This Android phone has a camera unlike any I’ve used before - Beritaja

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Vivo X100 Glacier Blue held in manus against fairy lights and garland of woody beads.Tushar Mehta

For years, telephone brands person been chasing camera image value that rivals master cameras- DSLRs, mirrorless, etc. For mean consumers for illustration me, that has been granted to immoderate extent, fixed we look astatine The photos we return connected phones’ screens. While telephone photography has improved substantially (even immoderate mid-range phones return awesome pictures), a fewer brands perpetually strive to surpass themselves. Chinese brands particularly excel in bringing caller (and sometimes ostentatious) features, which keeps The Asian telephone marketplace some competitory and exciting.

A caller summation to this group is The Vivo X100, which gets top-of-the-line specs, including The flagship MediaTek Dimensity 9300 chip, up to 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. With these specs and a ample curved AMOLED display, The X100 feels for illustration a adjacent competitor to The OnePlus 12. The biggest highlight, undoubtedly, is The rear camera system, which is tuned in business pinch The German optics elephantine Zeiss. But its mighty specifications aside, The Vivo X100 has 1 of The astir awesome camera features I person tested truthful far, and I consciousness you should spot them, too.

Why is The Vivo X100 special?

Vivo X100 Glacier Blue telephone pinch Zeiss Cameras.Tusjar Mehta

Vivo’s X bid has a agelong pedigree of awesome low-light camera performance. Last year, I tried The Vivo X90 Pro and remarked really The viewfinder captured much ray than my eyes could see. I besides recovered it to seizure overmuch much ray than The Galaxy S23 Ultra and The iPhone 14 Pro.

While The ample 1-inch format (cropped) sensor connected The X90 Pro was down its camera prowess, Vivo’s imaging besides relies connected a typical imaging processor, called “V2,” that immunodeficiency The phone’s chipset and RAM in creating amended images. In addition, Vivo now has a longstanding business pinch Zeiss — a renowned sanction in The optics industry. Zeiss provides typical lenses for Vivo’s X bid phones while besides helping The telephone shaper tune colors connected The images — deliberation of different telephone brand-camera marque partnerships, specified arsenic OnePlus and Hasselblad aliases Xiaomi and Leica.

With its latest procreation of X bid devices — The X100 and The X100 Pro, Vivo claims to person improved The imagining value moreover further. I person been testing The X100 (the non-Pro variant), particularly to trial The typical features Vivo adds for image photography. Here are The reasons I americium pleasantly surprised.

The Zeiss business makes each The difference

Vivo X100 Glacier Blue connected a woody table.Tushar Mehta

Zeiss is nary alien to The world of smartphone photography, and Vivo is not The first marque to partner pinch it. The German institution antecedently aided Nokia in its premier to heighten photography connected The N-series and later The Lumia scope of phones while sporadically assisting Sony pinch its Xperia telephone cameras.

This isn’t The first Vivo telephone pinch Zeiss optics either — in fact, this is The 4th procreation of The partnership. And dissimilar Nokia aliases Sony, wherever Zeiss’ domiciled was constricted to providing camera lenses, Vivo has been taking this integration deeper by helping it recreate effects from celebrated Zeiss lenses for master cameras.

This attack whitethorn astonishment Zeiss purists, for The marque caters to maximalists who for illustration to power a wide scope of parameters alternatively of getting a speedy and automatic shot. I opportunity this because astir Zeiss camera lenses, moreover in this age, travel only pinch manual focus, which distances them from beginners and casual excursionists to The trade. Its lenses are known to create sharper images but pinch a tinge of dreaminess, particularly in The background. Additionally, Zeiss lenses are comparatively overmuch much costly than likewise specced models from different camera companies specified arsenic Nikon aliases Canon, making them somewhat much exclusive to master and superior enthusiasts.

Vivo’s business pinch Zeiss results in these dreamy effects being recreated (replicated chiefly pinch algorithmic enhancements) connected The X bid phones. Naturally, The latest X100 and The X100 Pro get The newest and The astir nuanced version of these effects.

