Is The BlackBerry Passport Camera With 10.3 Any Good?

Remember when ‘those that should know better’ made out that BlackBerry cameras were no good? And when, just before the Passport was released, some iDiot decided to break a rumour that it was 3MP less than it actually is? So that it was made out that the Passport had an inferior camera?

Well, judge here for yourself…

Today I had the privilege of attending our local Church’s Christmas Carol Sunday service. I’m not much of a churchgoer, if I’m honest, but this is an annual event held in our village which, as it is in the afternoon, is something myself and Mrs Biggly like to attend with our kids. Yes, it’s a nice family affair and typically British in that it was dark by mid-afternoon, the rain was pretty much horizontal outside and the church looked fantastic.

But, that makes it all the better for belting out a few Carols and getting that warm Christmassy feel – until you go back outside.

Inside the church they had a rather splendid Christmas tree so, for posterity’s sake, I decided to grab a photo with my Passport. As you can tell, I’m no photographer, the tree is actually vertical in real life. Bear in mind here that this is taken in low light with the flash off and the camera set to Auto. As I said, I’m no photographer!


But then neither are the vast majority of phone users. Look at the way the beams of light are caught by the lens. Looks great! But there’s something else, something you can’t see. In amongst the decorations on the tree are two animal baubles, a reindeer and a bird. Let’s zoom in and take a screenshot on the original photo:


Pretty impressive stuff, huh?

Look again at the original photo, see how far away it is?

Let’s try it again. This time with a late night snack.

Being British I like crumpets (and no, they are NOT English Muffins, you UTB North American philistines so I’ve provided a Wikipedia link! ) and the other night whilst chatting away on BBM to my UTB colleagues I got peckish. So, toaster on, butter out and crumpets at the ready!


Leaving aside the fact that my plates look like they are about 20 years old and also that the eagle eyed among you will have spotted the Black Sheep Ale that was being consumed at the time (and is heartily recommended) there’s plenty of detail there – this time set to Auto with flash on.

Let’s zoom in again on the photo and take a screenshot…


See how the butter glistens as it melts into the hot crumpet prior to it’s inevitable demise at my fair hand? I can also confirm it was lovely and would recommend crumpets for breakfast as an alternative to toast. They’re rather yummy.

Either way, the Passport camera is AWESOME! The detail is amazing.

And what BlackBerry have done with 10.3 has taken the BB10 camera functions to another level. Now a bar appears at the top of the screen advising you to ‘tap here’ for the best mode without you lifting a finger. So, for example, the camera will detect faces as it focuses and ask if you want to use Time Shift. No more pressing on the menu and selecting the mode beforehand. And I don’t know about you, but when they introduced HDR it was all very interesting, I took a couple of photos but never got the point, but NOW my Passport tells me when it’s best used (in a very low light situation apparently) and asks if I want to use it – much more user friendly and a great way to get the best shot.

Which is, I have to say, a vast improvement on my Z30 which takes fantastic photos until the light is behind the subject or in low light situations and I have to know what I’m doing, which I, quite obviously, looking at the angle of that tree, don’t.

So, if you are waiting on 10.3 you have a treat in store with the camera. If you were wondering if the Passport camera is any good then we can confirm that it is AMAZING and if you are now hungry and need a beer grab yourself a hamper from the Black Sheep Brewery here – and yes, they deliver worldwide!

And tell them UTB sent you!

Hmm… if I’ve started to take photos of food it might be time to fire up iGrann again

Oh, one last thing – if you haven’t got 10.3 yet wait until you try the photo capture DURING video shoots – it’s INCREDIBLE!


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.