Mega-telezoom, mega-wide angle, mega-megapixel: the vying for the best specs on cameras is getting crazier. At the same time, increasingly complex algorithms are needed to master the sometimes chaotic camera setups. Compared to some competitors, Oppo relies on a relatively simple triple camera on the Find X2 Pro, which also brings its pitfalls.
The good news first: The camera in the Oppo Find X2 Pro is excellent and leaves behind the imaging systems of more expensive competitors in many areas. In addition to the evaluation of the image quality, we set ourselves the task in this review to explain the special features of the camera and to unravel the marketing design of the manufacturer.
Spoiler: The native dual ISO may shake your knowledge of cameras in the foundations.
The camera system at a glance
Three rear cameras for ultra wide angle, wide angle and 5x tele, one selfie snap: The Oppo Find X2 Pro dispenses with unnecessary chichi such as depth sensors or 2-megapixel macro cameras, which at best help the data sheet and eager greed market sellers.
Cameras in OPPO Find X2 Pro
|Ultra Wide Angle Camera||48 megapixels||1/2 inch||F2.2||Sony IMX586|
|Main camera||48 megapixels||1/1.43 inch||F1.7||Sony IMX689|
|5x Telezoom Camera||13 megapixels||1/3.44 inch||F3.0||—|
|Selfie Camera||32 megapixels||1/2.8 inch||F2.4||Sony IMX616|
The strengths of the Find X2 Pro are clearly to be expected at low focal lengths: here you will find two large sensors that promise good image quality. The telecamera, on the other hand, drops significantly with the tiny sensor – and probably belongs more in the gimmick drawer.
The main camera in the Oppo Find X2 Pro is fired by the Exmor IMX689. In addition to the lush surface given by the 1/1.43 inch format, the Sony sensor has some exciting features. Depending on the task, the sensor uses the full 48 megapixels or quarters of the industry standard to 12 megapixels.
Switching between 48 and 12 megapixels is done manually in the camera app. By default, 12 megapixels are selected, and you can also leave it confident. The most noticeable difference is the file size, which has roughly tripled in the direction of 48 megapixels. The bottom line is that I’m more likely to value that for the 12-megapixel images than for the 48-megapixel images. The detail reproduction is just as excellent in good lighting conditions as the colour reproduction. The photos are colourful and lively, but without overturning the colours as much as many market companions. I couldn’t see any problems with color casts or incorrect white balance during the trial period.
The HDR automatic works reliably. I couldn’t see any problems with artifacts. At this point, Oppo is well ahead of the 108-megapixel competition – the algorithms just seem to work better. With less than half the pixel count, the demands are also significantly lower.
One more word about the sensor: The high real focal length of the lens associated with the large format ensures a low depth of field. On the sunny side, there is a gentle optical bokeh in close-ups, which is still ahead of the rendered background blurs. However: Contrast-rich transitions close to the sharpness like to fray halo-like.
Finally, in weaker lighting conditions, the photos of the Oppo Find X2 Pro taken in standard operation lose their details, contrast and sharpness comparatively quickly. The reasonably fast night mode improves the muddy results enormously, but always wants to be activated manually. Problems with motion artifacts are rare in night mode, but occur with fast moving motifs.
100 percent pixel focus
The previously mentioned quarterof resolution is done using Sony’s microlens technology called 2×2 OCL. This means that there is a separate microlens above each of the 48 million pixels on the sensor – even though the Bayer filter itself only resolves 12 megapixels. The art handle with the numerous micro lenses makes it possible to perform a horizontal as well as vertical phase comparison with each pixel quartet. The sensor thus has a comprehensive phase comparison autofocus with several million cross sensors.
The result is impressive: In both photo and video mode, the camera is sharper than you can see. During the test period, at least in the case of the wide-angle camera, there was not a single misfocus. Even in low light conditions, the autofocus works outstandingly well.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro does a good job with portrait photos. Candid photos benefit from the enormously fast autofocus. Oppo offers “1x” and “2x” magnifications here – both portrait focal lengths use the main camera. Thanks to the lush sensor surface and the resolution reserves, this digital double zoom is no problem. The reproduction of skin tones is accurate.
Instead of letting the user adjust the intensity of the mandatory bokeh effect by random aperture number, Oppo displays a percentage scale. The factory setting is 60 percent and provides discreet but beautiful results as can be seen in the picture above this paragraph. However, I find it a pity that the intensity of the bokeh effect is no longer adaptable afterwards.
