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BlackBerry as a productivity focused smartphone brand has given very little to photography enthusiasts. The company's phones are widely known to address work-related tasks and to cover just the basics of mobile photography. However, some recent BlackBerry devices have shown significant improvements in the overall camera output and suggest that the company is now taking camera performance quite seriously.
Having said that, we tested the dual-lens camera on BlackBerry's most recent smartphone- the KEY2 LE to find out what the Canadain tech giant has to offer to users in the photography segment. We took random shots in daylight and also in low-light to evaluate the camera output. Here's what we found out. But before that, let's take a look at the camera specifications and camera app of BlackBerry KEY2 LE.
BlackBerry KEY2 LE Camera Specifications
The KEY2 LE sports a pretty standard camera setup. It comes with a dual-lens camera module that comprises of 13MP primary sensor and a 5MP secondary depth sensor. The 13MP lens works on a smaller f/2.2 aperture and supports Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF). The 5MP depth sensing shooter works on even darker f/2.4 aperture. The rear camera is accompanied by a dual-LED flashlight. The camera can record 4K videos at 30fps and at 24fps. It can also shoot 080p videos at 60/30/24 fps and 720p videos at 60/30/24fps. The video stabilization kicks in only when you record videos at 1080p at 30fps. As far as the front camera is concerned, the KEY2 LE flaunts an 8MP sensor that can record videos in1080p at 30fps.
BlackBerry KEY2 LE Camera Application
BlackBerry KEY2 LE features a pretty straightforward no-nonsense camera app. You can take HDR shots, change the aspect ratio, enable/disable timer and flash and apply some really interesting filters in the real-time while taking shots. One tap on the camera icon placed adjacent to the shutter button opens up a small window for supported modes such as video, slow-motion, portrait, etc. You can enable 'face detection' in settings and can also enable a very useful 'Focus Before Capture' mode that basically improves the focus accuracy of the camera to prevent blurry shots. Besides, you can change the photo quality, put a watermark and access the usual set of camera settings in the menu. Interestingly, the Pro mode is also hidden inside the camera settings which should be ideally placed in the main camera interface of the smartphone for a quick access.
Coming onto the camera performance, the KEY2 LE takes crisp shots which show impressive detailing. There's minimal distortion even when images are zoomed in to maximum. The contrast levels are at point and colors also look quite natural. The camera sensor also captures a very good dynamic range on a clear day.
Effective HDR mode
Check out the above camera sample captured in uneven light on a hazy day in the capital. The camera on KEY2 LE has once again done a very good job. The HDR mode has managed to bring out the required picture information in darker areas which would otherwise lose easily in such lighting.
I was also able to capture fast-moving subjects accurately without much efforts as the camera sensor was quick to focus on the subject instantly. This particular shot was captured from a moving car and still came out pretty well.
Portrait Camera performance
The 5MP depth sensor performs surprisingly well. I was managed to capture some really good bokeh shots with the KEY2 LE's dual-lens camera setup. Check out the above sample. The edge detection is at the point and detailing is also preserved very well. You can also check more portrait camera samples in the BlackBerry KEY2 LE gallery on Gizbot.com.
Low-light Camera Performance
As the camera sensor works on a smaller aperture, the KEY2 LE's camera setup demands a good amount of light to deliver clear shots in low-light. If there's a light source in the frame that you are trying to capture, the final output will please you. Check out the above samples. The KEY2 LE's camera has done a very good job here. The noise levels are in control and even the detailing at the farthest point; the trees, sky, and buildings is very well maintained.
Video output performance
As far as video output is concerned, the 13MP primary camera on KEY2 LE captures super crisp 4K videos. The 1080p videos shot at 60fps also look vibrant and full of contrast. Besides, the camera on BlackBerry KEY2 LE can also record impressive slow-motion videos.
Overall, BlackBerry KEY2 LE managed to exceed our expectations in the camera department. The dual-lens camera at the back is very much capable to take on any camera smartphone in sub Rs. 40k price-point and can even deliver better results in many cases. Let us know what are your thoughts about a BlackBerry QWERTY keypad device that can also be a very good camera smartphone.