Hello Mi Fans!
It had been quite some time since I last posted a review thread. Anyway as the title suggest, today I will be talking about the camera of Redmi Note 7 only since this had been the interest of many since even before it officially launch.
I'm not gonna go deep into the full spec and anything else, you can easily see the summary from this image below.
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But if you still want to see an in-depth review you can always read the review done by our mitch002 here.
So moving on, our main topic today will be the camera of Redmi Note 7.
For your information Redmi Note 7 uses the Samsung ISOCELL GM1 sensor and to put the fact out there we will pay a visit to Samsung product site to check out this camera sensor.
Source: Click Here
It is stated there 48MP 4in1 to 12MP (1.6um) on their specification site. Samsung also mention this which I extracted from their News site.
The GM1 and the GD1 sensors are based on the company’s latest pixel isolation technology – the ISOCELL Plus* – which optimizes performance especially for smaller-dimension pixels, making them the ideal solution for today’s super-resolution cameras. In addition, thanks to Tetracell technology, where four pixels are merged to work as one to increase light sensitivity, the GM1 and GD1 can deliver light sensitivity equivalent to that of a 1.6μm-pixel image sensor at 12Mp and 8Mp resolution, respectively. The sensors also support Gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) for fast and accurate image capture.
To simplify this, this GM1 sensor is no doubt a 48MP camera sensor but it uses a process call the Pixel Binning to optimise the enhance the low-light performance of this camera sensor and at the end the output image is at 12MP only.
To further explain this, I will have to talk about Pixel Binning without going into too technical so that everyone will be able to understand this more easily.
Undertanding the Sensor
The pixels on a sensor actually has a red, green and blue (RGB) filter on it, allowing only the light that passes through this filters to be registered. These filtered pixels are then laid out in an alternate pattern, with green pixels being two times more than the red and blue pixels in any given horizontal and vertical line. The adjacent red, green and blue pixels are combined into a single RGB pixel using a process called demosaicing. The binning process takes place during the demosaicing stage even before the JPEG is genarated.
So what is Pixel Binning
Pixel Binning is a technique whereby the demosaicing process combines information from 4 pixels into 1. Generally 1 pixel is 0.8um so now after combining the 4 pixel it becomes 1.6um. Refer to image below.
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Basically it means that the information capture by each of the individual pixels are now combined into 1 large Super Pixel. By doing this the sensor are able to take in more lights/information and generate a better output image by combining more data into 1 large pixel. But, the downside of this will be the effective resolution of the output image will be 1/4th of the resolution of the sensor.
So in Redmi Note 7 case, the 48MP sensor is definitely a 48M camera but gives you a much better 12MP result image.
This imaging process is not new in the mobile phone industry at all. The once proud flagship of Huawei, the P20 Pro also uses the exact same process whereby the 40MP camera actually only gives you a 10MP end image. Another example would be the LG G7+ which gives you a resulting image of only 4MP from the 16MP sensor.
In conclusion, Pixel Binning trades sensor resolution for better illumination in an image and truly comes in handy when shooting in low light. While you do lose 1/4th of the sensor resolution but you will end up with images that are social media worthy.
Here are some sample shots I snap using the Redmi Note 7. Overall I can say that it is even better than my Mi 6 and this is only 1/3rd of Mi 6 price back then. I'm super satisfy with the low-light shot from this phone too but you will need to figure it out when to use the AI mode and when to use the Night mode. Not all Night mode photos turn out nicely, sometimes the AI mode take better shot.
And one last note, I will be brutally honest here. Just don't use the 48MP mode as it is mostly useless in any case since the 48MP image is actually a result from Interpolation. (I won't touch this here, you can google yourself :P)
I tried to shoot this using the manual mode although it is not that good but hey! How much does this phone cost again? :lol
I would say, Redmi Note 7 is definitely the best low-light performer in its class and it comes with a very attractive price point.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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