Oppo finally proudly advertises the Find X2 Pro by being the first smartphone to support 12-bit recording. This color depth describes how many brightness nuances each color channel can distinguish. For the 8 bits fixed for JPEGs, that’s 2, i.e. 256 nuances. 10 bits then correspond to 1024, and 12 bits to 4096 brightness levels.
If the brightness levels are assumed in either human or algorithm-driven image processing, so-called banding effects can be seen in fine colour gradients, i.e. clear demarcations between individual colours. In practice, this problem occurs especially in extremely fine colour gradients, for example in blue skies. But when you encounter banding effects in today’s smartphones, it’s more of an algorithm than a sensor color depth problem – the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, for example, liked to draw ugly edges in the camera test.
For this test I took comparison photos in RAW with the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (Samsung Isocell Bright GW1) and the Oppo Find X2 Pro (Sony Exmor IMX689). With the same exposure, identical RAW processing and the same extremely destructive contrast settings, there is no significant difference between the two smartphones.
Dual Native ISO
Last but not least, the “double native ISO sensitivity” would have a good chance of becoming the next feature sow driven by marketing departments through the village and around the globe – it wouldn’t be as complicated to explain it as strikingly as a gigantic megapixel number. The feature itself is justified and is not unjustifiably found on high-end cameras for some time.
Simply put, a Dual Native ISO sensitivity gives the user or camera the ability to capture extremely bright and dark image areas more flexibly and with better detail yield. However, humans or algorithms must also know how to use the possibilities.
In principle, with cameras increasing iso-setting, the detail reproduction in bright image areas increases to a certain extent. This is because the increasingly strong signal amplification in image processing shifts the position of the gray point down in the dynamic range. Turns a youAl-ISO camera now switching from the lower to the higher native ISO sensitivity, an abrupt drop in detail should occur in the bright image areas, as the gray point jumps upwards in the dynamic range.
Unfortunately, I was not able to provoke this phenomenon in the test. However, it is also possible to not access both ISO sensitivities in manual mode. But we remain on the trail of double sensitivity – presumably the issue will run away more often over the next few months. As initially threatened: At the end of this camera test you will find a more detailed excursion on the topic ISO and Dual Native ISO.
Ultra wide angle camera with large sensor
Forget the small-sensorpanorama cameras that LG used to launch the ultra-wide-angle trend in smartphones a few years ago. The Find X2 Pro includes a 48-megapixel sensor in 1/2-inch format with the Sony IMX586. Just as a reminder: The chip still provided the main camera in the Honor flagship View 20, which was introduced in Germany in 2019.
However, the Oppo Find X2 Pro does not reach the 120 degree angle of view advertised by the manufacturer. With a Crop Factor of 5.41 on the IMX586 and a focal length of 3.05 millimeters according to EXIF, we land at 16.5 millimeters of equivalent focal length – or 105.3 degrees. And even in direct comparison with the ultra-wide-angle photos from the Galaxy S20 Ultra, it is clear that Samsung is wider.
The bottom line is that the wide perspective in combination with the technical requirements still provides fun. As with the main camera, the color reproduction in daylight photos is very successful. The dynamic range is a touch less, so that it is more likely to get eaten-up highlights. In addition, the colours appear a little more saturated. The images of the two modules are similar enough to make the results of the Oppo Find X2 Pro look like a single cast.
The comparatively large sensor performs above average even in low light conditions. It is true that dark areas of the image are slowly building up in noise. But the colors remain largely stable and the detail reproduction is still good. In direct comparison with the main camera, a mating is only visible with fine textures.
Last but not least, the Ultra Wide Angle module still functions as a macro camera. However, the practical implementation of macro mode is somewhat confusing. If you approach the subject further and further, the app automatically switches to the ultra wide angle module from about ten centimeters away, which significantly changes the viewing angle at a short distance. In addition, I personally am not a big fan of ultra-wide angle macros, as the background is not very compressed and comparatively sharp. After all, in manual mode, Oppo saves itself from jumping back and forth.
Telezoom camera: lots of zoom, little sensor
While ultra-wide-angle and wide-angle cameras have large sensors, a tiny sensor sits behind the periscope of the telezoom camera. The 1/3.44 inch small chip offers less than half the area for incoming light compared to the Sony IMX586 in the ultra wide angle module. Just a reminder: Samsung relies on this same IMX586 for its S20 Ultra telecamera.
