Nokia 7 Plus vs OPPO F7 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro camera comparison: the mid-range war

Around the Rs 25,000 price range, the Nokia 7 Plus and the OPPO F7 are undoubtedly the two most sought after phones in 2018. While my review of the Nokia 7 Plus is still a work in progress, We decided to compare the camera performance to the OPPO F7 in the meantime. Just for fun, we also decided to add the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro in the mix, because the cameras are pretty darned good on the phone. 

Also read: OPPO F7 review: shockingly good performance, predictably great selfies

Stay with me to find out which mid-range smartphone comes out on top in this camera comparison. 

Note: Click on the image to view the full resolution image. 

Specs compared

As usual, lets start with the specs. Brace yourselves, its gonna get a little long. You can skip ahead if you don’t want a comparison of the specs.

The Nokia 7 Plus comes with dual 12MP cameras on the rear, one with an f/1.75 aperture lens and the secondary has an f/2.6 aperture lens. The primary camera has a pixel size of 1.4um, which is the largest of the three. The other major advantage is the Nokia 7 Plus uses Carl Zeiss optics, which should output some clean details. By the way, the secondary 12MP sensor can do 2X telephoto zoom. The cameras are supported by a dual-tone, dual-LED flash for low light capture and it comes with phase detection autofocus as well. Nokia uses a gyroscope based electronic image stabilisation to stabilise video footage. Talking about video, the 7 Plus can shoot 4K 30fps and 1080p 30fps footage. Sadly, no 60fps shooting in 1080p mode is available. The phone also has a 16MP front camera once again with Carl Zeiss optics. 

Coming to the OPPO F7, this phone has a 16MP single primary camera on the rear with an f/1.8 aperture lens. It’s got phase detection autofocus and dual-LED flash. The rear camera can shoot 1080p 30fps video. The F7 also comes with a 25MP front facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens. 

The Redmi Note 5 Pro – as we all know by now – has two cameras on the rear as well. One’s a 12MP shooter with an f/2.2 aperture, which is supported by a 5MP secondary camera with an f/2.0 aperture. It has LED flash for low light shots and phase detection autofocus. It can shoot 1080p 30fps footage, but Xiaomi has promised a future update which will enable 4K video recording on the Note 5 Pro. The Redmi Note 5 Pro’s cameras are also electronically stabilised by software. On the front you get a 20MP 1/2.8-inch sensor, which is attached to an f/2.2 aperture lens. 

Wide

In the very first comparison shot, we can see that the Nokia 7 Plus captures a very warm image which explains the yellowish tint. In fact, this is a pattern we are going to notice from Nokia 7 Plus’s camera going forward. Moreover, the 7 Plus’ camera has a problem controlling the highlights. Take a look at the leaves at bottom left corner of all the three images and you will notice that Nokia’s primary camera has overexposed the shot. That said, the Nokia 7 Plus offers crisp details across the board thanks to its large 1.4um pixel size. 

On the flipside, the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s shot offers an image with a balanced colour output but doesn’t manage to focus across the breath of the image unfortunately. While the OPPO F7 has punchier reds tending towards over-saturation, it offers a great amount of details and the contrast across the image is well maintained. Between all the three cameras, we shall go with the OPPO F7 in this round. But let it be known that it was a very closely fought one. 

Nokia 7 Plus

OPPO F7

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: OPPO F7

 

Close up

We took a close up shot of a white and purple flower to test the capability of the three phones. The Nokia 7 Plus came on top in this one. Evidently, the warm colour tone is far better controlled in the close up shot by the Nokia 7 Plus this time around. And, the Nokia clearly wins on details here. Moreover, the Nokia 7 Plus reproduces pretty natural colours. Now what’s surprising is the Redmi Note 5 Pro does a formidable job here yet again. The phone managed to make an image that is almost as good as the Nokia’s and that is saying something. 

Nokia 7 Plus

OPPO F7

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: Nokia 7 Plus

 

HDR

R

Redmi Note 5 Pro non-HDR

Redmi Note 5 Pro HDR

In our HDR test, one thing that we clearly noticed is the Redmi Note 5 Pro captures a decent dynamic range by default. Therefore, it might look like the HDR mode doesn’t do much to improve the image. In our sample, the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s HDR mode ensured that overexposed parts of the sky — at the top left corner of the image — are controlled and more details are retrieved as a result of improving the highlights. But the HDR mode does little to bring details out from the shadows.

OPPO F7 non-HDR

OPPO F7 HDR

While the OPPO does a good job of fixing both the highlights and the shadows, it ends up killing the contrast and creating a very dull image in the end. Nokia’s HDR mode ends up overexposing the image, which was weird. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, obviously, emerges triumphant in this round. 

Nokia 7 Plus non-HDR

Nokia 7 Plus HDR

Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro

 

Portrait

Nokia 7 Plus

While all the three cameras come with the option of a dedicated Portrait mode for the rear cameras, only the Nokia 7 Plus comes with the advantage of adjusting the blur. You can use a slider to change the intensity of the portrait blur and therefore the edge detection also becomes better as a result.

OPPO F7

In our test, we found that both the Nokia 7 Plus and the Redmi Note 5 Pro manage to capture the image with great edge detection and very natural colour tones. But since the Redmi tends to smudge the details slightly in this image, and the Nokia has control over the intensity of blur, we shall go with the Nokia 7 Plus in this test.

