Photo quality

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Shipoftheline

Senior Member
Oct 6, 2015
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Salford
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Jul 4, 2015
5
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The trend has been for manufacturers to provide increasingly better experience with regards to the camera. For most people, their smartphone is their primary (in many cases, only) camera. Thus this isn't something that can be brushed aside, in general (though it may not be important for you).
I wonder if some of the issues are due to the lenses.
I'd also like to know what kind of margin 1+ is working with.
 

twiice

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2012
165
46
Queensland
I wonder if some of the issues are due to the lenses.

I was wondering the same thing after using several different camera apps and still getting that darker contrast, water colour washout with video in anything less than high spectrum brightly lit areas. I've noticed using open camera that infinity focus only works past around 90cm or so too. Hence I'm considering selling this phone and picking up the S9+ or similar which still uses the 12MP camera that gives great sparkling clear indoor video footage.
 

michaelearth

Senior Member
May 27, 2010
262
21
South Dakota
I just purchased a OnePlus 7 Pro thanks to their Black Friday deal. I am coming from a Pixel 2Xl but after reading this thread I am little worried the camera may be disappointing. How does the camera compare to the Pixel 2XL?
 

groovadelickun

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2007
60
15
Well shoot. I think I'll be cancelling my order from the black Friday sale. Guess my OP6 will needed to continue to serve me for awhile longer.

Edit / Update: I had spoke too soon and after more research, I'm excited to receive the 7 Pro
 
Last edited:

dalvarez0312

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2012
335
55
as a pixel 3xl owner that recently bought the one plus 7 pro, im pretty dissappointed with the selfie camera. the colors are really bad when you're in yellow light. in white or blue light it seems to do better. i wish we could fix this somehow, i might just have to return it unfortunately.
 
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TurboBot247

Senior Member
Dec 3, 2015
101
56
Also switched from a Pixel 2XL to the 7 Pro. My 7 Pro is running Android 10 (I received the phone on Android 9 and between that and Android 10, the camera performance on Android 10 has improved). The camera performance in most conditions is very similar but the camera's consistency has improved, both in consistency between each of the three cameras' outputs and consistency of getting a good shot out of the camera. I have done extensive camera testing between the Pixel and the OnePlus in numerous scenarios; I'm referring to the images taken from the main rear camera in this overview.

A. In broad daylight, the Pixel has a more pleasing color palette in my subjective opinion, and the photos appear sharper due to a less intense denoise algorithm. But the 7 Pro usually takes technically better photos in well-lit scenarios, with more resolved detail (not necessarily more sharpness; will clarify that at the end), less noise, better ability to expose highlights and shadows, and better dynamic range than the Pixel. Contrast is a bit too aggressive on the 7 Pro, however, and the 7 Pro tends to oversaturate reds in it's images, making images shot of red or red-toned subjects substantially more color-accurate on the Pixel. Both devices lose some dynamic range when compared with, say, Samsung's or Apple's current offerings since the processing is tuned more for a "moody" look/emphasis on photos as opposed to the "bright" look/emphasis Samsung favors. However, the OnePlus device does usually shoot slightly brighter than the Pixel, and I, personally, am a huge fan of that slight underexposure the Pixel produces.

B. Indoors and in moderate lighting, the same trends tend to persist, with me preferring the look of the Pixel's photo due to my affinity for its color-science, but realizing that upon further analysis, the OnePlus often ends up with the better photo in terms of dynamic range, detail, and exposure, with less noise. But, I've seen a few occasions in my testing where the OnePlus dropped the shutter speed on a photo in medium-light too much and ended up with slight smudging of the details in its photo, where the Pixel (which uses quicker shutter speeds) only had this issue in one scene I photographed. One thing of note: the image processing on the OnePlus 7 Pro, when photos are captured in moderate to low light, tends to favor slower shutter speeds (longer exposures) and higher ISO than the Pixel. For example: if the Pixel shoots an image with a 1/100 sec exposure and an ISO of around 600, the OnePlus will likely capture that same scene with a 1/50sec exposure and an ISO of around 1500. Definitely interesting to observe.

