OnePlus’ range of smartphones have gained a cult following over the last few years or so, with affordability (in the past, at least) tied to great hardware as well as generally well-optimised software.
However, there’s one area where OnePlus’ flagship-killers have yet to truly impress—the camera. Despite achieving an excellent DxOMark score of 111 (which is just one point behind the Huawei P30 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G), the general consensus has been that photos taken by the OnePlus 7 Pro aren’t really up-to-par with the latest flagships in the market today.
Even by our own standards, the camera is not where we want it to be. We’re trying to improve our image quality to match the best in the market.– Zach Zhang, OnePlus product manager
So why hasn’t the DxOMark score translated to real-world photos?
To their credit, OnePlus has accepted that their camera’s performance hasn’t really lived up to expectations. Product manager, Zack Zhang, explained that this may be down to the difference between what DxOMark takes into account for their scores, and what people actually prefer in their pictures.
When people started getting the device, software which gave us really good grades, didn’t match their expectations. The photo needs to be natural and good in theory, but visually appealing as well. We didn’t do a good job at balancing those two aspects.
He also continued by explaining that OnePlus is still feeling out their philosophy for cameras, with the aim of getting “natural” colours that carry plenty of “emotion”. Not really camera-centric terms, but you get the picture.
It must be noted that OnePlus does not have the same access to image databases that veterans like Google or Apple have, which affects the company’s ability to create a genuinely world-class computational photography algorithm. However, OnePlus is persisting with their efforts, with a camera lab being set up that automates the testing processes—this is backed up by real feedback by human users from all around the globe.
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