OPPO N3 camera review: a twister of a shooter

“Wondering how well the OPPO N3 fares in the camera department with its motorised swivel shooter? Here’s what we think”

Among the camera-centric smartphones, OPPO has made a distinct name for itself. With the N1 (review), it offered a unique swivel mechanism to rotate the camera module in any direction to capture a scene, while the Find 7 (review) offered the ability to capture images in whopping 50MP resolution.

OPPO N3 review 09

With the N1’s successor however, the brand is offering some serious camera chops –  thanks to a motorised unit boasting optics from Schneider Kreuznach, the N3 (unboxing | first impressions) has a automated swivel camera. This means not only you can rotate the shooter at will, but it can also be turned automatically via software or through the O-Touch panel at the back. Such an option will allow you to capture stable vertical or horizontal panoramas since you don’t need to move the device and camera unit moves instead. In terms of capabilities, the smartphone boasts a 16-megapixel snapper with 1/2.3″ sensor size. It also gets assistance from a dual-LED flash for low-light conditions.

We took a number of images from the smartphone at 4:3 aspect ratio to rate its prowess. Read on for our thoughts.

Long shot

OPPO N3 camera test - long shot

This is a shot where the OPPO N3’s 16MP shooter shows its power in terms of the detail captured. The image is sharp and has good colour fidelity… and even when it’s viewed at full size, it remains relatively sharp.

Close up

OPPO N3 camera quality - close up

The image has come out really well as the flower and its leaves look pleasing to the eyes, while the camera has managed to offer a nice depth of field effect in the background. Let’s see if our opinion remains the same when it’s zoomed in.

Close up (zoomed in)

OPPO N3 camera quality - close up (zoomed in)

When we magnify on the same image, we are really impressed by the sharpness as you can easily make out different petals of the flower and their edges aren’t blurry either.

HDR off

OPPO N3 camera performance - HDR off

Nowadays, HDR capabilities of smartphones matter a lot as it can add contrast to the scene making it livelier. While the above shot, captured normally, seems good, let’s see how the OPPO N3’s snapper fares in the same situation with the HDR mode switched on.

HDR on

OPPO N3 camera performance - HDR on

Enabling the High Dynamic Range option has surely made the bottom portion of the image brighter as can be seen from the vehicles or the buildings. But it has also ended up over-exposing the sky, which looks like a large white patch, and thus spoils the image.

Front shot

OPPO N3 camera review - front shot

Unlike most phones, you don’t need to specifically check the front camera’s performance of the OPPO N3, since the camera module can be rotated to the front. This surely will impress the selfie enthusiasts. The above image is a testament to that fact as the object is very clear and colour reproduction is also good. Not only that, you can also see that the object has a glossy enamel. However, keep in mind that the brand utilises different software algorithm for shooting in the front and also offers various beauty modes to enhance your looks.

Low-light shot

OPPO N3 camera samples - low-light shot

Like most mobile devices, the OPPO N3 struggles in dimly-lit environments. In this case, we just get the idea that the object seems to be an elephant, though there are no colours.

Low-light shot with flash

OPPO N3 camera samples - low-light shot with flash

Thanks to the powerful dual-LED flash, the same scene is nicely illuminated. The good thing is that the illumination is uniform and now we can see different colours of the object as well the gloss.

Night shot

OPPO N3 camera review - night shot

While the device has captured the fountain well and it does look nice, it’s evident that it has low shutter speed, since the water jets show some ghosting. This means that it’ll face difficulty with action shots.

OPPO N3’s 16MP shooter has done a good job in capturing different scenes in a variety of situations. All the images score high on detail as well as colour variance, not to mention that the motorised unit can allow you to capture images from some cool angles. However, the HDR mode didn’t work as expected and the image captured in low light also fared poorly.

But that’s just about the camera. If you want to know more about the device, then you have to wait a tad longer for our review. So keep watching this space.

One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.
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