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Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera review: capable shooters, but just a notch below perfection

|November 10 2014 |Android Phones, Android, Reviews, Lenovo, Phablet

“Do the cameras on the Lenovo’s latest flagship give out positive vibes? Read on to find out”

The Chinese brand Lenovo's latest flagship, the Vibe Z2 Pro is as loaded as it gets when it comes to its spec sheet. Its camera department also boasts of top-of-the-line specs with a 16-megapixel autofocus BSI sensor at the rear featuring optical image stabilisation and supplemented by a dual-LED flash. At the front, it sports a 5MP snapper. On paper, the pair of shooters on the Vibe Z2 Pro can put many other flagship devices in the market to shame.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera 01

It's now time to put those shooters to test and see it they manage to impress with their quality. We've taken a number of shots with the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro (unboxing | first impressions) over different situations to gauge the shooter’s capabilities. For your convenience, we've resized the image in the post, but if you want to see them in full resolution, then all you need to do is to click. The camera app's interface is also heavily customised, but we'll discuss the same in our upcoming review. The important point to note is that we have taken these images at 4:3 aspect ratio.

Long shot

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera review - long shot

This one’s our favourite scene to assess the imaging capabilities of a device as it offers a variety of colours and elements in a single shot. Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro’s camera fared really well in this image as there’s good colour reproduction and everything looks really sharp.

Close up

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera samples - close up

We have fallen in love with the shot captured by the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro’s 16-megapixel camera… the colours look very natural, and both flowers and leaves are sharp.

Close up (zoomed in)

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera samples - close up (zoomed in)

Even though the focus seems to be tight in the macro shot, zooming in on the same image doesn’t lead to loss in details and there’s no sign of pixelation either.

HDR off

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera test - HDR off

The above image is taken in automatic mode, and as such, there’s nothing really wrong with it. Now, let’s see how it transforms after enabling the HDR mode.

HDR on

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera test - HDR on

With the HDR mode, the image looks a lot brighter, especially the left hand side which looked much darker in the previous image. Now, the green on the trees and whites of buildings look more pleasing to the eyes, although the colour of the sky hasn’t changed much.

Front shot

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera performance - front shot

As mentioned earlier, the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro comes with a 5-megapixel autofocus sensor at the front. This means that the device will deliver superb video calling experience and great selfies and the image embedded above substantiates our point. The image looks quite good overall, though it isn’t as sharp as we’d have liked it to be.

Low-light shot

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera samples - low light shot

To be honest, we are slightly disappointed with the Vibe Z2 Pro shooter’s performance in poorly-lit conditions. As you can see in the extremely noisy picture above, you can only make a guess that there are some pebbles present… but there’s no idea if they have different colours or any other details.

Low-light shot with flash

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera samples - low light shot with flash

Turning on the dual-LED flash spoils the image further instead of improving it. The flash is so strong that the pebbles are bleeding colours, which is accentuated by the fact that they are reflective.

Night shot

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera quality - night shot

Taken during a live music concert, the image is quite good. It surely is filled with noise, but you can easily see everything, be it the singers,the crowd, the building and the tree with sufficient amount of details. Sadly, the image seems to be overblown with the whites, which are also a light source in this case.

There’s little doubt that the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro offers a capable duo of shooters. However, it’s not perfect by any means – low-light performance leaves a lot to be desired and images generally seem to lack punchiness. Having said that, the device seems to do justice for all the other situations and when you bring its aggressive pricing into the account, it seems to be one of best camera phones in its segment.

There’s a lot more to the device than its camera, and that’s what we’ll be discussing in our full review along with answering most common queries about the device. So watch this space.

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