C. In conditions where there are harsh contrasts (when I'm taking photos with very bright backgrounds and dark areas in the photo, or photos directly of light sources), the OnePlus 7 Pro and Pixel 2 XL trade blows. Pictures of direct light sources, when there is a good amount of surrounding light often look more pleasing on the Pixel because of the combination of Google's colorscience and their tendency to underexpose slightly, lending itself to pictures with little to no clipped highlights; the OnePlus shoots a little brighter and clips slightly more highlights; photos still look good, though, and they usually have better background exposure/less shadow clipping, more detail, and less noise. In harsh contrast scenes, I've found the OnePlus to have slightly stronger dynamic range then the two-year-old Pixel in medium/well lit scenes, and even more so in low-light images. NOTE: the 7 Pro's dynamic range, when compared to Apple, Google, and Samsung's offerings this year, isn't as good in harsh contrasts or in bright light because OnePlus's color science tries to make really harsh contrasts look too "emotional". The 7 Pro exhibits better dynamic range (and exposure) in medium and low-light than it does in bright light; in low-light, the OnePlus exhibits both slightly superior exposure and dynamic range to the Samsung in most cases, but inferior to the iPhone and Pixel this year.

D. In low-light image capture, I was quite surprised to find that the gap between the 7 Pro and the Pixel actually widened. The OnePlus device was, for the most part, outright superior to the Pixel 2 XL. Photos ended up with brighter, with better exposure and dynamic range, substantially less noise, and greater resolved detail. As far as both devices' night modes go (Nightscape and Night Sight), I found that while the OnePlus manages superior dynamic range and still more detail than the Pixel, I prefer the Pixel's processing methodology here of attempting to prioritize detail capture over noise, even though both go the favor of the OnePlus. This makes sense, however, as the OnePlus 7 Pro is working with a DSP/ISP combination that is two years newer than the Pixel's, and the imaging hardware for the primary camera is superior on the OnePlus. Something to understand (in context to both devices' night modes) is that Google's technique for producing ultra-long-exposure nighttime pictures is a more mature technique of processing, and when utilized on a device with a current-gen DSP and ISP (and a current-gen Pixel Visual Core), the Pixel's Night Sight pulls ahead of OnePlus's NightScape.

As far as shooting images of moving targets goes (still with the primary camera), the tide shifts in favor of the Pixel. While both devices can shoot perfectly crisp images of moving things (i.e. people, or my cats) in moderate to well-lit conditions, the true test is which of these devices can pull that off consistently in low-light. The answer to this is neither of them. However, the OnePlus's tendency to shoot images with longer exposures than the Pixel will inevitably lend itself to more motion blur than the Pixel; I've had a few shooting scenarios (in very low-light, like 10 lux and lower, and with either a moving subject or shaky hands on my end) where the Pixel can take a mildly blurred image of a moving target and the whole frame ends up blurry on the OnePlus, which drops its shutter speeds to 1/2 or 1/3 seconds to compensate for lack of light. The Pixel doesn't usually drop shutter speeds lower than around 1/6 seconds. OIS and laser autofocus definitely helps both devices, but the Pixel also has dual-pixel autofocus in its favor with its Sony IMX362 sensor, and the Sony IMX586 of the 7 Pro only has PDAF. This seems to be one of the reasons Apple, Samsung, and Google have stuck with their 12.2MP imaging sensors for 1, 3, and 2 years respectively.

On topic of selfies in moderate to well-lit conditions, the Pixel takes a better image in my opinion. There's nicer colors and more detail on offer and it's almost unreal how well everything is exposed on the Pixel, along with the insane sharpness the Pixel's selfies have. The OnePlus device takes better selfies on Android 10 than on Android 9, but it, just like everything else on the market even today, can't quite compare to the overall photo composition of the Pixel, not even a two-year-old Pixel. The selfie portrait mode of the OnePlus does, in many circumstances, have superior edge detection to the Pixel, however. In low-light conditions, things are a lot more even between the Pixel and OnePlus. I'd say that the OnePlus device edges out the Pixel in some scenarios due to less noise and brighter exposures from the front facing camera, and the Pixel in others (when the Pixel's front cam gets enough light), but I'll leave the whole debate about which devices has better selfies to personal preference. Some people like to be beautified, and others like to see every micro-imperfection on their faces.