Zeiss camera image effects connected Vivo X100.Tushar Mehta

There are 2 important ways The Vivo X100 replicates Zeiss effects. Firstly, it simulates The aforesaid effects of six salient Zeiss lenses. These see Biotar, B-Speed, Sonnar, Planar, Distagon, and Cine-Flare. Each of these is an iconic camera lens bid from Zeiss’ humanities postulation and manipulates The inheritance in its chopped measurement without disturbing The subjects in The image, arsenic we will spot in The pursuing sections.

Secondly, The image mode offers preset zoom levels utilizing The 3 cameras to lucifer The emblematic focal lengths of master camera lenses instead. If that sounds confusing, fto maine elaborate. The Vivo X100 features 3 cameras: a 50-megapixel superior camera, a 50MP ultrawide camera, and a 64MP telephoto periscope pinch 3x zoom. Instead of The modular 1x, 2x, 3x, aliases akin intermediate zoom levels, The image mode lets you take from The different options for focal lengths — 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm — corresponding to celebrated focal ranges of Zeiss’ integer camera lenses.

Portrait camera preset bundles connected Vivo X100 Pro pinch Zeiss camera.Tushar Mehta

Lastly, The Vivo X100 offers presets for different scenarios of image photography, utilizing The above-stated features together. It uses combinations of The lens’s focal scope and effects for different scenarios, striving to nutrient The aforesaid images arsenic Zeiss lenses.

I dream that makes you funny astir The existent results of The Vivo X100’s image mode. Let’s commencement by exploring really The different lens effects activity out.

What The Vivo X100’s camera is Can of

All of The images pinch The Vivo X100 were purposefully taken in debased ray for 2 reasons: First, to show The X100’s expertise to seizure superb specifications in debased aliases indoor lighting, and second, mini aliases distant sources of ray make The image effects much distinguishable that they would in daylight aliases agleam scenarios.

For The first group of comparisons, we look astatine The different inheritance effects inspired by Zeiss lenses. To spot The differences, salary attraction to The shapes astir The ray sources down me.

On existent Zeiss lenses, these effects are created pinch beingness modifications to The aperture — aliases The beingness shutter that manipulates The magnitude of ray entering The lens. For instance, The B-Speed lens uses a triangular aperture, which is why The ray sources in The inheritance look triangular but pinch curved edges alternatively of consecutive ones. Likewise, The effects connected a Biotar lens are shaped for illustration an existent convex lens, while those connected a Distagon are shaped for illustration a hexagon.

On The Vivo X100, these effects are imitated by software, which is why they mightiness not ever beryllium meticulous and whitethorn alteration pinch The region and The strength of The ray aliases because of biology factors specified arsenic fog and haze, arsenic demonstrated below.

However, if conditions are favorable, we Can expect coagulated and unique trinkets arsenic portion of The background. Interestingly, these image effects besides activity without a look aliases surviving taxable in The frame, which makes The Vivo X100 a awesome camera for still-life photography — and not conscionable for capturing faces.

Another facet I must constituent retired is The perfection pinch which The Vivo X100 detects edges, moreover pinch sparse lighting. This expertise of The X100 helps create a chopped separation betwixt The taxable and The background, making The images look arsenic if they are pulled retired of a master camera and not a smartphone. The in installments present should spell to The laser autofocus system connected The Vivo X100 phones.

You Can usage each of these effects pinch each focal magnitude mounting based connected your region from The taxable and The level and extent of section you desire from The pictures. In addition, you Can manipulate The strength of The inheritance blur pinch each effect, but I stayed pinch The modular settings.

All The samples I person shared supra are astatine The 35mm setting, astir adjacent to 1.5x magnification. Due to consistently bad upwind in my metropolis complete The past fewer weeks — and The deficiency of due visibility, particularly astatine nighttime — I refrained from choosing wider focal lengths arsenic they would require images from a longer range.

However, if you do not wish to grapple pinch The settings, you Can take Vivo’s preset image bundles.

More image magic

Besides The Zeiss camera effects we saw in The erstwhile section, The Vivo X100 besides offers preset combos that take The due lens, The zoom level, and The Zeiss effect based connected celebrated lens formats. For instance, location are dedicated modes for scenery and thoroughfare portraits, a Classic mode for immoderate retro tint, a “Figure” mode to attraction connected you from a sizeable distance, and a “Close-up” to further zoom in connected your face. If you want a simpler image photograph without each The bells and whistles, a Natural mode allows you to do conscionable that. Along pinch The Zeiss effects in each of these modes, The strength of The blur is besides chosen pinch each of these camera presets. You Can either usage The modes arsenic they are aliases play astir to find The mounting you prefer.

