The OnePlus 5 doesn’t change much from the OnePlus 3T, but one department where the change is significant is in the camera. With an iPhone 7 Plus-like dual-camera setup at the rear, the OnePlus 5 brings new features to the camera, which comes with the promise of better pictures.
The OnePlus 5’s rear camera setup features two sensors; the first is a 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor with a pixel size of 1.12um which serves as the primary sensor for most shots. It has an aperture of f/1.7, allowing for brighter shots in low-light and better capture of light detail. The second sensor is a 20-megapixel Sony IMX350 unit with a pixel size of 1um and a narrower aperture of f/2.6. This acts as a telephoto lens.
Video can be recorded at 4K resolution at 30fps, up to 60fps at 1080p resolution, and up to 120fps slow-motion video at 720p resolution with the rear camera. The 16-megapixel front camera can record video at up to 1080p resolution. While the front camera on the OnePlus 3T has a Samsung sensor, the OnePlus 5 uses a Sony IMX371 sensor.
(2X lossless zoom and low-light images on the OnePlus 5)
Using the high megapixel count of the 20-megapixel camera to combine with the primary 16-megapixel sensor, the OnePlus 5 offers 2X lossless zoom. You can further zoom up to 8X digitally, although there will be some loss in detail in this case. As described by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, optical zoom is at 1.6X, while the remaining 0.4X is realized through SmartCapture multi-frame technology. However, it’s important to note that the phone does not have optical image stabilization, instead relying on electronic image stabilization to improve picture steadiness. The lack of OIS is certainly a factor when shooting at 2X optical zoom or more, as even slight movements reflect heavily on the image.
The second big feature of the OnePlus 5’s dual-camera system is portrait mode, which is a lot like the identically-named feature on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. This creates a depth-of-field effect to create hyper-focused shots of the subject matter, while blurring out the background to effectively bring the subject into the centre of the viewer’s attention. This works best with people since the algorithms are tuned to read human silhouettes, but you can also use portrait mode on other objects as well.
The OnePlus 5 achieves this by using the different apertures and stereoscopic ability of its two lenses to first read what is in the foreground and bring it into focus, followed by creating a bokeh effect in the background. The resulting pictures are dramatic, focused and keep the viewer’s attention firmly on the subject. Of course, you do need to make a bit of an effort to get the shots right, including keeping the subject close to the camera and waiting for the depth-of-field to take effect.
We’ve spoken in greater detail about the camera of the OnePlus 5 in our full review, and you can also check out our performance comparison between the 6GB RAM variant and the 8GB RAM option.