The main takeaway here is that the OnePlus device surpasses the two-year-old Pixel in photo quality from the main camera, but when there is enough light, the Pixel often produces a photo with more pleasing colors to the eye. This simply shows how mature Google's image processing is; the approach Google takes to imaging for its Pixel 3s and Pixel 4s is simply an evolution of this, and has gotten progressively better with time as DSPs and ISPs, along with Google's Pixel Visual Core, increase in power and processing ability. OnePlus doesn't have the software development team or budget to compete with this. While OnePlus's image processing is still not as mature as what Google has on offer, it has, however, improved markedly. The 7 Pro's camera used to be utter garbage when the phone came out; I was considering selling my 7 Pro because of this. However, when I received it, it was on the software version the phone was launched with. But after updating the 7 Pro to two newer versions of Android 9, then eventually to Android 10, I have to take my hat off to what OnePlus has accomplished with their cameras this year.

The 7 Pro definitely has a solid camera, but I feel as though OnePlus's camera, at this point, is a jack of all trades and master of none (except macrophotography, but that's only on the T releases this year). Google has mastered the art of computational photography as a whole, Huawei has pioneered low-light mobile photography, and Apple has nearly perfected medium-light photography with its Deep Fusion HDR system. Samsung has no claim to fame for any of these, and in all honesty, OnePlus's NightScape and general low-light performance is mostly superior to Samsung's night mode and low-light performance, but Samsung photos have a bright, colorful look to them that lets you know that the photo distinctly came from a Samsung camera, and I'd say that Samsung's camera system is the most consistently good, all aspects (including wide and telephoto cameras, features available, and video) considered, on Android right now. OnePlus makes a good camera system, but their photos aren't as consistently satisfying to look at as those from Google's, Apple's, and Samsung's phones. Even Huawei, with the beastly camera system and RYYB main camera they have, struggles to consistently produce satisfying photos to look at in moderate/bright light capture.

I didn't talk about the wide angle and telephoto lenses in this comparison, but they both take good pictures with far better colorscience on new software (late OOS 9 but moreso OOS 10 builds) than on at-launch software. Samsung and Huawei (Mate 30 Pro) still have the best wide-angle cameras, however, and the Huawei P30 Pro has the best telephoto out there without question. @edukastillo I'd say don't be afraid of the 7 Pro's camera based on the reviews it received in May, lol. However, even though the 7 Pro's camera takes technically better photos than the Pixel 2, I can't say the same when compared to the Pixel 3 or Pixel 4, both of which have drastically improved low-light performance and resolved detail capture compared to the Pixel 2. Even the year-old Pixel bests everything on the market other than this year's iPhone and Pixel as far as overall picture quality from the main camera goes, though, so if you were coming from a Pixel 3XL instead of a 2XL, I'd tell you to wait until next year.

Also, what I mean by sharpness vs. detail is this: the former is the perceived "crispness" of an image. The latter is the actual fine resolved detail the image has. For instance, Samsung's smartphones shoot very sharp images, but the resolved detail in their images is inferior to a Pixel, for instance.
 
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  • 13
    Coming from Pixel 3 XL.. I know the P3 is the best camera around but... WOW the OP7 pro has a really bad camera. Pictures are out of focus, portrait mode sucks, I tried the GCam mod still horrible photo quality.
    7
    Also switched from a Pixel 2XL to the 7 Pro. My 7 Pro is running Android 10 (I received the phone on Android 9 and between that and Android 10, the camera performance on Android 10 has improved). The camera performance in most conditions is very similar but the camera's consistency has improved, both in consistency between each of the three cameras' outputs and consistency of getting a good shot out of the camera. I have done extensive camera testing between the Pixel and the OnePlus in numerous scenarios; I'm referring to the images taken from the main rear camera in this overview.

    A. In broad daylight, the Pixel has a more pleasing color palette in my subjective opinion, and the photos appear sharper due to a less intense denoise algorithm. But the 7 Pro usually takes technically better photos in well-lit scenarios, with more resolved detail (not necessarily more sharpness; will clarify that at the end), less noise, better ability to expose highlights and shadows, and better dynamic range than the Pixel. Contrast is a bit too aggressive on the 7 Pro, however, and the 7 Pro tends to oversaturate reds in it's images, making images shot of red or red-toned subjects substantially more color-accurate on the Pixel. Both devices lose some dynamic range when compared with, say, Samsung's or Apple's current offerings since the processing is tuned more for a "moody" look/emphasis on photos as opposed to the "bright" look/emphasis Samsung favors. However, the OnePlus device does usually shoot slightly brighter than the Pixel, and I, personally, am a huge fan of that slight underexposure the Pixel produces.