Here is our first group of images taken astatine various focal lengths (as labeled). You Can spot The variations not only in position of The region but besides in The colors (notice The bluish tint in The Classic mode), The inheritance effects, and The blur strength in each photo.

Because of The haze in The background, The lights in The inheritance rather disperse arsenic they did in The erstwhile comparisons. So, we move our quest indoors for The pursuing comparison.

The abstraction limitations wrong The room forced america to move The camera person to my look alternatively of capturing a wider area. Besides The variations in different camera effects, this comparison demonstrates really focal magnitude affects The style of The objects in focus.

Look astatine The subtle changes to The style of my look astatine different focal lengths. This is because The curvature of The lenses tends to wrap The edges erstwhile you move person to an object. Photographers usage a akin method to return much flattering portraits.

Besides The variations in my face, you Can besides spot The different bokeh effects astir The fairy lights in The background. Each of these effects, arsenic stated above, changes automatically pinch The preset.

With these features, The Vivo X100 Can unfastened gates to The world of Zeiss (or different master premier lenses). Even if you do not want to do that, The images are compelling capable to wonderment if they person been changeable pinch a telephone aliases an existent camera — and you Can support The different personification guessing for arsenic agelong arsenic you like.

Is it worthy buying, though?

Vivo X100 Glacier Blue telephone pinch Zeiss Cameras.Tushar Mehta

I dislike to admit it, but my abilities pinch an existent camera are limited. While I cognize my F-stops from my shutter speed, I americium obscurity arsenic dextrous pinch a camera arsenic a professional. Therefore, I trust connected smartphones for capturing moments — and I deliberation I americium among The mostly of group there.

So, phones specified arsenic The Vivo X100 make a compelling lawsuit for those who wish not only to return awesome photos but besides to study astir different prospects of utilizing a master camera and, in definite instances, ignite a passion for photography pinch a camera. Can it switch a master camera? Or Can immoderate telephone switch a master camera, for that matter? There’s nary absolute aliases elemental answer. I consciousness phones for illustration The Vivo X100 (or The X100 Pro, which comes pinch a larger 1-inch sensor) Can switch cameras in plentifulness of scenarios, particularly erstwhile The personification utilizing it cannot dynamically play pinch different settings connected a camera.

The Vivo X100 makes a batch of consciousness for those who return a batch of photos and wish to get a superior value than astir phones. As we demonstrated above, The X100 has plump muscles to flex erstwhile it comes to nighttime and low-light portraits, chiefly acknowledgment to The flagship spot and a dedicated processor for photography.

The Vivo X100 eliminates The request for a Pro mode.

But contempt these allures, a fewer aspects forestall maine from recommending it to everyone. First, while Vivo has 1 of The astir precocious cameras connected The phone, its personification interface still lacks finesse. You spot a chaotic concoction of mismatched ocular elements, a dissatisfying personification experience, and a batch of pre-installed bloatware (which whitethorn alteration per region). These stressors sound unreasonable for a telephone that costs astir $1,000 (based connected its Hong Kong pricing). The 2nd challenge, arsenic you whitethorn person guessed, lies pinch The readiness of The Vivo X100. Although you buy The telephone connected AliExpress (the Amazon of China) and get a hefty 35% discount, location will beryllium nary warranty. Although you mightiness still find a measurement to get The telephone repaired in Europe, LATAM, aliases Asia if thing goes wrong, since Vivo sells in those regions, residents of North America whitethorn not beryllium fortunate.

So, astatine best, The Vivo X100 is simply a awesome 2nd telephone that functions arsenic an fantabulous camera. If you conscionable want to acquaint yourself pinch The world of Zeiss lenses and effects, The X100 whitethorn moreover beryllium a gateway — aliases a litmus trial earlier you walk thousands of dollars connected existent Zeiss lenses. Not to hide connected a decent camera pinch a sensor that Can warrant The revered lenses.

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Editor: Naga

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