Dear Oppo Find X3 Pro,
For many years I’ve looked at people who wrote love letters to new devices or other objects with suspicion. I was clueless back then, as I dismissed them as deluded brand weirdos or sexual deviants. However, I have become the very thing that I used to despise! Go ahead, I give my all to be shot in full digital glory, with my selfies getting touched up through the use of cleverly incorporated algorithms. From top to bottom, bottom to top, and back again. Scan me, scan me HDR’d! After all, my dear Find X3 Pro, that is what you’re really good at.
We’ve only known each other for less than a week, but we’ve already spent many days and nights together. I’ve been been feeling great every since we met and that’s why, in this very personal (and definitely not written for public reading) letter, I’d like to ask you if there is a possibility of us making an exclusive commitment to each other.
Red, Green, Umbra – you know them all
The author of this text whispers softly, tenderly, the following lines:
You can show me the world
Shining, shimmering splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?
Find X3 Pro, I’ve stolen these words from what must be one of the most beautiful ballads ever. They are not my own, but they fit so well to our situation. This is because you showed me how colorful the world actually is. 10-Bit is not the description of my new cordless screwdriver, but the depth of color that laid my eyes upon. To be precise, that’s 1,073,741,824 colors, of which I could only name a handful at most.
You capture all these colors accurately via your two Sony IMX766 sensors and send them on their way along the 10-bit full-path color engine. From the sensor, through the Snapdragon 888 chipset, and all the way to the 6.7-inch AMOLED display, you ensure that none of the colors are lost. It’s only when it comes to the AI scene optimization that your performance falters a bit. Haha, but that’s just you, my toots!
With a little trial and error, though, I’m always fascinated by the hues that are shown off on your display. It’s almost a shame that my laptop and monitor, with their 8-bit capability, are unable to show me what I see in you. You are ahead of your time! This is especially true when you try to process images in HEIC format with Windows.
You show me motifs in a whole new way
I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for a long time now and actually thought I had tried out all areas of photography. Macro, astrophotography, architecture, selfies … the list goes on and on. I know it all and at some point, you end up sitting down in your familiar comfort zone and always point your lens at the same subjects.
You’ve pulled me out of that comfort zone by giving me a whole new set of pocket-sized options. Perfect for taking around town or out on the bike, as i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I feel a tingling sensation in my pocket from a distance. The closer I get, the more interesting you become.
We’re a good team, because together we look at the big picture without forgetting about the smallest details. If you were a tool, you’d be a universal wrench that fits any nut and can somehow still handle screws and make an omelette at the same time. In my previous camera phone relationships, it was never that simple. There were limitations to which I had to adhere to, and I haven’t experienced any of them with you yet.
Sure, you sometimes get out of focus. Especially so when it comes to telephotos, as you simply cannot keep up with Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, because your telephoto lens is only capable of 2x with optical magnification before it enters digital zoom territory. Your microscope maxes out at only three megapixels, but I don’t care. You have awoken my creativity from hibernation and that’s what counts! And if I want good pictures, I can always count on you aswell.
Sony IMX766 makes for a strong pair of main cameras
You know what I mean. Your main cameras – and yes, I’m justifiably claiming that you have two main cameras. That’s because the custom Sony IMX766 that Papa Oppo (or is it Mama? Mappa?) developed specifically with Sony is used in both your wide-angle camera and your ultra-wide-angle camera. Finally, we obtain a result that is the same top notch quality that I’ve been wishing for in so many phones.
For example, on the Google Pixel 4a 5G, which I praised as a camera phone at the time of its release, switching to the ultra-wide camera was always a thorn in my side. The quality worsened from there, and so I preferred to take a few steps back and almost ended up in the Flensburg Fjord in the process. Together with you, I don’t need to fear that anymore. Not only because I now live in Berlin.
Finally, ultra-wide angle cameras are also available at high resolution and boasts of a field of view of 110 degrees. This means the angle of view isn’t too wide, allowing buildings to look straight and natural even without being aligned to the millimeter. Most importantly, I’m no longer afraid to explore new perspectives at ultra-wide angles for fear of ending up with worse-looking photos. Find X3 Pro, you are expanding my horizons.
Recording video is just LOGical for you
Before I kiss you goodbye in this letter, do you want to embark on a lifelong journey with me? Because on April 1, Oppo is finally releasing the .cube files for your LOG mode, and with those, I’d like to take you out on a special date. Just the two of us, a candela-lit dinner and perhaps a trip to the cinema after that? I’ll pay for a LOGe-seat, of course.
Right now, Oppo couldn’t send me your files unfortunately and maybe you’re wondering what I might be rambling about here. Find X3 Pro, I know every millimeter of your software inside out and there I found a little switch with a “LOG”-label. This means we can record video together to which a gamma-curve-log is recorded. Theoretically, we’re recording video files of which we can fully exploit the limitations of your sensors later on. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt at all either.
The .cube files I just told you about are what is known as LUTs. These look-up tables convert your logarithmic gamma curve back to a standard gamma curve. But since the original video material contains the entire contrast range of your sensor, we might have a lot more possibilities in post-processing.
But we still have to see if the dynamic range of your sensor is large enough. But trust me, if it’s not, that’s fine with me. Maybe we can get some medical support to get your performance back on track!
“Doch zwei wie wir – Die können sich nie verlier’n!”
Dear Oppo Find X3 Pro, I would like to end my letter with these words from perhaps the greatest lyricist in German history: Udo Lindenberg. “The two of us, we’ll never lose each other” is what he said in a song some while ago. Currently, no other phone can challenge your creative possibilities. After transferring the shots to a PC, there is just a very little bit of post-processing that needs to be done in Lightroom. Nothing more than that, I promise!
Smartphone photography is often ridiculed and dismissed as a gimmick by “real” photographers. But photography isn’t all about “scanning” a scene, where every image needs to be captured in full sharpness right down to the last detail. It’s also about being creative, exploring the possibilities, and creating little works of art. Fuck the haters, Find X3 Pro! You sent me scampering around the apartment with childlike glee and made me stop on bike rides repeatedly because I really wanted to capture certain scenes that are bound to be memorable.
Any camera – whether super-expensive professional equipment or entry-level smartphone – that manages to motivate me and other photo enthusiasts to explore new motifs has earned a place in my heart. And with you, I felt for a few moments like I did when I was a teenager discovering the world through the VGA camera of my first ever Sony-Ericsson camera phone.
Here are all test photos in high resolution (external link to Google Drive)
Back then I was laughed at for it, by that stupid guy Max in chemistry class. Today, smartphone photos inspire millions of people and I get to write about it. So again, fuck the haters and fuck Max, too! You definitely inspire me and the next generation of young tech fans.
Thanks for that, Find X3 Pro!
This article is an opinion piece and deliberately leaves out critical elements. These will be available in a few days in my detailed review of the Find X3 Pro.