Fairphone 4 camera delivers poor quality pictures when indoors

I’m completely with you, for me, indoor is ‘low light’ too, so that’s why I said, that more light is necessary to take sharp pictures without flash.

just from my experience with a good DSLR and lenses: more or less everything shot insight is low light unless the sun really illuminates a room. to freeze such pictures, you need a very strong sensor (<2.8) and not too much movement and/or a tripod. phones got really good in those situations thanks to software, not hardware. so the FP issue is a software problem (compared to Google, Apple, Samsung), as i guess the sensor is not the limiting factor.


For a camera this is low light. We are not talking about night shots with almost no light.
And your values do show that exactly. 1/17s is far too long to stop a motion. The ISO rating is above what was common with analogue film (mostly ISO100 or ISO400, everything higher was special and grainy). Maybe there is room to higher values, but then there is more noise, which makes the pictures either blurry or after processing softer.
I’m only wondering about the aperture value, the standard back camera con open until 1/1,6. But maybe the cameras software detected the big distance between the people and closed it for more depth of field. Or did you use the wide angle lens?

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here is mine in the restaurant

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I used the regular camera. Clearly the Fairphone camera is not well configured. There is a lot of light coming from every direction, there aren’t really shadows either. It’s not unfair to say that the Fairphone could really need some improvement here.

There is some room for improvement, for sure. But there is no magician inside the software. Your eyes are far more sensitive (or your brain more experienced), what you think is

ain’t for a camera.
As you can see here:

you need to tell the software, that is has to sacrifice quality by using high ISO settings, to be able to stop a motion.


I think the difference between the Fairphone 4 and other modern smartphones is that the latter do select high ISOs automatically and at the same time have such a good noise reduction algorithm that the quality of the image is still quite good. I am not very confident that Fairphone has the money to develop (or buy) image processing algorithms as advanced as those of Apple, Huawei, etc.


I think we can expect good photo quality, when we pay around 600€ for this device. Fairphone is able to develop a whole smartphone, so they should be able to optimise software issues.

and the problems are NOT Common and not subjective. Just look in some Tests of any Magazine of your trust.

“Schwachlichtsituationen sind allerdings keine Stärke der Kamera.” (Low-light situations, however, are not the camera’s strong point.) notebookcheck.de

I just checked a few pictures made with an iPhone 13 mini. In a room it uses low ISO and long exposure times too. 1/25s for example. But I didn’t check, if it detects motions automatically and then changes some parameters.

You don’t pay 600€ for the camera. You pay for a fair manufactured phone, which has a camera too. The sentence:

can be found in nearly every test of a smartphone :wink:.

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This is not true :slight_smile: Pixel 6 can make a street at night look like a street at day. And if it’s like my Pixel 3 (probably better of course), you won’t have these ghosting effects that easily. Of course with night mode you do, but in regular mode you get sharp pictures, even when people move. But yes, you don’t pay for the camera with a Fairphone. But let’s not paint the picture here that it’s normal to have these ghost effects and that it’s impossible to improve.

Well, until a few years ago, it was. Before I had the Huawei P30, I seldom took smartphone pictures indoors because they always came out blurry. But expectations have changed in recent years.

Night sight is something completely different. It’s only possible with a stable stand of the phone as it uses very long exposure times.

If you don’t understand the nature of photography, even after all these explanations, I can’t help anymore.

No it’s not. Only Astrophotography needs a stand with a Pixel phone. I’'m not replying to you to be difficult, so let’s not make this some kind of who’s right competition. Yes, longer exposure times are needed to capture more light. But we’re talking about 2 different things here. Regular pictures don’t have to have ghost effects. My OnePlus One was the last smartphone that had issues with that. We indeed overcame these things. So yes, longer exposure is needed for night mode. And yes, in that case you have ghost effects. But regular pictures, indoors, don’t have this for almost 10 years. We know Fairphone is not in the high segment of camera quality, we know. I’m just pointing out that it’s not impossible, you’re painting that picture here that Fairphone cannot improve this because this is the way it is. It’s not.

Not quite. As far as I know, these night shot modes take multiple photos with differing, but relatively short exposure times but very high ISOs and then combine them into one image to get rid of the noise and archive a high dynamic range. Otherwise, these modes would not work without a tripod.

But this is a thing Fairphone already does quite well. The single-exposures indoor photos are more problematic.


I don’t think so, I can’t even find a version number in the app settings.

FP3 does have such :slight_smile: I think it was a ten times tap.

That may or may not be considered a feature. Digital zoom is conceptually broken and always is a bad idea. People really shouldn’t use digital zoom or they will be disappointed.

When using the selfie camera, why don’t you hold the smartphone closer?


I don’t think that’s part of the reasoning since the main camera can zoom in to the point the picture becomes useless. A 1.4x zoom can already make quite a difference while still have acceptable quality. It’s useful, if not for pics, it’s for quickly using it as a portable mirror to see if something is between your teeth.


I think it’s fair to say that the last 2 Fairphone updates made some major improvements in quality. Less noise, sharper images, faster auto focus and better night mode. I think we can conclude that the Fairphone 4 is now at the level of a mid-range phone, which is what the Fairphone 4 is. Would be awesome if it would be like an iPhone/Pixel, but that won’t happen of course. I’ll mark this issue as solved in the wiki I started a while ago.


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