Smartphones have evolved well over time and are capable of taking great photos. Most of us prefer taking photos with smartphones mainly because they are with us all the time. Manufacturers are in a constant race to improve smartphone cameras and every now and then you see great innovation in camera department from any manufacturer.
One of the major contenders of this race are the two Chinese brands, Oppo and Realme. The latter started as the sub-brand of Oppo and separated as a new brand in 2018. Smartphones from both these companies have the same ColorOS on their software front so the user experience is almost the same on both. Here we will dive into the camera app of the Oppo and Realme phones to give you a good insight on understanding the modes and taking better pictures.
The camera interface is pretty cluttered on the ColorOS. Although you’ll find most of the options that you can find on other smartphones, its the weird placement of buttons that is really confusing. Once you tap the camera app, it opens up with a viewfinder along with a number of modes and buttons on top and bottom.
On the top of the viewfinder, you see a button for changing the aspect ratio of the picture to be taken, a timer button, an HDR toggle, and a flash toggle. Below it, there’s a zoom button which zooms the camera to 2x only. Besides that, a beauty button and a filter toggle lie on the right corner.
The beauty toggle lets you select beauty from 1 to 6 or you could set it to AI but we suggest you turn the beauty off as it heavily treats the picture and destroys all the details. Below the shutter button are all the modes. Let’s dig through them one by one to build a better understanding.
Photo/ Auto mode
First and the foremost comes the Photo mode. It lets you take pictures in default mode is equipped with scene recognition AI in all the latest Oppo and Realme phones but it is inconveniently inconsistent and fails to recognize the right scene sometimes. Other than that, you can take pictures with different effects to make them look different.
Most of the Chinese phones like Huawei, Vivo, Oppo etc tend to brighten the subject too much. When taking a picture, first click on the subject that you want to focus. You can also drag the brightness to low and high by dragging the slider up and down on the focus circle.
Alongside the Photo option, you can find a Portrait mode. It lets you blur the background of the subject to give that nice bokeh effect but for this to work better, you have to be closer to the subject. Portrait mode works best if you are within the range of 2 meters from your subject.
The toggle to turn the blur on and off, that we have seen in Huawei and Honor phones’ camera app, seems to be missing in the Oppo and Realme phones so the phone decides itself when to blur the picture in portrait mode, which is a bit frustrating.
However, once you are in portrait mode, it gives you the light option under the viewfinder that you can change to give different look to your portraits. On the top, you can see a timer to take the picture.
Just like the AR Lens in Huawei phones, the ones from Oppo and Realme are also equipped with AR stickers, thanks tot he AI integrated into the camera. While this mode is not meant for serious photography, it is certainly fun when you are in a party or enjoying with friends or even when taking pictures for social media.
There are literally hundreds of stickers to choose from. Once you tap the stickers mode. There’d be a hat icon on the bottom left of the viewfinder. Click that and a plethora of AR stickers will open to choose from as you like.
Among other modes, the expert/professional mode is the most useful if you know how to use it. It gives you control over the camera settings and lets you manipulate them to get your desired results. Tap on the expert mode and you’ll see three lines on the bottom right of the viewfinder. Tap on them and you’ll be presented with White Balance, Exposure (EV), Brightness (ISO). Shutter speed and Focus options.
Besides the flash and timer button on the top bar, there is also an “Ultra HD” button. Be careful as it resets all the pro mode settings to default when pressed, so if you have changed the value of something, don’t press that button or the camera will reset the values to default.
Some of the Oppo phones also offer a Super Vivid mode that can be toggled with the button on the top bar beside timer. As the name suggests, the Super Vivid mode enhances the color of the pictures. Though some of you may like that, it was particularly a turn off for us. It makes the colors excessively bright and saturated that look artificial and overtreated.
The key to taking good pictures is practice. Photography is a difficult skill and takes a lot of devotion and patience to master. Play around with the modes in your smartphone camera. Pro mode is specifically great to make you understand how elements like Exposure, brightness etc play their part in the composition of the picture.