While Oppo does not reveal the focal length and speaks only of a 10x hybrid zoom, the focal length can be roughly calculated: The crop factor of the 1/3.44 inch small sensor is about 8.25. Multiplied by the real focal length of 15 millimeters from the EXIF data, this results in a 35mm equivalent focal length for the periscope camera of 123.75 millimeters. This corresponds to five times the optical zoom compared to the main camera with a focal length of around 25 millimeters, the rest is digital zoom.
In good light conditions, the Telezoom delivers acceptable images that inspire with the image angle that was unthinkable for smartphones until recently. Yes, I hear you fans of Galaxy S4 Zoom & Co. out there, but let’s face it: Smartphone telezooms have only arrived in the mass market for about a year. In any case, the fair-weather tele-photos from the Find X2 Pro look useful on a smaller view and should still look beautiful even in the form of small-format prints.
In low light conditions, the quality of the telecamera collapses as expected. The photos then become so quickly muddy that the Find X2 Pro decides to take an extraordinary step below a certain brightness. Instead of using the telecamera, the smartphone takes pictures with the main sensor again and zooms digitally into the image. As expected, the results are very poor. In any case, the image quality benefits enormously from the night mode, which, however, also wants to be activated manually here. Do it!
In some cases, switching between the main and telecamera also happens with the same subject. The photo of the telecamera may not be very good here, but switching to the 48-megapixel chip improves the result. The EXIF data reveals which sensor the Find X2 Pro shoots with.
The front camera squeezes many pixels into little space: 32 megapixels share the 1/2.8 inch sensor. Although the Sony IMX616 is also a sensor with a quad-bayer pattern, Oppo emits the full 32 megapixels instead of 8 megapixels to quarters.
In good light conditions, the selfies are basically beautiful and colourful, but rustle when viewed enlarged, even in daylight. Accordingly, the level of detail of the recordings is far from as good as the resolution might promise.
In poorer lighting conditions, the image noise then increases quickly. For the usual selfie destinations Instagram, Facebook & Co., however, the quality is always satisfactory. If you have more in mind with the photos, you should use one of the rear cameras.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro has a camera that is suitably good in its price range, which really makes you feel good over long distances, not least thanks to the excellent autofocus system. The photos of the two wide-angle cameras succeed excellently and look like a single piece. Personally, I like the accurate color reproduction compared to many competitors (Samsung, hust).
However, there are also two fun brakes on the way: First, the somewhat shaky behaviour interferes with the close-range limits of the tele- and wide-angle camera. And secondly, the telecamera is so weak-breasted that it is sometimes simply replaced by the main sensor. Unfortunately, the behaviour of the camera is not always completely conclusive here.
But if you mainly take pictures with the two wide-angle modules and don’t expect too much from the zoom, you will find one of the best camera systems on the market at the Oppo Find X2 Pro.
Excursus: ISO Sensitivity and Dual-Native ISO
Let’s start with ISO – or the sensitivity: The individual silicon crystal pixels on each image sensor first provide an analog signal when exposed, the voltage of which depends on the amount of light that has fallen. This signal now runs first and foremost through an analog amplifier. The native Emthe sensor.
The signal then passes through an analog-to-digital converter and is hacked at will in the digital image processing processes of Computational Photography. Adjustments to the sensitivity beyond the analog-to-digital conversion now only shift the so-called gain, but do not change the sensitivity of the sensor itself. The result, even for camera professionals, is not very intuitive in terms of image quality at different ISO values.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K, for example, has two different native sensitivities. Over ISO 1000, the camera switches up from low to high. The diagram output by the manufacturer clearly shows that adjusting the ISO values does not shift the dynamic range, but only the gray point (transition between pale and dark yellow) – and thus causes a redistribution of the image information at a constant dynamic range.
As can be seen from the diagram above, an additional, second sensitivity – achieved by an additional analog gain loop in the sensor in front of the analog-to-digital converter – expands the range of applications of cameras. As with dual ISO professional cameras, however, the same applies to image processing in smartphones: the technical possibilities must also be used.
For example, ISO 1000 is better suited to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K to map subjects with lots of bright eras – in the lighter spectrum above the 18 percent neutral gray point, there’s just a lot more information. Consequently, the detail reproduction for bright details at ISO 1000 with 5.3 compared to 2.0 light values is significantly better than at ISO 100. Conversely, ISO 100 is much better suited for capturing night scenes or low-key material, which is more relevant for scenic work on the film set.
What we commonly understand as ISO sensitivity stems from a slightly more far-fetched comparison to analog photography, but which is losing more and more sustanz – and would be as obsolete in the age of computational photography anyway as a choke in the Tesla Model 3.