This post was edited by jenz1 at 22:40, Feb-08-2016 |
SINCE the release of the RedMi 2 in the Philippines (and around the world in general) a lot has been said about its hardware and performance. You can read tons of article in the internet about its benchmark scores and how it fares with other phone in its class so I’m not going to do another one of those. Instead I will focus on the RedMi 2’s camera and its worthiness to a casual user and even serious mobile photographers.
I’d like to mention though that I won’t be discussing the front camera and selfies (Sorry guys, but I really don’t take selfies unless: 1. It’s for competition / challenges and 2. …. Nope, no other ideas come to mind.)
The purpose of this review is to show how the RedMi 2’s camera perform in real-life situations. I’ll try to stay away from the technical and geeky terms as much as I can. (So you don’t get bored with the numbers and technical details. Teehee.)
So does the RedMi 2’s have what it takes to be a mobile photographer’s companion? Does it shoot as good in real-life as it does on paper? Let’s find out.
The Redmi 2 sports an 8 megapixel main shooter with f2.2 aperture (for the un-initiated, a lower aperture means better taking of low-light photos) It’s made up of a 5-piece lens which includes an infrared filter delivering near accurate true-to-life colors, backside-illumination (BSI) for better low-light performance and supports HDR.
Another good thing to mention is that the Redmi 2 comes with a 4.7 inch IPS display and 720x1280 (HD) resolution thus bringing in 312 ppi of view finder goodness. It’s also compact enough to easily carry in your pocket.
(Man it’s hard to stay away from technicalities. This will be the last time I talk about specs and numbers I Promise!)
MIUI is one of the most loved Android custom ROMs around and for good reasons. Its latest iteration MIUI 6, brings in some nice filters and options to the camera albeit a bit Spartan.
You can manually change White Balance and ISO but that's it. It doesn’t bring with it other manual features found on their higher-end phones such as Exposure Time and Manual Focus which is my only qualm with the camera app. Fortunately, these short comings are easily remedied by installing a third-party camera app like Camera-FV5.
As much as possible though, I try to use what’s available on the stock camera app when I take photos. I consider it a handicap and a challenge.
Now on to the Actual Shooting!
A Great Camera Outdoor
I took the Redmi 2 on a swimming trip to test how it handle taking pictures outdoors and with bright sunlight available. It comes as no surprise that it handles this type of environment pretty well. Here are a few snaps from my trip:
As you can see, colors are good and natural. No visible noise and the details are just TOO good!
Auto Focus and Close-Up Shots
Let's get one thing out of the way, RM2s camera doesn’t come with a Macro mode per se. It also doesn’t have manual focus setting so you would mostly rely on tapping on a particular area of the screen to focus. But don’t let it bother you though as the focus time is very quick. It also produces very pleasant bokeh. Even better than the Mi 3’s I dare say.
Shutter Speed is Speedy
Now this is one aspect of the camera I was really surprised to see in action. The Redmi 2’s camera is just lightning fast. It was able to freeze some very nice water action and jump shots.
Need more example? How about an insect flying?
Or lightning perhaps?
Average Camera Indoors
Although having an f2.2 aperture and infrared filter, the Redmi 2 still struggles in low-light condition (as any other phone in this price range actually.) But doesn’t suffer with noise as much as its predecessor, the Redmi 1s. In my testing, it has managed to produce a pretty decent indoor, low-light shot of mi bunny below:
without flash (all settings @ auto)
with flash (all settings @ auto)
The Redmi 2 comes with a single LED flash and provides adequate lighting when needed. You should not however considered it as a go-to-feature when taking pictures. Mobile phone built-in flash will almost always create more problem than it resolves (e.g. red / glowing eyes, high-contrast between light and shadow and uneven tones) This goes for all camera flash, not just phones.
(Friendly advice, stay away from using flash if you can help it.)
But Wait! There’s More
The details that the Redmi 2’s camera is able to resolve just blows me away, case in point. Zoom in on the orange vest and you can still read the fine prints.
Saving of photos is so quick that it’s almost like it saves the photo even before you hit the shutter button! (Okay, I'm exagerating. But you get the picture. Pun intended by the way) There’s just no delay between tapping the shutter button and saving.
Adding some accessories further enhances the camera’s capability. I just had to try out the macro lens and the result... well it came out pretty well IMO
The Redmi 2 doesn’t bring much to the table where the camera is concerned. Yes, it doesn’t boast of a high Mega Pixel count nor does it have fancy features like Re-focus and Gradienter. But with what it has, it does well with. So if you’re a casual mobile photographer who wants a straight forward, no frills camera phone that’s light on the pocket and able to take great shots in a pinch, then Redmi 2 should definitely be in your view finder! So go ahead and give it a shot! (No pun intended).