Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Oppo F1 vs iPhone 5s - picture quality

a question arose as to the camera image quality of the Oppo F1 vs an iPhone 5s (from someone presumably wanting and upgrade path at a lower cost)

So as someone in the office has an iPhone 5s I just went to the balcony and took these shots.

conclusions up front:

So my finding is that the Oppo has a slightly better hardware camera module with a wider angle of view than the iPhone 5s - however, the JPG engine is crummy on this phone so to realise that potential of hardware you have to use RAW (actually implemented as a dng) and process in something else (like Photoshop in this case, or Snapseed on the phone if you wanted to).

As menitoned, images right out of the camera show (as I found in my first examination back here) that the Oppo JPG engine does a crummy job but you can sidestep that somewhat with the HDR mode (which rescues some of the shadows). So ...

The images

Oppo F1 jpg

iPhone 5s

which makes it obvious to me that:
  1. the Oppo is wider angle
  2. the iPhone made better exposure decisions and the image looks nicer

Now, I already know (from my earlier exploration) that the Oppo produces mushy JPGs, so there is no point in proving that again, so I decided to shoot RAW (which also simultaneously produces JPG (presented above) and RAW) so here is a processed version of the Oppo F1 image to compare at 100% pixels with what the iPhone system (that's camera and image processing) gives. So from here on in I'm looking at the RAW file.

Oppo F1 dng:

so, "holy shit" (again) ... Oppo, you really NEED to update the JPG engine in your shooter, cos its shooting you in the foot right now!!

the details

Ok, so lets discount the JPG produced by the native camera app and instead focus on the ability of the camera. Yes this is fair because IF you wanted to get the best image (not just something for instagram) then you will want the best and as yet iPhone does not offer RAW (that I know of), so lets pixel peep:

Oppo F1 dng / iPhone 5s centers:

and down at the lower right corner (Oppo / iPhone 5s):

So at 100% pixel peep the iPhone has less outright image feature size (even though it covers less width) and so if you applied some "zoom" on the Oppo to even them out, I'd call it that the Oppo has a better camera.

But all in all, the iPhone proves its not size that matters, its how you use it!!

The iPhone is a good JPG straight out of the phone, but to get this quality from the Oppo I had to do this little dance:
  1. shoot RAW (which makes a 25MByte file btw)
  2. transfer that file to my PC (I could have used Snapseed locally, but I prefer to work on the bigger screen, which I do later)
  3. open in Adobe Camera Raw (or Snapseed) and move the exposure up, account for a little vignetting and then do a little contrast enhance.
  4. lastly colour balance a little (and I think the iPhone did it better even then)
only THEN after that did I get a better shot out of the Oppo. Or Oppo could include a better JPG engine ...


in absolute terms the Oppo at under $300 is a better value for money camera than even a used iPhone 5s, but its not an absolutely better camera without a lot of fiddling.

As I proposed in my earlier post, if you are wanting to remember to use RAW mode when those "must have" shots are present then the Oppo will give you a better shot than an iPhone 5s ... unless you just leave it on JPG ... in which case it sucks

PS: here is the snapseed version

clicking it, then right clicking it, then clicking the magnifying glass should load the full file

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