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Realme 8 Pro tried out in practice

The b / w portrait camera

While the ultra-macro camera was already on the verge of being a gimmick, the b / w portrait camera easily crosses this limit. This special camera has a resolution of only 2 megapixels and is intended to provide differentiated black and white recordings. When exactly the camera is active is difficult to determine because it is not used directly in any program. Rather, it obviously supplies image processing with data in order to enable AI programs and other functions at all. If you cover the camera with your finger, the bokeh function often complains that you shouldn't cover the camera.

The selfie camera

The last camera in the group is the 16-megapixel camera facing the photographer, which is very inconspicuous due to a small hole (pinhole) in the display. She films or photographs the photographer with a wide-angled 3.48 millimeter lens with a light intensity of F2.5. This vanity camera offers decent image quality and the Realme 8 Pro allows a lot of customization options to "optimize" your own face, be it from narrowing the face to enlarging the eyes. This saves money for the cosmetic surgeon.

Image noise and color reproduction

The image noise is quite low with all cameras, which is not surprising in view of the low level of detail reproduction, since the noise reduction ensures the elimination of image details. Sharpening is high. The only exception is the zoom recording up to 3x, with this the subsequent sharpening is rather reserved.

The color rendering, even in AI mode, convinced us and was even able to capture the complex lighting mood of a foggy sunrise very well.

The photographic variety

Like every modern smartphone, the Realme 8 Pro has an arsenal of filters and AI functions to make portraits "more beautiful". The camera app of the Realme 8 Pro shows all important functions at a glance. The basic photo and video functions can be found at first glance, as are the portrait, night and 108 megapixel photo functions. If you want more, you have to click on "more" and get a small overview of what else is going on. Here you can find, for example, the pro photo mode, the pro video mode and the ultra macro mode with a recording distance of 4 centimeters. There is also a time-lapse recording function, a panorama function and more.

The photographic modes are sometimes quite confused. The photographer can only change the aspect ratio of the photo in the basic photo setting from 4: 3 to 1: 1, 16: 9 or to the screen aspect ratio of 20: 9. That doesn't even work in photo expert mode! To do this, you can record in DNG format in expert mode and adjust recording parameters such as white balance, exposure time, aperture and ISO. In addition, raw data in the form of 12 megapixel DNGs can finally be recorded in this mode. The advantage of the DNGs is that the Realme 8 Pro does not carry out any distortion correction and the full potential of the image quality can be implemented thanks to the differentiated development settings in the image processing program. The disadvantage, however, is that, on the one hand, the images are relatively large at around 24 megabytes and, on the other hand, processing takes time.

Interestingly, the Realme 8 Pro does not want to break any records in the ISO settings and shuts down at ISO 6,400. Other smartphones give a little more gas in this area, but then with rather dubious success due to miserably noisy images.

  • The internal HDR function produces attractive images, which are, however, brutally sharpened. However, this looks good on small displays. [Photo: MediaNord]

  • The aspect ratio can only be changed in the standard photo mode, as here to 16: 9. [Photo: MediaNord]

  • In AI mode, the Realme 8 Pro recognizes the recording conditions and adjusts the color rendering and other recording parameters. [Photo: MediaNord]

In addition to the HDR mode, the Realme 8 Pro has a tilt-shift mode. The latter is of course only an optical effect that can be created thanks to sophisticated calculation methods. While the HDR mode expands the dynamics of the photo, the tilt-shift mode provides a special effect, which is also known as a miniature effect. With the effect, only a small, narrow or round area of ​​the photo is shown in focus, while everything outside the area becomes increasingly blurred. This has nothing to do with a real tilt-shift process to avoid falling lines in architectural photographs, but it may look very funny in some situations, especially if you are taking pictures from above.

The dedicated portrait mode of the Realme 8 Pro offers a bokeh function in addition to various filter options. With the help of the 2-megapixel black and white camera, the signal processing of the smartphone is able to assess the depth of a photo and digitally defocus it separately from the main subject. The strength of this "bokeh" setting can be adjusted using a slider and delivers quite convincing results, at least if the main motif does not have too filigree edge details and the contrast to the background is large enough. The strength of the bokeh function also has a significant influence on the credibility of the effect. We got the best results with settings between 40 and 60 percent.

Video function

No smartphone without a video function. The Realme 8 Pro is no exception. With a maximum of 4K30, 1080p60 (30) and 720p60 (30), the smartphone has a high resolution and also offers some interesting functions such as the option to take time-lapse recordings and use the tilt-shift effect mentioned above. In addition, Realme has given the 8 Pro a "star time lapse" function. With this, up to 240 starry sky recordings can be created and combined into an eight-second short video. A tripod is of course necessary for this and maybe even a power bank.

Conclusion

The 108 megapixels of the Realme 8 Pro's camera sound very impressive, but physics is difficult to outsmart and so the reproduction of details in 108 megapixel mode is disappointing and no better than in 12 megapixel mode with pixel binning. Where the sensor shows its strength is in the "digital zoom". Here the method of calculating eight recordings proves to be exactly correct and delivers surprisingly good results. While the vanity camera does its job well with 16 megapixels, the ultra wide angle with 8 megapixels is rather suboptimal in terms of edge sharpness. The super macro camera is nice, but has a resolution of two megapixels that is far too low.

We really liked the color rendering, the not too exaggerated maximum ISO setting and the good AI motif recognition. The image noise was also pleasantly low, but this is at the expense of the finer image details. The Realme 8 Pro was also convincing on the part of the more exotic various functions such as the tilt-shift effect and the "starry sky" function for photo and video.

With a price of less than 300 euros, the Realme 8 Pro is a well-equipped snapshot bargain in the smartphone mid-range. However, despite the extremely high resolution sensor, it cannot keep up with system cameras and high-end compacts.

advantages

  • Good 3x on-sensor zoom
  • Low image noise
  • Good color rendering
  • Convincing tilt-shift effect

disadvantage

  • 108 megapixel photos not convincing
  • Macro camera too low resolution
  • Loss of sharpness towards the edge in ultra-wide angle
  • Loss of detail due to strong noise reduction