The Vivo X100 Ultra is official with a single telephoto camera… but it’s a 200MP one


Another photography king has been unveiled: the Vivo X100 Ultra is now official! It has been introduced at a live event in China alongside the Vivo X100s and the Vivo X100s Pro.

This article is about the mightiest of the trio – the Vivo X100 Ultra.

As promised, the X100 Ultra it’s chock-full of goodies, with the focus on the camera department. You might say this is Vivo’s first camera – a camera that also doubles as a smartphone!

Rear quad camera setups are the thing these days, but the Vivo X100 Ultra is confident enough to come with a triple camera setup.

Some photography- (and videography) centric phones come with the following setup:

  • A main camera (23-24mm equivalent focal length)
  • An ultra-wide angle camera (12-14mm equivalent focal length)
  • A portrait telephoto (65-85mm equivalent focal length)
  • A wildlife telephoto (100-135mm equivalent focal length)

The Vivo X100 Ultra is built differently. This brand-new flagship throws out the secondary (the 100mm+) telephoto camera and offers just a main camera, an ultra-wide one and a telephoto that will probably blow your mind away.

The non-camera specs: chipset, price and availability

This camera phone should be impressive even beyond the camera department: a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset promises buttery-smooth performance, a 6.78-inch 120Hz OLED screen (QHD+), a 5,500mAh battery (80W wired, 30W wireless charging). Also, there’s an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor from Goodix, Mac support, and a long-range Wi-Fi mode that’s apparently able to maintain stable connections at up to 150 meters away.The Vivo X100 Ultra starts at 6,499 yuan (~$898) for the 12GB/256GB model, while the 16GB/512GB model will set users back 7,299 yuan (~$1,009).

So far, it’s unclear whether the Vivo X100 Ultra will be launched outside of China. Cross your fingers!

Why only one telephoto camera?

In a nutshell, because it’s potent enough (on paper, at least): we’re talking about a 200MP sensor!

Instead of having two separate telephoto snappers, Vivo’s idea is to have a single telephoto camera with a high enough resolution sensor that enables cropping. This, paired with some smart AI sorcery, could

Truth to be told, cropping in a photo, taken by a 85mm lens is not the same as taking a photo with a, let’s say, 135mm lens. Just as cropping in a 23mm photo doesn’t make it a “true” 85mm photo. Let’s see why:

  • 23mm lens: This is a wide-angle lens. It captures a broad view, making objects appear smaller and fitting more into the frame. It’s great for landscapes or capturing a large group of people.
  • 85mm lens: This is a medium telephoto lens. It compresses the scene, making subjects appear closer together and slightly enlarging them. It’s ideal for portraits because it creates a flattering perspective with a nice background blur (bokeh).
  • 135mm lens: This is a longer telephoto lens. It further compresses the scene, bringing distant subjects even closer and making them larger in the frame. It’s excellent for capturing distant subjects or getting tight shots of individuals, especially in sports or wildlife photography.

The be(a)st cameras to beat?

Could it turn out that Vivo’s X100 Ultra cameras are the ones to beat in 2024? Maybe… maybe not; here’s what the setup consists of:

  • Glorious 1-inch 50MP Sony LYT-900 sensor for the main camera with “improved stabilization”
  • Impressive 1/1.95-inch 50MP Sony LYT-600 sensor for the ultra-wide snapper.
  • Eyebrows-raising 1/1.4-inch Samsung ISOCELL HP9 sensor for the telephoto with a f/2.67 aperture and CIPA 4.5 stabilization – the company says this camera should offer great image quality at up to 20x zoom.
  • A 50MP camera for selfies and video calls.

All three rear cameras pack the ZEISS T* coating for reducing glare. This should result in better images!

Other camera features include 4K cinematic portrait video, 4K/120fps slow-motion video, 4K/60fps Dolby Vision video, a new monochrome color profile, 3D photo, and video capture.

How’s the Ultra competition doing?

In the following weeks, many tests will be conducted and numerous real-life comparisons will be made with the Vivo X100 Ultra against other camera phone kings.

Until that happens, let’s check out what the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and the Oppo Find X7 Ultra bring to the table strictly in terms of camera capabilities.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

  • LYT-900: 1x main camera (23mm), 1-inch sensor, f/1.63 to f/4.0 (variable aperture)
  • IMX858: 0.5x ultra-wide (12mm), 1/2.51-inch sensor, f/1.8
  • IMX858: 3.2x (75mm) optical zoom, 1/2.51-inch sensor, f/1.8
  • IMX858: 5x (120mm) optical zoom, 1/2.51-inch sensor, f/2.5

Oppo Find X7 Ultra:

  • LYT-900: main camera, 1-inch sensor, f/1.8
  • LYT-600: ultra-wide, 1/1.95-inch sensor, f/2.0
  • IMX890: 3x (65mm) optical zoom, 1/1.56-inch sensor, f/2.6
  • IMX858: 6x (135mm) optical zoom, 1/2.51-inch sensor, f/4.3

Is mobile photography important enough for you to import the Vivo X100 Ultra if it doesn’t go global? Let me know in the comments!

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