    B. Indoors and in moderate lighting, the same trends tend to persist, with me preferring the look of the Pixel's photo due to my affinity for its color-science, but realizing that upon further analysis, the OnePlus often ends up with the better photo in terms of dynamic range, detail, and exposure, with less noise. But, I've seen a few occasions in my testing where the OnePlus dropped the shutter speed on a photo in medium-light too much and ended up with slight smudging of the details in its photo, where the Pixel (which uses quicker shutter speeds) only had this issue in one scene I photographed. One thing of note: the image processing on the OnePlus 7 Pro, when photos are captured in moderate to low light, tends to favor slower shutter speeds (longer exposures) and higher ISO than the Pixel. For example: if the Pixel shoots an image with a 1/100 sec exposure and an ISO of around 600, the OnePlus will likely capture that same scene with a 1/50sec exposure and an ISO of around 1500. Definitely interesting to observe.

    C. In conditions where there are harsh contrasts (when I'm taking photos with very bright backgrounds and dark areas in the photo, or photos directly of light sources), the OnePlus 7 Pro and Pixel 2 XL trade blows. Pictures of direct light sources, when there is a good amount of surrounding light often look more pleasing on the Pixel because of the combination of Google's colorscience and their tendency to underexpose slightly, lending itself to pictures with little to no clipped highlights; the OnePlus shoots a little brighter and clips slightly more highlights; photos still look good, though, and they usually have better background exposure/less shadow clipping, more detail, and less noise. In harsh contrast scenes, I've found the OnePlus to have slightly stronger dynamic range then the two-year-old Pixel in medium/well lit scenes, and even more so in low-light images. NOTE: the 7 Pro's dynamic range, when compared to Apple, Google, and Samsung's offerings this year, isn't as good in harsh contrasts or in bright light because OnePlus's color science tries to make really harsh contrasts look too "emotional". The 7 Pro exhibits better dynamic range (and exposure) in medium and low-light than it does in bright light; in low-light, the OnePlus exhibits both slightly superior exposure and dynamic range to the Samsung in most cases, but inferior to the iPhone and Pixel this year.

    D. In low-light image capture, I was quite surprised to find that the gap between the 7 Pro and the Pixel actually widened. The OnePlus device was, for the most part, outright superior to the Pixel 2 XL. Photos ended up with brighter, with better exposure and dynamic range, substantially less noise, and greater resolved detail. As far as both devices' night modes go (Nightscape and Night Sight), I found that while the OnePlus manages superior dynamic range and still more detail than the Pixel, I prefer the Pixel's processing methodology here of attempting to prioritize detail capture over noise, even though both go the favor of the OnePlus. This makes sense, however, as the OnePlus 7 Pro is working with a DSP/ISP combination that is two years newer than the Pixel's, and the imaging hardware for the primary camera is superior on the OnePlus. Something to understand (in context to both devices' night modes) is that Google's technique for producing ultra-long-exposure nighttime pictures is a more mature technique of processing, and when utilized on a device with a current-gen DSP and ISP (and a current-gen Pixel Visual Core), the Pixel's Night Sight pulls ahead of OnePlus's NightScape.

    As far as shooting images of moving targets goes (still with the primary camera), the tide shifts in favor of the Pixel. While both devices can shoot perfectly crisp images of moving things (i.e. people, or my cats) in moderate to well-lit conditions, the true test is which of these devices can pull that off consistently in low-light. The answer to this is neither of them. However, the OnePlus's tendency to shoot images with longer exposures than the Pixel will inevitably lend itself to more motion blur than the Pixel; I've had a few shooting scenarios (in very low-light, like 10 lux and lower, and with either a moving subject or shaky hands on my end) where the Pixel can take a mildly blurred image of a moving target and the whole frame ends up blurry on the OnePlus, which drops its shutter speeds to 1/2 or 1/3 seconds to compensate for lack of light. The Pixel doesn't usually drop shutter speeds lower than around 1/6 seconds. OIS and laser autofocus definitely helps both devices, but the Pixel also has dual-pixel autofocus in its favor with its Sony IMX362 sensor, and the Sony IMX586 of the 7 Pro only has PDAF. This seems to be one of the reasons Apple, Samsung, and Google have stuck with their 12.2MP imaging sensors for 1, 3, and 2 years respectively.