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: Nokia 7 Plus

 

Selfie

Nokia 7 Plus

We expected the OPPO F7 to come out on top in this round but unfortunately Ashish’s face ended up looking redder than usual in our test shot. The Redmi Note 5 Pro’s selfie offers far better facial tones and a similarly good amount of details too.

OPPO F7

The Nokia 7 Plus’ selfie makes Ashish’s face oiler than it actually is. This round goes to the Redmi Note 5 Pro obviously. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro

 

Selfie portrait

Nokia 7 Plus

This was probably the toughest round of the lot. Primarily because, while the Nokia 7 Plus does a better job of edge detection than the other two, the details are missing. OPPO’s software is very aggressive when it comes to edge detection and you will notice that it has blurred out parts of Ashish’s hair as well. In contrast, the Redmi Note 5 Pro misses out on blurring parts of the image right next to the hair.

OPPO F7

Overall though, both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the OPPO F7 offer a great level of details. But, the edge detection left us wanting more. We’ve decided to pick the OPPO in this round primarily because it offers the best details of the lot. However, individual mileage may vary.

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: OPPO F7

 

1080p video

The Nokia 7 Plus with its stupendously good gyroscope-based EIS just trumps the competition in this round. And that’s not it, the 7 Plus also comes with OZO audio which uses three mics to capture surround sound. You can also choose to pic the front or the rear mic for recording audio, which is pretty cool. The OPPO F7 lacks EIS and therefore the video is not stabilised. The Redmi Note 5 Pro portrays a jelly effect in its electronically stabilised video footage.

Winner: Nokia 7 Plus

 

Indoor

Nokia 7 Plus

We have a lovely indoor dome in our office building that makes for a stunning picture. So, we decided to use this angle and put all the phones to test. Surprisingly the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s shot looks the best here. From a great dynamic range to a good amount of details, the Note 5 Pro does a very good job of reproducing a share-worthy image.

OPPO F7

The Nokia offers the better exposure overall, thanks to the fact that its aperture can open up to f/1.75. However, it loses out on details in the highlights and shadows. The OPPO F7 just captures an extremely underexposed image overall. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro

 

Low light

In our low light test, the Redmi Note 5 Pro decides to crank up the ISO and ends up smudging the details to reduce the noise. You will notice that the image is well-exposed but the phone does an overall colour tone correction to make the yellow light look white. It is an unnatural image. This is where the Nokia 7 Plus’ f/1.75 aperture helps the phone come out on top. The 7 Plus captures a better picture overall and the contrast is great too, despite once again exhibiting a slightly warmer tone. The OPPO F7’s image is good too but it is definitely underexposed. Note that we used the light from the lamp as our focus point for all the three shots to maintain parity. The winner in this round is the Nokia 7 Plus. 

Nokia 7 Plus

OPPO F7

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: Nokia 7 Plus

 

Low light with flash

The Nokia 7 Plus’ dual-tone, dual-LED flash actually uses yellow light instead of white to illuminate the image. This makes the final image look warmer than necessary. The Redmi Note 5 Pro’s flash does a much better job in this round with the least amount of noise and the best colour accuracy of the lot. The OPPO F7 is the second best in our opinion. 

Nokia 7 Plus

OPPO F7

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro

 

Low light selfie 

Nokia 7 Plus

In our low light selfie test, the OPPO F7 takes the lead. We liked the colour reproduction and the detail retention of the shot.

OPPO F7

The Nokia phone just made my face red whereas the Redmi Note 5 Pro shoots soft details.

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: OPPO F7 

 

Low light selfie with flash

Nokia 7 Plus

Despite the fact that the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with an LED flash module up front, the OPPO F7 takes a better shot once again. The screen flash of the OPPO F7 lights upon the face evenly and the colour tone is pretty accurate too.

OPPO F7

In all honesty, the difference between the three selfies is merely the colour accuracy. And, in that race the F7 ends victorious. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Winner: OPPO F7 

 

Low light video

None of these cameras can capture a good low light video. Our sample footage turned out to be extremely grainy on all the three phones, with the Nokia 7 Plus’ being particularly worse. We are not going to pick any one phone in this round.

Winner: None

 

In conclusion

One thing we’ve noticed from doing these camera comparisons is picking a definite winner is near impossible these days. There is very little separating the camera performance of most smartphones. So what did we glean from this particular comparison:

  1. The Nokia 7 Plus offers a ton of details but makes really warm images. Also, the 7 Plus is slightly slow to focus on the subject as well, which might be a bit of a letdown. However, the Portrait mode is absolutely lit on the phone and so is the video recording. Not many manufacturers concentrate on the quality of sound recording in videos and Nokia has done exactly that with OZO audio. 
  2. The OPPO F7 its the king of selfies. Period. Also, it offers a decent rear camera performance as well. 
  3. The Redmi Note 5 Pro continues to be surprisingly good with its price to performance ratio. From offering a great dynamic range by default to capturing fairly accurate colours, the Note 5 Pro can definitely give many expensive phones a run for their money. 

In the end, buy the phone based on your use case. Do you take a lot of selfies? Buy the OPPO F7. Do you like crisp images with a good portrait mode? Buy the Nokia 7 Plus. And finally, if you don’t want to break the bank for a smartphone with a good camera. Buy the Redmi Note 5 Pro. 

All things considered, you are going to be satisfied with whichever phone you pick. And if you had to put a gun to my head and pick one winner – I’d go for the Nokia 7 Plus for its crisp details and its Pro mode, which definitely allows more control.

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Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?