Despite its name, the Oppo Reno 10x zoom is not just about the telephoto camera. Its triple camera setup has a regular shooter, an ultra-wide-angle eye, and finally the telephoto cam. And while the latter is clearly the most rare of those and warranted an inclusion in the name, the other two will arguably see more use.
The main camera relies on the increasingly popular 48MP Sony IMX586 Quad Bayer sensor that outputs 12MP images by default. It's a big imager - type 1/2.0" with 0.8µm individual pixels. The 26mm lens in front of it is pretty bright, sporting an f/1.7 aperture and it offers OIS too .
Then there's the ultra-wide cam. It has an 8MP sensor behind a 16mm-equivalent lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Now, the press materials state a 120-degree field of view, which would normally equal 12-ish millimeter lens while the 16mm one gives you more like 107 degrees. We assume the 16mm is the output following the distortion correction.
Side by side with the 16mm Huawei P30 Pro, the Reno has the same coverage, and much like the P30 Pro, the 10x offers no option to disable the correction and get the full field of view. Not that 16mm/107 degrees isn't plenty wide, of course.
And the star of the show - the telephoto camera - feature periscope optics similar to the Huawei P30 Pro's. The lens on the Reno is slightly longer (130mm vs. 125mm equivalent) and brighter (f/3.0 vs. f/3.4), and the sensor has more pixels (13MP vs. 8MP). There are no details on its size, however, and we'd speculate it's a smaller one for Oppo to be able to pull off the lens brightness without making a huge bump.
Unfortunately, Oppo made some very questionable decision that is staining the telephoto experience. It relates to the fact that the app interface cycles between 1x-2x-6x-10x-wide modes and neither corresponds to the focal length of the telephotos lens (5x). Both the 6x and 10x settings are 'hybrid' zooms, while the 2x is all digital zoom.
There is a noticeable difference in quality between the 5x zoom level, which you can only achieve by pinch gesture and the 6x mode where digital zoom kicks in. Maybe Oppo decided they had to outdo Huawei and put 6x instead of 5x thinking that the difference in the picture quality wouldn't matter. Well, it is quite significant, but more on that in a bit.
The camera app offers AI scene recognition - you'll see a small icon when a scene is successfully recognized, and the software will tweak all settings accordingly. Food, snow, pets (dogs and cats), sunsets, grass are regonized correctly.
The app has three major modes - Photo, Portrait and Video - and you can swipe between those. The Dazzle Color toggle is on the other end, accompanied by the HDR and flash settings. The ultra-wide-angle camera has as switch next to the Dazzle Color, though you can also access it via the zoom shortcuts - they are 10x, 6x, 2x, 1x, and ultra wide.
There is also a hamburger menu with a few more shooting modes - Expert (manual settings), Pano, Time-lapse, Slow-mo, and Night Mode (also known as Nightscape). The latter is the so-called long-exposure handheld mode for night photos, which is the thing to have these days.
Let's start with some photos shot with the main camera. The 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor uses a Quad-Bayer array and pixel binning - it combines four adjacent pixels into one. The resulting image is reduced to a higher-quality 12MP shot.
And the 12MP snaps we captured during the day are excellent. There is plenty of detail, high dynamic range, mostly accurate colors, good contrast, and overall very nice processing. The photos have just the right amount of sharpening applied so detail is highlighted, but there are not too many sharpening halos.
We noticed a grainy pattern in some areas of uniform colors. This is not the first time we are observing such oddities from Quad-Bayer sensors, but this is visible only after when pixel peeping, so it shouldn't make much difference for most application. Overall, the 12MP daylight photos are flagship worthy.
Shooting in 48MP is possible, but the images you'll get have little extra detail - far from enough to justify the increase in file size.
There is a dedicated 2x toggle, but 2x zoom is purely digital, unfortunately.
Moving on to the periscope, we are once again annoyed by Oppo's UI decisions. We've attended a Q&A session right after the premiere and one thing became clear - the Reno 10x zoom can't really offer a 10x zoom. The focal length of the Oppo Reno's three cameras is 16mm - 26mm - 130mm, respectively. Whichever way you put it, there is no real 10x zoom factor there.
But those numbers may eventually explain the choice of 6x and 10x toggles, over a more appropriate 5x one. The 6x zoom photos reported a focal length of 160mm. And that's 10x over the 16mm ultra-wide-angle snapper.
The true focal length is only 130mm though, which makes the optical zoom factor on this phone a straightforward 5x (5x over the 26mm main camera). Only there is no direct toggle to switch to that zoom level in the camera viewfinder. And Oppo's explanation we got was that this 6x hybrid zoom delivers very good quality so they are able to offer it as the main zoom mode on the phone.
The good news is you can shoot in native 5x zoom, but it requires some frustrating pinching. Then again, we'd say it's worth the hassle as in good light the quality is very good - detail levels are decent, and colors are very accurate, and even if the small sensor limits dynamic range it's not too bad at all.
Oddly, while the telephoto snapper is a 13MP one, the saved photos are in 12MP. It's not a big difference, but we still find it hard to explain.
The 6x photos aren't awful by any means, but they don't offer any extra detail compared to the 5x ones - digital zoom can only do so much. This means that the per-pixel sharpness is lower than the native 5x ones and while you do get better metering and more accurate exposure on some occassions it's the same result as cropping a 5x shot in post-processing.
The 10x zoom is the same story, only much more pronounced as more digital zooming is applied. Those aren't any good for pixel peeping and will only do for those occassions when you want to focus on a particular subject in the distance without doing any post editing.
The digital zoom doesn't stop at 10x though. You can go all the way up to 60x. We chose this scene and shot with all common zoom modes to give you a better understanding of what you can achieve with that, but unsurprisingly the results are barely worth posting even on social media.
The ultra-wide camera produces very nice 8MP images with automatic distortion correction applied. There is a lot detail in the center of the images, the colors are pretty good and the contrast is excellent. The dynamic range isn't stellar, but the Auto HDR here fires a lot more often than on the regular snapper. Still having the option to toggle to the uncorrected ultrawide mode would have been appreciated.
The 12MP low-light photos we took with the regular camera are impressive - detailed, noise-free, and no signs of camera shake thanks to the OIS. Those came out a bit darker than we'd have liked them and could benefit from a better tuned exposure.
Then there's the Night Mode available on the Reno. It takes a second or two, and while it may affect the level of captured detail it better balances the exposure, restores the blown highlights, and overall saves one good-looking photo. Be careful to keep your hands steady otherwise you may get blurry images more often than not.
You can shoot with the telephoto camera at night as well, and the images are actually usable - particularly if you stick to the more conservative 5x and 6x settings.
The 8MP low-light ultra-wide images are often underexposed, but we've seen plenty of flagships do worse when it comes to detail levels.
We suggest using the Night Mode for the ultra-wide photos, as it does improve them significantly - it achieves correct the exposure and restores the blown highlights at the same time.
Once you're done examining the real-life samples you can have a look at our Photo compare tool for some studio shots. We've pre-selected the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro. You can, by all means, pick any other set of phones to compare once you're there. The 48MP versions of the scenes can also be found there.