So in today's post, I'm going to share with you my thoughts and opinions on the OnePlus 5 camera and it's various modes, as well as some photos and videos for all of them. Everyone just compares static images, white balance, and how amazing that 2.0x zoom feature is (it is actually 1.6x optical and rest is digital enhancement). But is it? I also wanted to see how it performs with more dynamic situations, like racing cars, hence I took it with me to this years Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Camera specs

Starting off with bare specs, that everyone should know by now:

  • First OnePlus phone to feature a dual-lens camera
  • 16MP + 20MP lens on rear offer lossless zoom feature, the two sensors are made by Sony. The primary camera is 16MP, plus a 20MP telephoto lens.
  • 16MP front-facing camera

If you’ve always been disappointed with the zoom on your phone camera you’ll likely be surprised by what the OnePlus 5 is able to do in this situation, but don't expect the same level of zoom quality as on DSLRs.


My thoughts

Overall the camera isn't that bad, but I wouldn't call it the best either. Photos are showing a lot of compression artefacts that I really don't like, especially on the 2.0x zoomed mode.

Pro mode

London Underground. 1/13s, ISO 400, F/1.7, Pro mode

If you’re a camera fan like me, the Pro mode is what you want, you can dive into the camera settings - not too deep though, as you can't control the aperture, as it will always be wide open. This lets you to play around  with the white balance, ISO, focus and much more, you can also shoot in RAW with the OnePlus 5. But is it? All cool features end here, the so much needed Burst mode is not available, and that's what I wanted to use most of the time while being at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Because the App in this mode didn't allow me to take burst shots, it was just useless, as I wanted to have some panning shoots of cars on the track with the exact settings that I needed. 

Instead I had to use normal camera mode to do them which was painful as autofocus was never spot on. That being said, this mode is still cool to use for some static shots, like the one below, from London Underground, but I am dynamic man, shooting fast action cars, that makes this mode not much use for me, which is very sad.

The 2.0x Zoom

I really like the zoom idea by having additional sensor with lens for it, but OnePlus cheated here quite badly, and at the end you are getting 1.6x optical zoom and the rest of it is produced by the software. They do it quite ok though when it comes to photos, the difference is visible when you zoom in to 100% of the photo, but when it comes to videos - it really sucks balls, videos are too pixelated and quality isn't that good on the zoomed in ones.

Robert Kubica at Goodwood FOS,
1.0x zoom

Robert Kubica at Goodwood FOS,
2.0x zoom

Robert Kubica at Goodwood FOS,
100% on 2.0x zoom

Burst mode

Being only available in normal camera mode, really restricts on what you could do with it, as in combination with Pro mode it would be awesome tool. It only allows to take 20 photos at a time. And while using normal mode you can't prefocus and hold that focus, as soon as you frame your picture off the place you first focused on, it looses the focus and refocus back to where you are pointing the phone camera. 

As you can see above, first set of photos is really sharp but then it loose sharpness throughout rest of the frames. I actually focused in the spot where the car is mid air, then moved back on the car to track it, and that's where it refocused again.

Video mode

I'll let it speak for itself, with the only note that I figured out later that you can tap and hold Auto Focus ring and it will hold the focus in place, where is on this video it constantly seeks the focus, which isn't ideal with this kind of video.

I won't be talking about the Optical Image Stabilization here, as if you wanted professional video out of the phone, you would have to buy a Gimbal anyway, even if there was a stabilisation, it still wouldn't be useable.

Slow motion mode

As I mentioned above, videos on 2.0x zoom aren't too good, while slow motion mode is a nice addition, it only works in 720p, which makes it useless, considering phone can record 1080p videos in 60 frames per seconds, that could be slowed down in post to get similar effect.

Slow motion mode; 720p; no zoom.

Slow motion mode; 720p; with 2.0x zoom.