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Oppo Find X2 Pro vs. Redmi K30 camera test: Sony does it right with only one sensor

We analyze the camera quality of the current Sony camera sensors in the Oppo Find X2 and the Xiaomi Redmi K30.
We analyze the camera quality of the current Sony camera sensors in the Oppo Find X2 and the Xiaomi Redmi K30.
In this camera comparison, we pit the current Sony camera sensors, the IMX686 of the Redmi K30 and the IMX689 of the Oppo Find X2 Pro, against each other. How big the differences between the two smartphone models are and which camera comes out ahead in the end will be shown in our review of the Sony EXMOR RS IMX689 and 686 sensors.
Marcus Herbrich, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...
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After our camera comparison test of the Sony IMX686 in the Redmi K30 and the IMX586 in the OnePlus 7T Pro, we now subject the new 64 MP sensor from Sony to an extensive test against its IMX689 sibling model, which is found in the Oppo Find X2 Pro. Both current sensors of the Sony EXMOR RS series follow different concepts in comparison to their predecessor in order to produce the highest possible photo quality. In the following camera comparison you can find out whether the inexpensive Redmi K30 and its IMX686 is ahead in our comparison or if the much more expensive Oppo Find X2 Pro and its IMX689 sensor turns out to be more convincing.

All photos in this comparison are taken with the help of artificial intelligence. The camera settings are left in their factory default state.

Sony camera sensors in comparison

Pixel binning: 2x2 adjacent pixels are combined into one large pixel (Image: Sony)
Pixel binning: 2x2 adjacent pixels are combined into one large pixel (Image: Sony)

At 11.2 millimeters, the 1/1.4-inch Sony IMX689 is significantly larger than the 1/1.72-inch Sony IMX686. The Quad-Bayer color filter in both Sony IMX image sensors can combine 2x2 adjacent pixels into one large pixel, resulting in images with a resolution of 12 megapixels. The so-called 4-in-1 pixel binning increases the actual length of the individual pixels of the IMX689 from 1.12 µm to a calculated 2.24 µm, whereby significantly more light and correspondingly also more image information is captured than with the IMX686 with a pixel length of 0.8 µm and 1.6 µm, respectively. In theory, the light sensitivity in photos taken with the IMX689 should be noticeably higher in low light than its IMX sibling model.

Daylight photography

Even under very good lighting conditions, differences between the rear camera modules of the Oppo Find X2 Pro and Redmi K30 become evident. Compared to the Find X2 Pro, the Xiaomi phone often lacks sharpness and details. Due to the larger pixels of the Sony IMX689, there's also hardly any image noise in relatively good lighting conditions; on the other hand, noise starts to appear with the Redmi mobile phone when the sky is overcast (see here). The Oppo smartphone also has the better dynamic range, while the Redmi K30 looks somewhat over-sharpened, and the exposure is often not optimal either, so that pictures taken with the 64 MP Sony camera appear brighter. However, the Find X2 Pro also has visible shortcomings in this regard. 

Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro

Night-time photography

As darkness sets in, the differences in photo quality between the current Sony camera sensors, the IMX686 of the Redmi K30 and the IMX689 of the Oppo Find X2 Pro, become increasingly apparent. While the Redmi K30 reveals a pronounced lack of sharpness in its photos and many details blur into each other, the Find X2 Pro's illumination of our subjects is visibly better. Pictures taken with the Oppo mobile phone look brighter and show a higher dynamic range. The Find X2 Pro produces better sharpness in photos taken with night mode too, as well as a higher dynamic range and more brightness.

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Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30 (night mode)
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro (night mode)
Sony IMX686 - Redmi K30 (night mode)
Sony IMX689 - Oppo Find X2 Pro (night mode)

Verdict - More megapixels alone won't do it

In review: Oppo Find X2 Pro and Redmi K30. Test devices provided by Oppo Germany and Trading Shenzhen.
In review: Oppo Find X2 Pro and Redmi K30. Test devices provided by Oppo Germany and Trading Shenzhen.

The camera comparison between the Oppo Find X2 Pro and the Redmi K30 mainly shows one thing again: Good photo quality is not a product of a high megapixel count in the camera sensor. The larger physical pixels of the IMX689 capture more light and therefore more image information, which ultimately results in better lit subjects, more sharpness and less image noise. Certainly, as in this comparison, software plays an important role in photo quality; however, our camera review of the Sony IMX586 shows that the differences between manufacturers aren't so massive and that in no case can software be the sole explanation of the differences in quality between the Redmi K30 and the Oppo Find X2 Pro - especially in dark environments. A similar picture is also drawn in our comparison review with the 108 MP Samsung camera in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, which only uses small native pixels as well.

The Sony IMX689 clearly has the potential for taking better photos. This should be Sony's starting point: Combining pixel-binning technology with large pixels.

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Marcus Herbrich
Editor of the original article: Marcus Herbrich - Senior Tech Writer - 260 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I have always been very passionately interested in mobile technologies, especially smartphones. Being a tech enthusiast means the half-life of my devices isn’t exactly long, and being the latest hardware is not enough to suffice as the manufacturer and operating system play a minor role – the most important aspect for me is that the device is state-of-the-art. After posting for Mobi Test I joined Notebookcheck in 2016, where I have been pursuing my enthusiasm for technology by reviewing the latest smartphone, tablet, and accessory trends.
contact me via: @Marcus_Herbrich
Stephanie Chamberlain
Translator: Stephanie Chamberlain - Translator - 414 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I've been fascinated with technology ever since I got my very first Android smartphone, which was quite a while ago. The power packed into such a small footprint still amazes me. Learning to program made my understanding of technology deeper, and at the same time, it expanded my interest to the area of desktop computers and laptops. All this led me to enjoy reading and watching reviews of new devices, and that's how I stumbled upon Notebookcheck. I immediately found their reviews to be very comprehensive, and luckily, I've even had the chance of translating them since 2019. When it comes to the huge field of technology, I'm currently also interested in specializing in Java programming.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Oppo Find X2 Pro vs. Redmi K30 camera test: Sony does it right with only one sensor
Marcus Herbrich, 2020-03-30 (Update: 2020-03-30)