The vivo V27e and the rest of the V27 series don’t seem like big upgrades from the V25 series. But one feature has helped solidify its claim of being a “Portrait Master.” That isn’t all this phone and its cameras have to offer, though. Read on to find out how the V27e improves your photo (and video) game and where it needs to improve for next time!
Introducing the Aura Portrait Light
This phone might be considered the entry-level model in the V27 series. But the vivo v27e gets the Aura Portrait Light and its accompanying algorithm. The company smartly turned the phone camera’s flash into a built-in ring light. And when used, it gives off a soft, diffused light that works particularly well in low-light situations.
It makes for the best portrait photography tool since it doesn’t wash out your subject and keeps them in focus. It isn’t as harsh as your typical flash photography, either.
I wasn’t convinced at first that turning the flash into a ring light would result in any portrait photography improvement. But I was pleasantly surprised with how the samples I took inside a bar and dimly lit restaurant turned out.
Even in Auto/Photo mode, you can still get some pretty good pictures out of this phone’s 64-megapixel customized Samsung GW3 main camera, giving you more low-light photography options to play around with.
- The Aura Portrait Light is accessible from the Portrait mode. You can turn it on by tapping the lightning icon at the top left. Its difference from the regular flash is it will stay on continuously as you prep your shot.
- vivo offers different photo filters or what it calls Style under the Portrait mode. Tap on the word Style to access them. Most of these filters will work hand in hand with the Aura Portrait Light. You can toggle it on and off from that top left icon. It won’t be clickable if it doesn’t work with the appropriate filter.
- If you want to change the background blur and bokeh effect, that’s also something you can tweak in Portrait mode. Tap on that F symbol near the bottom right of the screen to adjust accordingly. This option will let you adjust how blurry the background is and change how the lights look. You can make them look like stars or cherry blossoms, etc.
Everything else about the vivo V27e’s cameras
Before we touch on the camera features of the vivo V27e, let’s do a quick refresher on what you get. The triple rear camera setup includes a 64-megapixel customized Samsung GW3 primary camera paired with a couple of 2-megapixel bokeh and macro lenses. While the depth camera can help with your portraits, I haven’t found much use for the macro lens.
vivo equips its Camera app with a bunch of features that you may find useful. I like the flexibility it affords. We spot familiar modes like Portrait, 64MP mode, (which shoots in full resolution and comes in handy for keeping the quality even if you crop into a photo), Pro mode, Live Photo, Dual view, and more.
But then we get vivo’s more experimental features like its Double Exposure mode. I don’t use that mode enough, but I can imagine it being a much-loved feature by photographers who want to get a bit more experimental with the pictures they take. It might not be a non-negotiable feature, but it’s a nice tool to play around with.
I also need to do a special shout-out to vivo’s insistence on keeping its pose guide available for its portrait mode or with the selfie camera. It takes the pain out of thinking about poses while shooting.
I was missing the more useful ultra-wide camera on the V27e. I would have gladly swapped the macro camera for an ultra-wide sensor. If that’s essential to you, the standard V27 model has it. It limits what you can take in one photo. But on the flip side, it forces you to get a bit more creative in trying to get the photo you want.
I’m also still mourning the loss of the dual-LED selfie lights on the vivo V21 to this day. I can only imagine how powerful the V27 series would be for portrait and selfie lovers if it had both features. Selfies are passable on this phone. But they are not my favorite. I feel like vivo concentrated on improving its portrait photography with the rear camera, so it hasn’t made many improvements in the selfie front. At least Night mode is available for both front and rear cameras, though. And I still love playing around with vivo’s AI makeup features in its Portrait mode.
- If you’re the point-and-shoot kind of person, have the vivo V27e work for you. Keep modes like AI and HDR enabled, so the V27e cameras will tweak the settings to suit the shooting conditions. The AI mode is accessible from the bottom left corner, while HDR is located at the top alongside the other settings.
- If you want to quickly tweak color and exposure while you’re in Photo mode, there is an Effects Master option in the settings of the Camera. Tap on the cogwheel icon on the top right and enable Effects Master. You can swipe horizontally to adjust the color and swipe vertically to adjust exposure. You can also still do focus and exposure lock.
Make life into a (micro) movie
In a TikTok-obsessed world, video plays a huge part in the camera experience. This phone supports up to 1080p at 60 frames per second with the rear shooter and 1080p at 30fps for the selfie camera. You’ll need to spring for the V27 if you’re looking for 4K recording. But you get hybrid optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization, so you’ll be able to take stable, handheld videos.
As with its fun photo features, the V27e also gets some video-centric functions you can use. One of my favorite ones is its improved Micro Movie mode. You can easily shoot “Day in the Life” type of videos with this mode. I love how this improved version lets you shoot as many bits of your day as you want. Previously, I had to agonize over what pieces of my day to include because I was limited to, for example, 15-second clips. Now, you can just keep on shooting and then trim it in editing. The built-in templates will then work with what you have. I wished there was a way to make your own template or tweak the ones on offer, though. Hopefully, that’s something vivo will consider for future versions of this feature.
Other video features you can play around with on the vivo V27e include Dual-view mode which records using the rear and front camera simultaneously and templated Movie LUTs to fit the vibe you’re going for in your video. The former records up to 1080p at 27fps, while the latter only supports 720P at 30fps. The Movie LUTs feature works with the front-facing camera as well. Interestingly, the front-facing camera will let you record at 1080p at 30fps, even if you have Movie LUTs enabled.
Again, I wish this was another feature you could customize, so if you have a specific look you always go for when it comes to video projects you can carry that over into this device.
- If you’re trying to record a rambunctious toddler or very happy dog running around your home, the V27e offers Motion Autofocus to ensure whatever your tracking is in focus. There are three modes available: Eye Autofocus, Body Autofocus, and Object Autofocus. This feature isn’t limited to video. You can use it to keep your photo subjects in focus, too. It’s accessible through Settings (the cogwheel icon on the top-right corner). You just need to check if the mode you’re in supports it.
- Now, if you want to try out the Movie LUTs, that is accessible via the overlapping three-circle icon on the bottom-right corner. There are eight looks you can play around with there.
vivo V27e: Final thoughts
vivo’s one of the few companies that focus on developing smartphone portrait photography. It makes them a forerunner for users looking to carry around a phone that can take portraits on the fly. And while I was initially skeptical about the vivo V27e’s Aura Portrait system. It certainly shows us that the company isn’t scared to try some new things to help you get some pretty unique photos. But yes, I’d still like those selfie LED lights back.
The vivo V27e retails for PHP 16,999 (around USD 310).
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