OnePlus 5 – Camera
All the hype from OnePlus in the run-up to this launch has surrounded the camera. The tagline ‘Dual Camera. Clearer Photos’ is plastered across the box, plus all of the marketing materials, but does it really improve on an already great camera in the OnePlus 3T?
The biggest change here is obvious: there are now two lenses instead of one. They’re laid out on the back just like those on the iPhone 7 Plus, slightly raised from the body, and they even function in a similar way to the cameras on Apple’s flagship.
One is your regular sensor, which here is a Sony IMX 398 sensor with 16 megapixels and an f/1.7 lens. Next to it sits the telephoto lens, for 2x zoom, which is 20-megapixel with a much narrower f/2.6 aperture. It’s certainly an interesting setup, and I much prefer a dual-camera arrangement like this over Huawei’s monochrome and RGB pairing.
There’s so much packed into this camera, and while some bits aren’t great, there’s a lot to like.
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The high megapixel count captures very detailed shots that are full of colour and vibrancy, while the wide aperture on the main lens allows for more light to hit the sensor when it’s dark.
Both low-light and daytime pictures look really good, though it can struggle with glare when it’s really sunny. The auto-HDR mode does help here, levelling out the exposure and contrast without making it too obvious.
The Portrait mode gives a nice bokeh, but can struggle around details
Colours are bright, and detail is strong
There’s a nice depth to landscape shots, though not quite as much as from the Google Pixel
And the 2x zoom gives you more freedom
Using the 2x zoom in low light does leave you with noisy results
The Portrait mode looks OK with people shots, but the processed blurring does look a bit too heavy
I also love the variety of shots you’re able to get when using the zoomed-in telephoto lens, especially in portrait shots. The narrow aperture does diminish its returns in low light, though.
The lack of optical image stabilisation also becomes apparent when really pushing the telephoto lens, as it can become hard to hold steady and avoid a blurry and noisy shot. The EIS (electronic image stabilisation) does a good job most of the time, but it sometimes lacks consistency.
OnePlus says autofocus has been made 40% faster than on the OnePlus 3T and it is very fast most of the time. It’ll latch on to target without stutter when using the main sensor, but struggles sometimes in macro situations and when using the telephoto camera. There’s also a new Portrait mode that blurs the background and leaves the subject in sharp detail, which works well but takes a few attempts to avoid it looking super-fake.
4K video is supported and the 16-megapixel front-facing camera is very good, capturing plenty of detail. There’s a front-facing flash that comes from the screen and the auto-HDR mode extends to the front too.
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