Shooting with the vivo X100 Ultra: A Photographer’s Wildest Dream?

I’ll be honest, when vivo first unveiled the X100 Ultra and its ridiculously specced camera array headlined by an almost suspiciously capable ultra-telephoto lens, I was highly skeptical. Another classic case of empty spec sheet bragging from a phone maker, I assumed. Well, after spending some quality shooting time with this imaging beast over the past few days, I’m ready to eat a big ol’ slice of humble pie.

The Vivo X100 Ultra is, quite simply, one of the most impressive and consistent smartphone photography workhorses I’ve ever tested. This thing just nails shot after shot with almost eerie ease across virtually every scenario you can throw at it.

Let’s start with that fabled ultra-telephoto camera, shall we? 200mp 85mm optical zoom lens is an absolute beast that runs laps around the competition’s paltry tele offerings. Stellar detail, incredible lowlight performance, wicked fast focus…this thing ticks every box with flying colors.

shot-by-vivo-x100-ultra

You know what’s even more mind-blowing? It makes ultra-tele photography, something that has historically demanded a very skilled hand, feel like an absolute cakewalk. With the X100 Ultra’s ultra-tele shooter, all you have to do is point in the general direction of your subject and let the camera work its magic. The results will leave you speechless.

Take, for instance, a dimly-lit dinner scene with friends and family. X100 Ultra can freeze expressions, catch the fire of determination and exhaustion in people’s eyes, and render individual eyelashes in incredible detail, all without you having to worry about lighting, focus, or anything else. You just…click the shutter. And voila, photography bliss!

shot-by-vivo-x100-ultra

When you dive deeper into the technical reasons behind the stellar ultra-tele performance, things make even more sense. That Zeiss-coated, optically-stabilized lens combined with the high-res 200MP sensor and vivo’s sophisticated computational techniques creates the perfect imaging alchemy. It’s like a cheat code for getting tack-sharp, noise-free telephoto shots every single time.

Don’t get me wrong, as phenomenal as the ultra-tele system is, the X100 Ultra is no one-trick pony. Every aspect of this camera setup flexes hard and consistently delivers the goods in a way very few smartphone shooters can match.

The standard wide and ultrawide lens combos take full advantage of vivo’s excellent auto shooting smarts, dishing out gorgeous images in almost any lighting scenario you throw at them. Lowlight? No sweat. Tricky mixed lighting? Handled. Macro and portraits? Check and check.

shot-by-vivo-x100-ultra

vivo deserves a ton of credit for equipping the X100 Ultra with such an incredible variety of user-friendly capture modes too. Love capturing cinematic video? 4K 60fps Dolby Vision recording mode across all three lenses will blow you away. Street photography more your vibe? A brand-new mode with four distinct stylized tones can liven up your candid snaps.

The sheer depth of photography tools and utilities on this thing is borderline overwhelming. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of its capabilities over the past week. But regardless of whether you’re an imaging novice or a demanding enthusiast, vivo X100 Ultra seems built to impress from every angle.

To be fair, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, some of vivo’s signature image processing quirks, like the overly vibrant colors and a tendency for flatter tones, can get a bit grating if you prefer a more natural photo look. While the AI shooting aids are usually spot-on, there are occasions when they seem to overthink things and blow out highlights or oversaturate certain objects and scenery.

Related:

Vivo X100 Pro Review: The Perfect All-Rounder Camera Phone for Everyday Folks

Vivo X Fold 2 Review: A Foldable Phone with Room to Improve

Latest

Microsoft Hits Pause on Copilot+ Recall Feature, Prioritizing Security and User Experience

That has left some feeling a tinge of disappointment,...

Apple Doubles Down on Privacy and On-Device Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024

In a move that caught many by surprise, Apple...

Microsoft scrambles to address privacy worries with its Copilot+ PCs’ Recall feature

Looks like Microsoft has some 'splaining to do when...

NVIDIA Project G-Assist AI Play at Computex Feels Like an Inflection Point

After a whirlwind week at Computex getting the inside...

Newsletter

Don't miss

Microsoft Hits Pause on Copilot+ Recall Feature, Prioritizing Security and User Experience

That has left some feeling a tinge of disappointment,...

Apple Doubles Down on Privacy and On-Device Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024

In a move that caught many by surprise, Apple...

Microsoft scrambles to address privacy worries with its Copilot+ PCs’ Recall feature

Looks like Microsoft has some 'splaining to do when...

NVIDIA Project G-Assist AI Play at Computex Feels Like an Inflection Point

After a whirlwind week at Computex getting the inside...

Intel Lunar Lake Processors Are Built for the AI Revolution

Intel is betting big on Lunar Lake to power...
ScottCharles
ScottCharles
Scott Charles is a professional writer and contributor for Gizmoweek. An avid collector of all things Apple watch, cool gadgets, phones.

Microsoft Hits Pause on Copilot+ Recall Feature, Prioritizing Security and User Experience

That has left some feeling a tinge of disappointment, Microsoft has announced a delay in the general release of the much-hyped Recall feature for...

Apple Doubles Down on Privacy and On-Device Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024

In a move that caught many by surprise, Apple unveiled a slew of powerful new AI capabilities coming to its products and services later...

Microsoft scrambles to address privacy worries with its Copilot+ PCs’ Recall feature

Looks like Microsoft has some 'splaining to do when it comes to the Recall feature on its shiny new Copilot+ PCs. The AI-powered "photographic...