Evolution of Mobile Imaging Technology and Portrait Mode Showdown
The development of mobile imaging technology has made significant breakthroughs in both hardware and technical algorithms. Particularly in portrait mode, with the support of periscope zoom and computational photography, it further enhances users’ ability to easily capture natural and clear portrait photos with background blur. However, for friends who enjoy capturing images of children or pets, the dynamic capture capability in portrait mode becomes more important. It also tests the capabilities of manufacturers. If the focus is inaccurate and the anti-shake function is weak, issues such as blurriness and out-of-focus images will occur.
Today, we present a portrait mode capture showdown featuring four popular flagship smartphones: iPhone 15 Pro Max, Samsung S23 Ultra, OPPO Find X7 Ultra, and vivo X100 Pro. These smartphones are equipped with periscope zoom and dynamic capture capabilities, allowing us to determine which one performs better.
First, let’s understand the default focal length of the portrait mode for these four smartphones (the sample image of iPhone15 Pro Max is without watermark). iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 2x focal length, while Samsung S23 Ultra and OPPO Find X7 Ultra have a 3x focal length. The vivo X100 Pro’s portrait mode defaults to an 85mm focal length. In the first round of real-life comparisons, there are significant differences in the imaging style of the four devices. They depict the cat’s fur and expression in a different manner. iPhone 15 Pro Max and OPPO Find X7 Ultra exhibit similar color and brightness, with high color rendition and appropriate white balance. In contrast, Samsung tends to be brighter in its images, and the vivo X100 Pro leans towards warmer tones with higher saturation, creating a more eye-catching visual appearance.
Apart from differences in color and brightness, the dynamic capture performance of the four smartphones also varies. In the sample image from iPhone 15 Pro Max, except for the cat’s head, other areas appear blurred, and the fur edges show rough blurring, likely caused by a long exposure time and insufficient shutter speed in portrait mode. Samsung S23 Ultra’s performance is slightly better, with more accurate blurring effects, although some edge blurring is present. In comparison, OPPO and vivo deliver impressive results. The fine details of the cat’s fur are clear, with accurate focus and good dynamic capture capabilities, especially in the case of Find X7 Ultra. Its background blurring is extremely well-executed, preserving even the cat’s whiskers and fur without any blurring. This is likely due to the support for Hasselblad portrait mode in the Find X7 Ultra, which not only utilizes a new portrait segmentation algorithm to precisely calculate the subject and background environment in motion but also provides detailed cutting accuracy, even capturing dynamic moments with clarity, including flying hairs. The portrait mode capture effect is truly remarkable.
In the second round of testing (the sample image of iPhone15 Pro Max is without watermark), while the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s fixed focus is accurate, it still presents edge blurring issues and unsatisfactory blurring effects. The Samsung S23 Ultra offers higher clarity and stronger color contrast, but there is still a feeling of blurriness and out-of-focus at the edges of the cat’s fur. The vivo X100 Pro exhibits a warm color tone, with a slightly yellowish color. The focus on the cat is accurate, but there are visible artifacts at the edges due to the algorithm, which may look less natural upon closer inspection, but still appealing to the eye. On the other hand, thanks to the periscope zoom and Ultra Clear Image system, OPPO Find X7 Ultra delivers high image clarity and strong contrast in light and shadow, resulting in a very pleasing visual effect.
The comparison of real-life captures using the top four flagship smartphones reveals the high requirements for background blurring, capture speed, focus accuracy, and algorithm optimization in dynamic pet portrait mode. With the dual optimization of software and hardware by major manufacturers, the photography performance has improved significantly, with all images turning out quite well. The main differences lie in the color style and dynamic capture capabilities. Personally, I prefer OPPO’s imaging style. What about you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.