In this article I want to take a closer look at the Oppo N3 smartphone camera. We’ll get to know what makes the N3 a unique camera and one that you certainly should consider if you are enthusiastic about taking great photos.
The Oppo N1 was the first real innovative attempt from Oppo, by introducing the World’s first rotating camera smartphone. The N3 inherits the same mechanism with the same 206° rotation mechanism. This means that you don’t have two separate (front and rear) cameras, but a single rotating camera that replaces the need for a front camera. Furthermore, you don’t need to compromise on image quality, and you can enjoy great image quality for selfies as well.
The rotating part is covered with a faux leather with stitches around the frame. Oppo probably wanted to give the N3 a prestige design to make the camera appeal not just internally, but also externally. Some will argue whether this design matches the N3 body finish, but in my opinion it looks pretty nice.
Here’s a video by Android Authority that shows it up close.
The camera utilizes a 1/2.3-inch 16-megapixel OmniVision OV16825 BSI sensor with 1.34 micron pixel size (OV16825 full specs here). This sensor uses a second generation BSI built (OmniBSI-2). The sensor itself provides lots of programmable controls that allows the phone manufacturer to implement some smart software and offer advanced utilities for enthusiast photographers.
On of my personal capabilities is the ability to shoot in Raw (12-bit) file format. For those who are not familiar with this term. What is means is that the camera can output a file that is not compressed like JPEG and it’s in a non-destructive state. It stored all the information from the sensor untouched into the Raw file. The camera settings are stored in the metadata, but can be altered later in Raw editing software. What this means is that you can alter the white balance, saturation, sharpness or any other destructive camera settings that would otherwise be unchangeable in JPEG, can be changed in Raw editing software.
The camera offers various scene modes, including Ultra-HD, Panorama, Beautify, GIF mode, Super Macro, After Focus, Audio Photo and Colorful Night. Each scene mode is dedicated for particular shooting style and specific artistic needs. The ‘Auto Panorama’ mode utilizes the electronic rotating motor to let the camera take panorama shots easily. The camera it self rotates up and down, so you don’t have to rotate the phone yourself. This makes panorama looks better with less movement that can cause inconsistent results. You can even put the phone on a stable surface and trigger the Auto panorama shot using the O-Click, which results in perfect panorama capture.
Demonstrated in this video at minute 4:20
The N3 is a the electronic rotating mechanism made by Schneider-Electric. You can use the O-Click remote (supplied in the package), which is a small Bluetooth remote control accessory, to control the rotation of the camera and trigger the camera shutter, all without even touching your camera. You can even use this O-click remote control to accept and reject incoming phone calls. The auto rotating mechanism also works with on-screen gestures as well, so you don’t have to physically adjust it by hand. In the camera app, you also have the same familiar camera switch button, but this time the camera doesn’t switch between the front and rear cameras, but automatically rotates the swivel mechanism to front or back – how cool is that! — You have to be in “Auto Panorama” mode in order to utilize the O-Click rotation remote control. The camera can capture up to 64-megapixels panorama images.
The Oppo N3 has a dual LED flash and motorised focus which provided the camera with subject tracking capability. This means that once you tap on the subject in the frame, the camera will rotate to capture the subject in frame.
The Oppo N3 enjoys a fast Schneider Kreuznach-certified f/2.2 aperture lens that provided the camera with a great low-light capabilities and high optical performance. The N3 also supports 4K UltraHD video recording at 30 fps, as well as 1080p60 and 720p120 slow motion video recording.
The Oppo N3 certainly has its unique appeal in the high-end market. Aside from the camera, the Oppo N3 is also a beautiful looking and powerful Android 4.4 device. It has a 5.5 inch full HD display with Gorilla glass 3, 2300 MHz Quad core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB built-in storage and many other great features.
No doubt that the camera is one of the key selling features. If you are looking for a phone with advanced photographic capabilities, you should certainly take a look at the new Oppo premium flagship smartphone, the N3. It certainly is a good alternative to some other flagship smartphones. When it comes to innovation, Oppo certainly shows that this is its strongest side, and the N3 is a proof for it. For a starting selling price of $649, the N3 doesn’t come cheap, but in my opinion its certainly worth consideration.