Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 quick review
Usually at DPReview Connect we focus on high-end devices from established smartphone manufacturers. However, sometimes we come across devices from lesser-known manufacturers that, because of their specification and price point, have the potential to make excellent alternatives for budget-minded mobile photographers. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is such a device.
The Redmi Note 2 was first announced back in August. Currently selling at around $170 for its unlocked base model with 16GB of storage, it comes with a MediaTek Helio x10 system chip which is also used in HTC's top-end model, the One M9+, an $800 device. Other specs include a large 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD display and a 13MP main camera with on-chip phase detection. Storage is expandable via a MicroSD slot.
Courtesy of retailer Gearbest.com that ships Xiaomi devices worldwide we've had the chance to try the Redmi Note 2, shoot a wide range of samples and see how it generally performs as a device for mobile photography.
- 13MP sensor
- Dual-LED flash
- 1080p video
- 5MP front camera
- 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display
- Mediatek MT6795 Octa-Core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 16/32GB storage
- MicroSd support
- 3020mAh (removable)
The camera app is fairly simple and easy to use. Exposure compensation is accessible via a slider on the focus target, but otherwise manual control is limited. Manual mode allows for manual setting of ISO and white balance but not shutter speed. HDR mode can be activated via a button on the main screen and special modes, including Manual and Panorama, are accessed by swiping up on the main screen. Swiping down reveals a set of image filters.
The two images below were taken in bright light. In such conditions the Redmi Note does not appear to stick to a specific base ISO but fluctuates between ISO 112 and 117, which won't make much difference in practice but looks unusual in the EXIF data. As you can see in the samples exposure is very good, with generally natural colors and vibrant reds. Our sample unit showed some variation in sharpness across the frame but when zooming in to 100% it becomes obvious that in terms of image detail the Redmi cannot quite keep up with the best in class, even at the center of the frame. In bright light edges are well defined, but fine low-contrast detail is noticeably smeared by noise reduction and luminance noise is visible in areas of plain color.
The two images below again show good exposure and pleasant colors but close-up we can see that finer textures, such as the brickwork in the left image, is being smeared. Luminance noise is pretty intrusive in the blue sky and in some mid-tone areas we can see first hints of chroma noise.
The next two images were taken indoors which made the camera increase ISO to 246 and 449 respectively. At a shutter speed of 1/30 sec camera shake is not much of an issue, and color and exposure are still good under artificial light. However, as we can see in the 100% crops, noise becomes more intrusive and edges are softer.
For the darker artificially lit scenes below the camera pushed ISO to 647 and 847 respectively. At these light levels shutter speed is often reduced to 1/15 sec which can result in image blur through camera shake. It's a good idea to take a series rather than just one picture if you want to make sure to have at least one sharp image.
That said, exposure and color are still decent but, as we can see on the white shirts in the image on the right, the camera is a little more prone to highlight clipping at higher ISOs. At a 100% view things don't look too pretty now, with a lot of smeared noise, soft edges and a lack of any fine detail. Images taken in such dim conditions are still good for sharing on social media but not really suitable for larger prints or viewing at full size.
The two samples below were captured in light conditions that would be a challenge for any camera. It is commendable that the Redmi Note 2 manages to maintain good exposure but in the 100% view we can see a lot of noise, softness and no detail at all. It's good to know that in an emergency situation the Redmi is capable of capturing a meaningful exposure in these conditions but don't expect to use the images for any quality-critical purposes.
HDR and panorama modes
We also had a look at some of the HDR and panorama modes in the camera app. As you can see below the HDR mode is capable of recovering some of the clipped highlights in the sky and lifting the shadow areas, giving the scene a more balanced tonal distribution without making it look unnatural. As we've seen on many other devices before, there is a slight drop-off in sharpness but you would only notice at a 100% view.
There is no other way to say it, the Redmi Note 2's panorama mode is one of the worst we have seen in a while. Image output is tiny, you'll find stitching errors even in pretty simple scenes and fine detail is non-existent. It's fair to say that you should find yourself a decent panorama app in the Google Play Store if you want to capture this type of image with the Xiaomi device.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 offers a bright 5.5-inch screen in a solid-looking plastic body with an attractive minimalist design. Thanks to a powerful chipset in general use it feels responsive at all times and the camera app is easy to use. It doesn't offer a lot of control but the most popular special modes, HDR and panorama, are on board. The results of the latter are pretty disappointing though and budding panorama shooters should find themselves a third-party app when using the Redmi Note 2.
In terms of camera performance the Xiaomi is a bit of a double-edged sword. Exposure and color are consistently good up to the highest ISO values, but in terms of image detail and pixel-level image quality it can't quite keep up with the best in its class. Smearing of fine low-contrast detail is noticeable from early on and luminance noise is quite intrusive even at base ISO. This means the Redmi Note 2's images are great for social sharing and general use at smaller size, but those who are planning to generate the occasional large-scale print or view images at full size should probably look for alternatives. The latest generation Motorola Moto G for example comes with a smaller screen but offers arguably better image detail and a weather-resistant body at a very similar price point.
Sep 20, 2017
Sep 19, 2017
Sep 20, 2017
Sep 19, 2017
|.....the ROYAL LOTUS 2017/08/25-NEW YORK..... by Chiwat|
from Wild flowers
|Coffee and Mango cake by clicker88|
from Another cup of coffee
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.