It’s been quite some time since OnePlus delivered a phone with a stellar camera experience. While they’ve improved the software and the surrounding functions for years, the end results left a bit to be desired in many cases. The OnePlus 7 Pro marks the company’s first foray into the triple-camera arena, including a new 3x optical zoom telephoto camera and an ultra-wide angle camera to match the abilities of phones like the LG G8 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S10 family, Huawei P30 Pro, and quite a few others that have taken up the helm of triple camera systems.
OnePlus recently released a big update for the camera, which our review fully covers.
Hardware alone doesn’t make a good experience though, it’s got to have good software to go along with it too. We’ve seen plenty of phones in the past with fantastic camera hardware that have fallen short of the mark because the software and the processing just weren’t up to snuff. OnePlus has created a new processing algorithm for the OnePlus 7 Pro called Ultrashot, which combines the intelligence of HDR+ with the supersampling abilities of previous OnePlus devices.
HDR+ was a concept introduced by Google some years ago on the Nexus 5 and has improved considerably on Nexus and Pixel-branded devices since then. HDR+ works differently than other HDR methods because it takes a burst of photos at once, both before, during and after you press the shutter button. It then takes those photos and combines them on a per-pixel level, adjusting each pixel to better enhance the contrast and lighting in the scene. OnePlus further enhances this by adding in a supersampling algorithm that is designed to enhance detail as well.
This all combines with OnePlus’s already existing intelligent algorithm to ensure photos not only have better dynamic range and detail than before, but also that you’ll have less blurry photos as well. As we’ve seen before on OnePlus phones, the intelligent algorithm monitors the level of blur in each of these burst shots and picks the ones with the least amount of blur to display as the final photo. If you’re quick enough you can click on the thumbnail for the picture that was just taken and can see the phone swapping the photo out for the best-chosen version.
It’s not all roses though, there are some bizarre limitations that exist on the OnePlus 7 Pro that don’t exist on other phones. Take the new ultra-wide angle camera, for instance. This new camera can only take photos. It does not currently have the ability to take videos of any kind, which is more than just a bummer, it’s a huge missing piece of the puzzle.
The 3x optical zoom lens has seen some controversy, as the lens itself only provides a 2.2x optical zoom, while the remaining 0.8x is achieved through a crop of the sensor. Regardless of the controversy, the telephoto lens on the OnePlus 7 Pro regularly outperforms other telephoto lenses at many different zoom levels, which you’ll see in action in the video below.
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