OnePlus 5 Camera Review:Truly a Flagship Camera?

The OnePlus 5 had its share of leaks, rumors, and speculations prior to its launch. And one of the most ‘talked about’ rumors were about the dual camera setup. And true to the words flying around, the OnePlus 5 does feature a dual camera setup with the largest megapixel count for a dual camera.


The OnePlus 5 sports a standard 16-megapixel camera and 20-megapixel secondary camera with a telephoto lens. Akin to the iPhone 7 Plus, this combo of lenses helps to shoots pictures with ‘bokeh effect’, or the otherwise popular Portrait Mode.

So is the OnePlus 5 up for competition against the phones already in the dual camera bandwagon? Let’s find out.

Also See20 FAQs About OnePlus 5: Everything To Know

OnePlus 5 Camera Specs

Starting with the Camera specs, here’s a brief roundup on the camera specifications for the OnePlus 5.

Rear Camera16MP with dual LED Flash with f/1.7 aperture
SensorSony IMX398
Secondary Camera20 MP with dual LED Flash with  f/2.6  aperture
SensorSony IMX350
Video Resolution4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p slow motion at  120fps
Front Shooter16 MP with no flash
SensorSony IMX 371
EISYes (both front and rear)

Aforesaid, the OnePlus 5 sports a dual camera setup comprising of two lenses — a standard 16-MP lens and a 20-MP telephoto lens. These two combine to give a photo a greater field of depth, with only the main object in focus while the background blurs slightly to give a DSLR-like effect.

Though the OnePlus 5 lacks the optical image stabilization in both the rear and front cameras, it makes that up with the Fast Autofocus (Fast AF) standard.

As opposed to the standard PDAF which captures only certain rows of pixels, Fast Autofocus captures full pixels which result in a faster focus speed.

And when it comes to the zoom level of the OnePlus 5 camera, it features a 2x lossless zoom. The optical zoom is at 1.6x while the remaining 0.4x is captured through the phone’s built-in SmartCapture technology.

See More: OnePlus 5 Pros and Cons: Should You Buy It?

The Camera App

When it comes to the camera app of the OnePlus 5, it is minimalistic at its best, thus making it incredibly easy for anyone to shoot pictures with it. Similar to the camera app of the OnePlus 3T, you get the option to change the aspect ratio or toggle the HDR mode right from the main app.

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A quick tap on the settings cog will give you the available options. The only difference is in the form of the shooting modes. Thanks to the dual camera setup, you can switch between the primary camera and the secondary camera just by swiping on the screen. So, you can alter between the three modes — 1X normal shoot, 2X losless zoom, and the Portrait mode.

But at times the gesture control can be a tad messy. So, a switch to the Portrait mode might instead land you in the zoom-mode.

Alternatively, a swipe down opens up the video mode, which can be used to record 4k videos or for capturing time-lapse and slow motion videos.

Photo Quality: Daylight

When it comes to shooting pictures in daylight, the OnePlus 5 camera has leveled up a lot (compared to OnePlus 3T) to reveal pictures which are sharp, bright and vivid. Even though there are a few behind-the-scenes software tweaks, the photos are realistically reproduced. In short, the pictures look natural, with the right amount of color added to the right place.

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When it comes shooting Macros, the OnePlus 5 camera manages to an impressive capture. All the pictures are incredibly detailed with every tiny feature in the image standing out.

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Capturing macros are a breeze and the camera is quick to focus. But, if the object is too close, then there does arise an issue in focus. However, it can be amended by just moving the camera away a bit.

Portrait Mode

One of the major highlights of the OnePlus 5 is its Portrait mode. The working is similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, with just a swipe in the camera interface, an ordinary photo can be made to look artistic.

Img 20170626 054551 Bokeh

The end product of the bokeh effect is admirable, with the subject standing out in sharp focus while the background softly blurs away. However, the effect isn’t always up to the marks.

At times, the blur between the object and the background is too much that it gives an unnatural look to the picture.

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For instance, the harshness of the object is so much that it almost looks as if the picture was superimposed on the picture. At times, the harshness isn’t so apparent, but yet the fine line between the background and the object isn’t neatly maintained, always.

But apart from the above glitches, it does manage to give an edge to an overall ordinary picture.

HDR Mode

The pictures taken with the HDR mode in the OnePlus 5 were a quite a surprise. Though it blends in the colors beautifully, the white balance is a bit off and has a slight Yellow tinge. Thus you’ll end up finding a warm Yellow hue in the pictures.

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However, it’s nothing that a software update won’t fix.

Also See: GT Explains: Are HDR TVs Worth the Hype?

2X Zoom

The telephoto lens in the OnePlus 5 has a fixed optical zoom of 1.6x and it borrows the rest 0.4x from the SmartCapture multiframe technology. And the cumulative 2x zoom (a combination of optical and digital zoom) can also be used to zoom on objects with just a single touch of a button in the camera interface.

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The end result of this zoom is impressive for it doesn’t just let you get a tad closer to the object but also makes sure that details aren’t lost in the process.

Photo Quality: Lowlight

When it comes to low light photography on the OnePlus 5, the pictures are good but they can be better if you were to compare it to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8. Aside from the above fact, the pictures are certainly a lot clearer and sharper than most of the phones in the same price bracket.

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The above pictures were taken during dusk at around 7:30 PM in India. As far as noise is concerned, you’ll find noise creeping into the pictures even with the wider f/1.7 lens.

Selfie Shooter

The OnePlus 5 comes packed with a 16-megapixel front camera which captures sharp and bright selfies. Again compared to the older OnePlus 3T, the images in this one are much richer and reproduces the colors perfectly.

Img 20170626 074458 1

The selfie shooter also comes with the baked-in smile mode and is available right on the camera interface. Though it doesn’t include a flash, the screen flash feature makes up for it.

Video Quality

The video quality of the OnePlus 5 is decent and the 2x losless zoom adds to it. While the camera can shoot full 4K resolution videos without any issue, the only thing I seriously missed was the OIS.  Without it, the video footages look a tad shaky, especially if you are walking while recording the video.

Though it has EIS, it crops the frame way too much and isn’t that great as it is, in the Google Pixel.

My Say

Overall, the OnePlus 5 camera captures bright and vivid pictures with the color reproduction done just about perfect. Plus the Bokeh effect adds to it. Though it has its share of glitches in between, it isn’t something which an OTA update cannot fix. And in this price range, together with the cool Oxygen OS features and powerful Snapdragon processor, I’d say it’s a grab. What about you?

See Next: How to Buy the OnePlus 5 Offline and Online

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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