    On topic of selfies in moderate to well-lit conditions, the Pixel takes a better image in my opinion. There's nicer colors and more detail on offer and it's almost unreal how well everything is exposed on the Pixel, along with the insane sharpness the Pixel's selfies have. The OnePlus device takes better selfies on Android 10 than on Android 9, but it, just like everything else on the market even today, can't quite compare to the overall photo composition of the Pixel, not even a two-year-old Pixel. The selfie portrait mode of the OnePlus does, in many circumstances, have superior edge detection to the Pixel, however. In low-light conditions, things are a lot more even between the Pixel and OnePlus. I'd say that the OnePlus device edges out the Pixel in some scenarios due to less noise and brighter exposures from the front facing camera, and the Pixel in others (when the Pixel's front cam gets enough light), but I'll leave the whole debate about which devices has better selfies to personal preference. Some people like to be beautified, and others like to see every micro-imperfection on their faces.

    The main takeaway here is that the OnePlus device surpasses the two-year-old Pixel in photo quality from the main camera, but when there is enough light, the Pixel often produces a photo with more pleasing colors to the eye. This simply shows how mature Google's image processing is; the approach Google takes to imaging for its Pixel 3s and Pixel 4s is simply an evolution of this, and has gotten progressively better with time as DSPs and ISPs, along with Google's Pixel Visual Core, increase in power and processing ability. OnePlus doesn't have the software development team or budget to compete with this. While OnePlus's image processing is still not as mature as what Google has on offer, it has, however, improved markedly. The 7 Pro's camera used to be utter garbage when the phone came out; I was considering selling my 7 Pro because of this. However, when I received it, it was on the software version the phone was launched with. But after updating the 7 Pro to two newer versions of Android 9, then eventually to Android 10, I have to take my hat off to what OnePlus has accomplished with their cameras this year.

    The 7 Pro definitely has a solid camera, but I feel as though OnePlus's camera, at this point, is a jack of all trades and master of none (except macrophotography, but that's only on the T releases this year). Google has mastered the art of computational photography as a whole, Huawei has pioneered low-light mobile photography, and Apple has nearly perfected medium-light photography with its Deep Fusion HDR system. Samsung has no claim to fame for any of these, and in all honesty, OnePlus's NightScape and general low-light performance is mostly superior to Samsung's night mode and low-light performance, but Samsung photos have a bright, colorful look to them that lets you know that the photo distinctly came from a Samsung camera, and I'd say that Samsung's camera system is the most consistently good, all aspects (including wide and telephoto cameras, features available, and video) considered, on Android right now. OnePlus makes a good camera system, but their photos aren't as consistently satisfying to look at as those from Google's, Apple's, and Samsung's phones. Even Huawei, with the beastly camera system and RYYB main camera they have, struggles to consistently produce satisfying photos to look at in moderate/bright light capture.

    I didn't talk about the wide angle and telephoto lenses in this comparison, but they both take good pictures with far better colorscience on new software (late OOS 9 but moreso OOS 10 builds) than on at-launch software. Samsung and Huawei (Mate 30 Pro) still have the best wide-angle cameras, however, and the Huawei P30 Pro has the best telephoto out there without question. @edukastillo I'd say don't be afraid of the 7 Pro's camera based on the reviews it received in May, lol. However, even though the 7 Pro's camera takes technically better photos than the Pixel 2, I can't say the same when compared to the Pixel 3 or Pixel 4, both of which have drastically improved low-light performance and resolved detail capture compared to the Pixel 2. Even the year-old Pixel bests everything on the market other than this year's iPhone and Pixel as far as overall picture quality from the main camera goes, though, so if you were coming from a Pixel 3XL instead of a 2XL, I'd tell you to wait until next year.

    Also, what I mean by sharpness vs. detail is this: the former is the perceived "crispness" of an image. The latter is the actual fine resolved detail the image has. For instance, Samsung's smartphones shoot very sharp images, but the resolved detail in their images is inferior to a Pixel, for instance.
    7
    Sorry this is the pixel.
    6

    These pictures are pretty impressive
    Definitely on par with my 3XL I would say
    Pixel 3XL OP7Pro
    so first two here are normal pics
    second set is night sight vs nightscape
    6
    Photo 1 OP7
    Photo 2 Pixel 3 XL