the lack of optical image stabilization. Photos with a wide-angle lens do not leave much to be desired, though of course there is the characteristic “fish-eye” deformation effect – unfortunately, without the possibility of digital correction. It irritates me that we cannot switch with a single gesture from the main camera to the wide one – we need to switch between three levels of zoom. We can make it with a “pinching” gesture – but how can we do it when we are holding the phone with one hand? This is a nonsense…
It is time for the zoom. This big, impressive and so on. Let us cool down a bit… The useful zoom is the 6x. Then optics work and photos do not lose any of their quality. Later on, with the 10x zoom we can see a clear degradation of details representation – but let us say that it is bearable. And with an even bigger zoom – it becomes the usual, digital zoom with all its flaws.
The advertised 60x is – in my opinion – completely useless and the way I see it – it should not be in this phone because it can only disappoint the user. If you want my opinion – using zoom over 15x does not have any sense. Please remember that even though the lens has stabilization – it does not make miracles and it is best to have a tripod for zooms above 6x, and with 60x – even a tripod will fail.
I enjoyed panoramas taken with the camera of Reno 10x Zoom, just like background blurring effects – they are all right. Just like selfies – there is nothing to complain about, maybe we can be bothered with overexposing a bright background – but this is a typical feature of most front cameras, so I cannot complain about it that much.
If you like beautifying - Reno 10x Zoom has a lot of options, and all them give a rather natural effects. There is background blurring as well – but it is fully digital, because it uses only a single lens. The main camera blurs the background with the usage of two lenses – and it does a decent job.
I have a problem with assessing video recording. Everything seems to be fine, we can record in 60 frames per second or in 4K, we have slow-motion and the possibility to change the way the sound is saved. Besides a typical stereo there is surround sound and sound zoom – that is focusing the sound along with closing in on the particular object. Unfortunately, if you – just like me – counted on 6x lossless zoom while recording videos – you will be disappointed. Oppo Reno 10x Zoom records only with the main camera, so the zoom is only a digital one. Just like we cannot switch to the wide-angle one. It is a pity, because I have no concerns towards the quality of videos. They are good, even those from the front camera.
|Oppo Reno 10x Zoom - sample video
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
The camera interface is rather simple, though I would have changed a few things in it. Besides the irritating access to the wide-angle lens mentioned before, I would have modified the modes list. First of all, it could have benefited from the possibility to personalize the arrangement, and second of all – why a scrolling list, when the video or portrait modes can be scrolled on the bar next to the trigger?
Of course when the list is too long and we need to scroll a lot in order to find an appropriate mode this is a bad thing, like in for example, Asus Zenfone 6 - but if you have a possibility of arranging modes the way you want, it is much more bearable than a mixture of a list with scrolling. And the best solution is to have a simple panel with icons, like in Motorola...