My only concern on most models is the lack of Optical Image Stabilisation. While that is not an issue in good light, it means you need to hold it steady in low light. Sure the Qualcomm chip helps here with EIS in smoothing out any judders, but it can result in a softer image.
OPPO co-developed the Sony Exmor IMX519 sensor used on its 16MP Main lens. It’s the latest generation only being released in March this year.
To put this in perspective Sony claim a 100% increase in frame rate capture, larger 1.22um Pixel size and a 1/2.6-inch sensor size taking 4656 x 3496 pixels.
OPPO pairs this with a f/1.7 lens, some good smart AI software and the Qualcomm Spectra post-processing power.
OPPO avoided the ‘easy’ way of using even larger 1.4um pixels instead opting for a larger sensor with 18.7% more smaller pixels.
This gives clearer shots with less noise. It also works well with OPPO’s beauty software. In summary, it allows lower ISO with shorter exposure times.
The second RGB sensor is an IMX376 with 20MP support, 1um pixel, 1/2.78″ sensor size and 5120 x 3840 pixels. It is the same as the front selfie sensor.
Why the detail?
It has a 16MP standard lens for normal shooting – that is impressive. The 20MP is for bokeh (depth information), additional light gathering and details (sharpness).
Couple these to the impressive dual Qualcomm Spectra 160 image signal processors and you have very powerful post-processing that delivers great shots in almost all environments. In fact, the second lens shoots in 20MP and combines (pixel binning) the best pixels into a 5MP image that is then used with the 16MP to deliver the shot.
Interestingly the R15 (non-Pro version) has a 16/5MP rear camera (no pixel binning) that appears to do almost as well.
This setup allows shooting down to less than optimal, lighting – 5 lux. I took over 50 photos in a variety of conditions, and all were very good.
OK, it will not be quite as good as say the Samsung Galaxy S9+, HTC U12 Pro or Huawei P20 Pro but its damned close. And it costs a lot less.
Heaps of detail, better colours (OPPO tended toward oversaturation in previous models), low or no noise and good contrast. We felt HDR was a little aggressive at times and turned it off for good light.