Camera has become one of the strongest selling points in smartphones irrespective of the price bracket they cater to. While the rear cameras are witnessing a radical shift in technology, front facing cameras are getting their due attention as well.
This time too, we are back with two more smartphones in the mid-range segment, Moto X4 and Oppo F5, and have pitted their cameras against one another. The latest handset from Motorola has been very recently launched in India at a starting price of Rs 20,999 while the Oppo F5 was also launched not so long ago at a price of Rs 19,990.
Motorola Moto X4
– Dual camera setup with the primary lens of 12 MP and aperture of f2.0 while the secondary lens is 8 MP with an aperture of f2.2.
– Phase Detection Autofocus
– Ultra-wide angle shot
– Front camera with 16 MP lens and aperture of f2.0.
– Single-lens rear camera with 16 MP lens and aperture of f1.8.
– 2X zoom and Phase Detection Autofocus.
– Front 20 MP camera with an aperture of f2.0.
Neither camera comes with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).
On to the Image quality
Daylight and Good Light Images
Daylight or good lighting is the best possible condition for any photographer out there irrespective of their skill set. Such conditions present all the required lighting to experience the full dynamic range of the camera lens especially when there are shadows involved.
Here are few samples from the Moto X4 and the Oppo F5 in daylight or good lighting conditions.
In the above example, image from the Oppo F5 (on the right) displays slightly better control over the Exposure as the two posters captured in the image are clearer compared to the same posters shown in the Moto X4 image (on the left). Also, we like the slightly greener grass in the F5 image. Overall, in the above example, we prefer the image taken from the Oppo F5.
Interestingly, in the second example above, it is the Moto X4 (on the left) which shows better control over the Exposure. This is clear as the sunlight coming from the left, in the image from the Moto X4, does not rebound from the glass and the wall as much as it does in the case of the Oppo F5. Here, we would say that the Moto X4 did a slightly better job.
Even though both cameras get Phase Detection Autofocus, it is the Moto X4 (on the left) which does a better job when the focus is manually pointed at a particular location while capturing an image (in this case, the focus is the light coming from the top). Without manually focusing towards the source of the light, the Oppo F5 (on the right) produced more or less same results as it is visible in the above example. Once again, the Moto X4 proved to perform better in this aspect.
Winner: Moto X4
Mixed Light Images
Mixed lighting conditions can be challenging and interesting at the same time. While such conditions might not provide absolutely ideal light to capture a perfect image, they do offer a fantastic opportunity to see how much detail a camera can capture in the light and the shadowy areas.
In the above example in indoor lighting, we clearly like the image from the Moto X4 (on the left) more than the one taken from the Oppo F5. This is simply because the X4 displays better saturation of colours as well as they are closer to reality. In comparison, colours in the image from the F5 are less lively.
In the above example, the tables turn in favour of the Oppo F5 (on the right) as it shows better control over the Exposure. The tiles on the floor remain visible in the image from the F5 even in the areas where the sunlight is falling. Also, the light bulbs on the ceiling are clearer from the F5’s camera. In comparison, the Moto X4 slightly overexposed all those areas that had more light.
Winner: Moto X4. Even though the Oppo F5 was better in the second example, the Moto X4 showed better saturation when we look at the two images in general. However, in mixed lighting conditions, it is a close call between the two cameras.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Possibly the most interesting feature in a smartphone camera is that of the HDR. This feature, through intelligent processing, allows the camera to capture the best possible details in both light and dark or shadowy areas in an image. Let’s see some HDR examples from the Moto X4 and the Oppo F5.
In the above examples, the HDR version is on the right side. The Moto X4 manages to create the better HDR version of the normal image as it is brighter which is one of the expected outcomes of the HDR feature. In comparison, the HDR version from the Oppo F5 is duller.
In the above examples as well, the HDR version of the normal image from the Moto X4 manages to retain the colour saturation better. In comparison, the HDR version from the Oppo F5 appears washed out.
The Moto X4 continues to churn out better HDR version of the normal image with better colour saturation and detail. Especially notice the better contrast with yellow and green colours in the X4’s HDR version (on the right).
Winner: Moto X4. The Motorola handset is a clear winner in the HDR category. On its own and in comparison with the Oppo F5, the Moto X4 displays better colours and details.
Bokeh and Depth-of-field Images
Bokeh or depth-of-field is slowly becoming one of the most crucial and advantageous features in smartphone cameras nowadays. Also termed as the Portrait mode in some cameras, this is a feature which was until recently a capability reserved for flagship smartphones only. Not anymore though.
While none of the two cameras get the Portrait mode, the Moto X4 gets a separate ‘Depth Enabled’ mode which basically functions like the Portrait mode in the iPhone 7 Plus. On the other hand, the Oppo F5 doesn’t get any such option.
Let’s take a look at the Bokeh or depth-of-field examples below.
In the above example from the Moto X4, the image on the left has the natural Bokeh effect while the image on the right is captured through the ‘Depth Enabled’ mode. We can see that the blurred black panel in the background, in the image on the left side, still has sharper edges compared to the blurred black panels in the image on the right side. This is because in the Depth Enabled mode, it is the software which blurs the background in order to isolate the subject.
Below is an example which compares the natural depth-of-field from the Moto X4 camera with the Oppo F5 camera.
In the above example, both the Moto X4 (left) and the Oppo F5 (right) display the naturally blurred background. In other words, this can also be called a true Bokeh effect. Remember that a true Bokeh effect is achieved by the lens (hardware) and not the software.
Interestingly, while the Moto X4 captures the colours closer to how they look in real, the Oppo F5 managed to control the Exposure better which is visible in the background.
Winner: Oppo F5. To choose a winner in this category is really tricky because both cameras did more or less equally good. However, we believe that F5’s better control over the Exposure makes it a winner by a small margin while the colours didn’t look bad either.
Night or low light conditions are the toughest conditions for any smartphone camera out there. The limited light increases the risk of ‘noise’ or the ‘grain’ effect in an image. Let’s see how the two cameras perform when the light is low.
In the above example, the image captured by the Moto X4 (on the left) is sharper compared to the one taken from Oppo F5. Also, the Moto X4 keeps the colours closer to how they look in reality.
Interestingly in the above example, the Oppo F5 (on the right) once again displays better control over the Exposure as the pathway inside the pillars has better details compared to what the Moto X4 captured (over exposed or too bright).
In the above example, the Moto X4 (on the left) hits back and captures a sharper image overall compared to the Oppo F5. As usual, the colours are more realistic in the image from the Moto X4.
Winner: Moto X4. Honestly, even though we consider the Motorola handset a winner in this category, both cameras leave a lot to be desired.
A very important aspect of any smartphone camera out there especially for Oppo who loudly advertises the prowess of its front camera. Below is a Selfie sample from both smartphones.
The selfie from both smartphones was taken from the right hand. However, notice that the Oppo F5 (on the right) presents the opposite orientation of the image and it appears as if the image was taken from the left hand. Also, the Moto X4 continues to keep the edge when it comes to keeping the colours closer to how they look in reality.
Winner: Moto X4.
We would declare the Moto X4 to be a better camera phone than the Oppo F5 in general. Although, we would admit that the F5 didn’t make it easy for the X4 as the former gave tough competition in detail and in fact, controlled the Exposure better in some instances. But the Motorola handset outperformed the Oppo in the HDR category and kept the overall colour reproduction better.
Let us know which one would you choose for capturing images in the comment section below.