We review the Blackberry Priv‘s 18-megapixel rear camera and the 2-megapixel selfie camera after a week-long test, complete with photo and video samples.
One of the best bits of the Blackberry Passport, that weirdly square phone which Blackberry released this time last year, was its impressive optics. Blackberry’s latest phone, the Blackberry Priv, thankfully continues this run of good form boasting a very competitive 18-megapixel camera that rivals other best-in-class phones such as the Sony Xperia Z5 and Samsung Galaxy S6.
Here’s our Blackberry Priv camera review and don’t forget to check out our in-depth Blackberry Priv review.
Blackberry Priv camera app and features
Blackberry’s camera app is a little cluttered with options, but simple enough to use. On one edge you have a number of quick feature toggles, including flash, aspect ratio, timer and HDR. There’s also a settings menu where you can change the quality of your photos and videos as well as toggle geolocation.
On the opposite edge you’ll find the shutter button, as well as a button to toggle between three different modes (camera, video, panorama) and flip between the front and rear-facing cameras. There’s also a filter feature to add weird effects to your photo before you even take it, including the obligatory (and somewhat pointless) inverse, black and white and sepia effects.
The Priv’s autofocus is constantly snapping your subject into focus, so photos usually take with little delay once you tap the shutter button. Alternatively, you can push the volume buttons on the right edge of the phone to take a shot, which works best if you’re holding the Priv with your left hand.
Blackberry Priv camera samples (photo gallery)
Thankfully our test photos proved crisp and detail-packed when viewed back on a large screen, with very few blurry photos cropping up in our virtual album. Colours are realistically represented and contrast is very rarely an issue thanks to the very strong built-in HDR.
Low light results are particularly impressive, with relatively grain-free snaps in all but the dingiest of environments. And if things get too dark, the dual-tone LED flash will sort you out.
Check out our photo gallery below to see a selection of our Blackberry Priv camera shots.
Blackberry Priv video samples
You can record 1080p video in 30fps or 60fps as well as 4K quality, although anything above 1080p 30fps means you can’t use the nifty and effective advanced stabilisation feature which cuts the bumpy edges from your footage (although there is clearly still some image stabilisation so your videos don’t look too rough).
Still, even without advanced stabilisation in play, our test footage looked good when played back on a TV, with plenty of detail captured and an effective auto-focus quickly locking onto whatever you’re shooting.
Blackberry Priv 1080p 30fps video recording sample:
Blackberry Priv 1080p 60fps video recording sample:
Blackberry Priv 4K video recording sample:
Blackberry Priv selfie camera test
Around the front of the Priv you have a 2-megapixel camera which is perfectly fine for video chats and the odd selfie, although it’s not as strong as most rival front-facers. Detail levels are weak in comparison to the Xperia Z5 and Galaxy S6’s selfie shots, for instance, thanks to the lower megapixel rating. However, the wide angle shots mean you can cram in plenty of your besties for a group snap.
Read next: Our full in-depth Blackberry priv review