New Fairphone 2 camera


so obviously the new FP2 camera module is up for sale already. I just ordered one because it’s rather cheap and while I was surprised by the camera quality of the original one, I was always longing for more. Especially the low dynamic range is very limiting for everything beyond snapshots.

But I think it would completely make sense to provide some full-res test images for customers to give them a chance to decide wheter buying a new camera module is a good idea or not.

So, If any of the FP-officials is reading this: please provide some compareable pictures made with the old and the new camera module on your shop page.

Until that happenes, let’s speculate:

We know that the old sensor is an OV8865 and the new one will again be from omnivision, this time the OV12870.

Coincidentally there’s the Xiaomi Mi 5c, a rather fresh middle-class smartphone which features a 8MP sensor for the selfie-cam and 12MP for the main camera. And rumors have it that these are exact the two sensors I stated above. So you can compare on review pages of the Mi 5c, like this one:

But take all this with at least two grains of salt: It’s a speculation based on rumors with pictures of a website of unknown repuation.

And there’s not just the sensor, it’s very likely that also the lens differs from the FP-lens as well as the jpeg handling which has a huge impact on the percepted image quality. The Xiaomi for example seems to have a pretty strong noise reduction which eliminates details and gives a more artificial look than the FP.

Oh, and the OV12870 features phase-detect-AF which is supposed to reduce time for autofocussing dramatically. This should also give much better AF for shooting videos if the software is done right.

I’d also like to see some high-iso, full-res images from the new sensor. Has anybody here had luck finding some?


Question: is the jpeg handling done by the camera, or by the software? Would switching to OpenCam and maximising quality settings help?

EDIT: Also, I bought the new sensor, with the same motivation as you. Should be delivered soon, so I can help with testing. I don’t really have a proper test-setup though; some kind of make-shift equivalent to the DPReview test-scene for reproducable comparisons would be nice. Have to look into that.

I also found it odd to see some “sample” pictures that don’t give you any clue at all about the quality compared to the original camera…
So, I’ll wait for some people to test them before considering buying a new module!


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Feedback on new Camera pages

Some of the jpeg handling is most likely done by the software. Like sharpening, contrast, saturation, resolution,… But I have no clue about demosaicing and stuff.

And I don’t have any reproducable studio comparison scenery either, but I think a quick test on a tripod with same settings, same motif in an environment not affected by sunlight would suffice to see a difference.

1 Like

Very good question. I think it depends: Part of the image processing is done one the camera in any case, but if the camera exposes the new Android Camera2 API, it should be possible to get RAW data from the camera.

I ordered the camera module too and look forward to the first pictures.


it the camera exposes the new Android Camera2 API, it should be possible to get RAW data from the camera.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see if OpenCam gives us a RAW option then :slight_smile:


I think we were talking about RAW at #efct17 and I think they said a combination of hardware and software is necessary for support (and I don’t think they have support for it) but I can be wrong.


That would be a disappointment! And 12 MP instead of 8 doesn’t say much. There are a lot of other criteria, which define a cameras quality, the chip resolution is just one of it. .
Probably it is inappropriate to hope for premium performance for the new camera. For Fairphone a clean supply chain is more important than premium product quality. For the camera off course I would like to have both, even for a higher price.

1 Like

The closest I have to an official reply is this response from Douwe on Twitter:

Hey Job, the processor can’t handle RAW, so sorry, now support for that. Best, Douwe

I just asked for clarification whether he means phone or camera processor.


Even the Teletext of the Austrian national broadcaster had a story about the new camera module. And they usually only talk about Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.

Credits go to my mum, who took the photo.


Argh! Already out of stock! Does somebody knows when then will have it again in stock?

1 Like

Nooo, I’ve waited too long. I hope they get a new batch soon.

Now we know why it’s sold out.


I’ll be buying myself this camera upgrade because the original camera was a weakness I identified when I bought the phone, but I’ve also noticed the stock camera app is pretty rubbish too. I’m now in the habit of taking all my photos with Snapchat (best image capture I’ve found from an app) and just saving them from there. Any recommendations for a better camera app to pair with the new sensors?

1 Like

On the site it also says ‘dual flash’ rather than single flash for the rear camera. Anybody any clue on what that may mean? More light? More natural colours?

I like the open camera app as it gives me manual control for many parameters. But I’m not sure if that’s similar to snapchat. I guess it’s not.


Not that it’ll help much, but their own words are:

dual flash for more natural, balanced exposure

I do like this stackexchange answer that explains what it could mean (in short: more distance for the flash illumination, or the possibility to match flash colour more accurately to ambient light, if the LEDs have a different colour.). The quoted Fairphone blurb is a bit ambiguous (but seems to hint at colour matching - and though I do get the impression I’m seeing glimpses of two differently coloured LEDs in the example pictures/renders, we’ll need to wait and see…).


If you dive into the settings of OpenCam you can (for example) make sure the JPEG compression is minimal (although really, anything about 80% is hard to see; it only matters if you want to maintain details so you don’t see blatant JPEG artifects when post-processing).

If you want to tweak your photos, Snapseed is amazing.

1 Like

A triple LED flash would increase your reach 1.7 times compared to a single LED (1.2 times compared to dual LED).

Minor nitpick: this assumes the LED has the same efficiency. LEDs have gotten a lot brighter and efficient in the last decade (not sure if this is still changing as quickly as before though).