BlackBerry Z30 – Camera
The BlackBerry Z30 has an 8-megapixel main camera, supported by a single-LED flash. Specs-wise, it’s solid – the f/2.2 lens is fairly fast, matching the iPhone 5S.
Its app is fairly simple to use too. It doesn’t bombard you with modes, giving you fairly similar options to the iPhone 5S. You have HDR, Burst mode, Face detection and an image stabilisation mode. It’s not proper optical image stabilisation like you get with a Lumia 1020 or Lumia 925, though. We didn’t find it to be particularly effective.
When taking photos of an undemanding, well-lit scene, the BlackBerry Z30 can capture great levels of detail, at least on-par with high-performing 8-megapixel phone sensors like the iPhone 5’s.
Contrast is good and colours are fairly accurate, although there was some evidence of minor overexposure. Focusing isn’t particularly fast either, although shutter lag is minor.
There’s no dedicated macro mode, but the BlackBerry Z30 can focus on objects about 15cm away. As we saw with the ‘landscape’ shot, sharpness within the focused range is very good.
Low-light and flash
Using the standard Auto mode, low-light performance in the BlackBerry Z30 is fairly poor. For the best results, you’ll need to switch manually to the Night scene mode, which ups sensitivity to make objects in the dark clearer.
It’s nothing special, though. Clarity it still rubbish, and the BlackBerry Z30 has no option to use the LED flash as a focusing aid, meaning focusing at night can be painfully slow.
The HDR mode is a ‘proper’ high dynamic range processor in that it takes three discrete photos and merges them to bring out more detail in pictures. Squishing together exposures set at different levels enables this.
However, we weren’t particularly impressed by it. Although it functions as expected, it’s a bit slow (causing shots with ghosting if you’re not still) and it brings with it the halo’ing effect of HDR that makes such photos look ‘fake’ without being all that effective.
Although the BlackBerry Z30 can take some decent photos in the right lighting conditions, it’s not a great camera. The app comes with some limitations, it’s slower than we’d like in some areas and there’s no Panorama mode.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.