Realme 3 Pro vs Redmi Note 7S camera comparison: Tight contest, but Realme takes the cake
Camera hardware on budget phones is increasingly becoming efficient and more-or-less future proof. Even a year back, one might not have expected a phone that costs below Rs 15,000 to capture individual leaves on a tree through a photo taken about 50 feet away or shoot beautiful macro photos of plants.
Smartphone makers like Realme and Xiaomi are redefining the budget smartphone camera game by introducing class-leading hardware backed by capable image processing capabilities. The Realme 3 Pro (Review) comes with a 16 MP Sony IMX 519 sensor which is the same used in the OnePlus 6T (Review) along with a 5 MP depth sensor. The recently launched Redmi Note 7S features a Sony IMX 586, an image sensor that natively supports images truly shot at 48 MP.
On paper, it looks like Redmi Note 7 Pro can take the cake as the best budget smartphone camera. But is it truly the best? Let’s find out in this detailed comparison between the two devices. One thing to note before you read the comparison is that all pictures have been taken on automatic mode with HDR set to auto.
Macro shots — Redmi Note 7S
When I say macro shots, I mean real close up pictures of objects such as flowers, insects and other things which needs you to place your camera about 15-20 cm away from the subject. For the purpose of this comparison, I’ve used a flower as my subject. A side by side comparison shows that the Redmi Note 7S has captured a very saturated image, which looks pleasing to the eye but takes away the natural colours of the flower. The Realme 3 Pro has retained the natural colours of the flower but appears softer compared to the Note 7S. Notice that details are more prominent even when you zoom in on the Redmi Note 7S photo, thanks to the 48 MP sensor. Either photo is good and it depends on what is more appealing to you.
Landscapes — Realme 3 Pro
Both phones shoot detailed and vibrant photos in daylight. There is great dynamic range visible as well, which is more prominent with the Realme 3 Pro photos. What we notice is that the saturation theme carries on in the Redmi Note 7S photos with Red appearing more maroonish and yellows giving out a more brighter tone. Realme captures the more natural looking colours, more-or-less how they appear to the naked eye.
In another sample landscape shot, one can surprisingly see that Note 7S, although capturing higher resolution photos, lacks details on the top half of the building. One can see that the outline of bricks is not visible on the Redmi Note 7S shot as it is in the Realme 3 Pro shot.
Low light (Without Night mode) — Tie
Night time is where the true strength of the camera is revealed and I have to say that for a pair of phones priced in the sub Rs 15,000 segment, both cameras perform exceptionally well. In the scene shot below, you can spot a row of houses with brightly lit street light which reduces the load on image processing. There is not much to differentiate here except again the Note 7S appears to be saturating colours but has kept the details surprisingly well. The Realme 3 Pro again delivers more realistic colours and also preserves the details. There is a fair amount of noise in the night sky but this was expected given the smartphones’ price tags.
Low light with Night mode — Redmi Note 7S
The Realme 3 Pro comes with a ‘Nightscape mode’ while the Redmi Note 7S has a ‘Night mode’ for capturing more details in low lighting conditions. The concept is the same, the manufacturer throws in some AI tweaking to analyse the scene you are trying to photograph. The results are quite good, at least as good as you can expect from smartphones at this price. This time a reverse happens with the Redmi Note 7S capturing the more natural looking colours in this shot of a park. The Realme 3 Pro has darkish colours and also does not captures details of the bunch of twigs at the bottom. I would have to give the crown to the Redmi Note 7S for night time shots using the night mode.
Portraits — Redmi Note 7S
Portrait images with bokeh were once reserved only for the mid-range or the premium smartphone segment. Nowadays, thanks to advanced software processing, Even entry-level phones come with the ability to click portrait photos with a shallow depth of field. The Redmi Note 7S happens to take excellent bokeh shots with very nice background blurring and keeping me — the subject, in focus. Edge detection was quite good and it also captures more of my facial details. The colours, although saturated slightly, happened to be quite pleasing to look at. The Realme 3 Pro did everything right from a good background blur to natural colours, to a great dynamic range, but it softened my beard and facial features. It was a hard pick, but I will have to go with the Redmi Note 7S here.
Selfies: All conditions — Realme 3 Pro
We live in a world where everyone is constantly taking selfies. The front camera has become an integral part of the social media culture. On that end, there appears to be a discrepancy with the Redmi Note 7S’ selfie camera. It is constantly overexposing in ample lighting conditions while underexposing in low-lighting conditions.
The below comparison shot shows that the background and my face are quite overexposed as compared to what the Realme 3 Pro clicked. I have to add here that the Realme 3 Pro does indeed have a higher resolution 25 MP selfie snapper, but the Redmi Note 7S is no slouch either with its 16 MP sensor. Colour accuracy, which has been a theme for Realme 3 Pro this entire comparison, is again on point. There is great dynamic range and good exposure calibration. Basically a better selfie than the Note 7S.
In portrait mode as well, we see the same problems plaguing the Note 7S again with exposure going haywire behind my face. However, edge detection is quite perfect giving it an overall nice feel. The Realme 3 Pro again bags the best selfie award in portrait mode check-marking all things such as good colours, details, background blur and exposure.
Low light conditions again show how poor the Redmi Note 7S’ front camera is with exposure lacking in all corners. The Realme 3 Pro again manages a better photo with good exposure and substantially good details considering the low light. Without a shadow of doubt, the Realme 3 Pro shoots better selfies.
Video: All conditions — Realme 3 Pro
Video is another department that the Redmi Note 7S needs to improve upon. Recording 1080p videos at 30 fps on both phones showed that the Note 7S was a grainy mess with very poor stabilisation, and this is in brightly lit conditions. The results were worse in low lighting conditions where the focus shifted constantly and there was no exposure.
For its part, the Realme 3 Pro shot a perfect video in well-lit conditions which was rich in detail and smooth. In low lighting conditions, there was a slight shift in focus but overall the phone shot a nice video.
The Realme 3 Pro gets quite a few things right such as a great dynamic range in photos with good, natural looking colours while maintaining a respectable exposure in any lighting condition. The Redmi Note 7S, on the other hand, goes for more vibrant and punchy colours but sometimes skips slightly on detail. Low light shots are great on both phones, except for the selfie camera where the Realme 3 Pro is the champ in any condition.
Video is also where the Realme 3 Pro exceeds expectations, while the Note 7S doesn’t perform at all. It’s clear that the Realme 3 Pro has a lot of good image processing going for it and while the Redmi Note 7S keeps up, there are certain areas where the difference between the two phones becomes obvious. In my opinion, if you are looking for natural and dynamically good photos, then the Realme 3 Pro is the phone to go for. But if vibrant, punchy and slightly saturated photo are your thing, then it’s the Redmi Note 7S. If I had to choose between the two, I would pick the Realme 3 Pro.
For more detailed camera comparisons you can head to the links below.
Huawei P30 Pro camera comparison: The mighty Google Pixel 3 takes a backseat
Samsung Galaxy S10+ camera comparison: Impressive video but loses to Pixel 3XL
Google Pixel 3a XL camera comparison: Trumps the competition by a mile
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