Of all the aspects of the Poco F3 GT I wanted to test, I really want to see how the 64MP camera on the Poco F3 GT — supposedly an Omnivision OV64B sensor — compares to the Sony IMX766 in the OnePlus Nord 2 when it comes to image quality. And, what you are going to see next is definitely going to surprise you. But before that, let’s take a look at the rest of the camera setup. You get an 8MP ultrawide on the two phones. And, the tertiary camera on the Nord 2 is a 2MP Monochrome sensor. Whereas, on the F3 GT, it is a macro shooter. On the front, you get an upgraded 32MP primary camera compared to 16MP on the F3 GT. Let’s get down to the comparison:
Let’s start with the close up shots. And, by the way, these are non HDR shots. I can’t tell the difference. I really cannot. These look like photos shot by the same phone. The only difference is the F3 GT has slightly better contrast, making the outlines look better defined. Therefore, it has a slight edge here. But, most people won’t care.
Talking about the details, in this shot, you will notice that the F3 GT does tend to over-sharpen the leaves on the tree, which is visible at close crop. The Nord 2’s texture detail is more natural looking when there is no HDR processing involved.
Evaluating the colour science in non-HDR shots was such a tough task. But, I figured it out. The OnePlus Nord 2 has closer to natural colours. The F3 GT looks incredibly close to the Nord 2 in terms of colour science but the difference is the added contrast. Because of which you get slightly deeper Blues, Greens, and Reds as a result. Again, the difference is nearly negligible. By the way, did you notice that the Nord 2 has a wider field of view on the main camera?
But, when it comes to HDR shots, OnePlus’ algorithm goes nuts. In the very first shot, you can clearly see that the Nord 2 has made the image look unnatural with its heightened Blues and Greens. Plus, it has soft details in certain areas and over-sharpened in others. And, when it comes to resolving the Highlights and Shadows, both are pretty decent. However, in the second shot, the Nord 2 does have a better control over the highlights, which I noticed often while testing. But yeah, the F3 GT doesn’t over-process and botch up the colour science or the details. By the way, during my testing, I also noticed that Poco’s auto HDR algorithm is very iffy and doesn’t fire even where the scene clearly demands it. So, you might want to toggle the HDR manually if you see that some portions in your shot might get overexposed.
The ultrawide shots from both the phones look absolutely identical. If I showed you the pictures without telling the name of the phone, you wouldn’t be able to tell that these pictures were captured by two different phones. But yes, the contrast is slightly better on the F3 GT.
One thing I wanted to clarify because there were some doubts from my previous camera comparisons, is the human subject shots are all taken from the rear camera. Not the front camera. With that out of the way, you can clearly tell from these samples that the Nord 2 has a better picture here with good control over the highlights on the face and natural details. The facial tone is slightly veering towards the red colour but it is not entirely off. I’d easily pick the Nord 2 as the winner here. But yes, you can see that the depth on the rear is more pronounced on the F3 GT because of the larger aperture that it has.
But, once again, when there is processing involved, OnePlus drops the ball. It smooths out the details on the face in portrait shots using the rear camera. Also, the F3 GT’s edge detection is better and the depth of field effect looks pretty natural as well.
When it comes to selfies, I really like what the Nord 2 can reproduce. It looks more realistic and offers natural details compared to the overtly contrasty look of the F3 GT’s selfie. Now, this is a look that some might prefer but technically it is not accurate. And, in HDR selfies, the F3 GT actually has a problem with creating a distinctly tone mapped look with halo and colour fringing around the edges of the objects in the background. You will see this problem crop up later as well.
In selfie portraits, the Nord 2 clearly looks better again. It doesn’t look overprocessed, which is a good thing.
Moving on to low light shots, in the first sample of the scene outside, the Nord 2 and the F3 GT don’t look too different except for the heightened colour of the sky on the F3 GT. But, with Night Mode on, the F3 GT compensates by over-sharpening very badly. And, when it gets even darker indoors, the Nord 2 does a better job once again. The light sensitivity of the IMX766 sensor is better for sure. And, the Night Mode performance is good too. That is also because of the presence of OIS, which eliminates any shakes to offer a crisp shot.
Low Light Selfies
In low light selfies, the Nord 2 is just better. No questions asked.
Video – rear
Both the phones can only do up to 4K 30fps video recording. And, they look very similar except for the better contrast on the F3 GT, as was the case with the image processing. The stabilisation looks very similar on both. Dynamic range performance and sound recording is near identical too. Really, very little telling the two apart, except for the contrast.
Video – front
But, when it comes to recording videos with the front camera, there are some differences. Both the phones can shoot only up to 1080p 30fps videos. The F3 GT has an edge with the image stabilisation. But, the Nord 2 definitely offers better environment noise cancellation and a cleaner sound recording. There’s a special HDR mode for shooting videos in the Poco F3 GT and it looks absolutely horrendous with a distinctly tone mapped face.
Both the phones also offer a Dual View Video recording option thanks to the powerful processor. I think the OnePlus Nord 2’s wider frame helps with framing. Also, it just looks better, generally. The Poco F3 GT, however, has an upper hand with its creative Vlog mode which is definitely a cool option to have.
Overall, the Nord 2 is a better camera system compared to the Poco F3 GT with better low light performance. The F3 GT is actually a pretty good camera too but there are some issues with processing that needs to be ironed out. Which one do you prefer?
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