Kazam Tornado 348 - Camera

Score

Kazam Tornado 348: Camera

Taking care of your photos and selfies are a front and rear-facing camera that don’t excel in any single  way at night or day. At the back is an 8-megapixel camera sensor with an LED flash, but no high-end goodies like optical image stabilization to improve low-light shooting. Up front is a 5-megapixel camera that’s more than adept at taking sharp, albeit still slightly noisy images, but is perfectly suited for video calls in well-lit environments.

The camera app is pretty simple and familiar to anyone that’s used an Android phone before. Quick settings like enabling the flash and the video camera are positioned down the sides of the screen with a settings icon opening up a handful of useful, but not entirely comprehensive, bunch of camera modes.

There’s HDR and an Auto Scene mode along with the ability to assign the volume key as a camera shutter button. Annoyingly, the camera menu layout is only in portrait mode, so if you are shooting in landscape, as most no doubt will, it’s a bit of a pain flipping the phone around to adjust settings and take a picture in one swift move.

When you get to shooting you’ll quickly notice how sluggish the 348’s camera is — it takes far too long for the camera to initiate. Even when the app is open and looks ready, it often isn’t. This can often lead to horribly out of focus images.

Image’s don’t look particularly sharp, either, with noticeable noise creeping into many of our test shots. You can get Facebook and Twitter worthy shots in well-lit conditions, but the auto-focus is unreliable and low light performance is sub-par with and without the flash.

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Up close, the 8-megapixel rear camera struggles to produce really accurate colours

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Even in good lighting, colours appear muted and there’s clear image noise in the background

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This night shot is ruined by noise and lacks contrast

HDR is often the saviour for smartphone cameras that can’t quite cut it and in fairness, the Tornado 348’s HDR mode is competent enough. It brightens gloomy shots  without sacrificing overall image quality or looking too overprocessed. As the two images below illustrate, the buildings in the distance are more colourful with the HDR mode turned on.

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HDR mode turned off

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HDR mode turned on

For video, you can shoot in full HD 1080p, so there’s no 4K here despite the Tornado’s Mediatek processor providing support for it. Again, there’s a handful of modes to improve shooting, like an anti-shaking mode, the ability to adjust video quality along with white balance and exposure. It’s capable of shooting reasonably sharp, judder-free footage, though you do still have to contend with some grainy elements and the microphone struggling to fully capture the audio.