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We NEED To Talk About The OnePlus 5’s Camera

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The OnePlus 5 does NOT feature 2x optical zoom, instead it is 1.6x optical and 0.4x digital

It seems there’s been a bit of a miscommunication with OnePlus’ launch of the OnePlus 5. Despite the firm stating the dual-camera will feature 2x optical zoom, it appears this isn’t strictly accurate; instead, it features 1.6x optical zoom, with the remainder of the 2x zoom capability being taken care of by digital zoom.

OnePlus CEO Carl Pei took to Twitter to clarify.

“Seen a bit of confusion so clearing this up. We’re claiming 2x lossless zoom, not optical,” he said.

The tech which allows the OnePlus 5 to make up the difference in zoom is called SmartCapture multiframe technology.

Considering OnePlus made such a fuss over camera tech it is strange that it made this slip up during its presentation. It really was just a lack of clarity in phrasing, mind you, as it can be interpreted either way, but it’s clear from multiple reports of the launch that most correspondents believed the phone had 2x optical zoom.

As BGR points out, “In fact, the launch keynote seemed to imply that 2x is the maximum optical zoom, although OnePlus never claimed that 2x represents pure optical zoom.”

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“OnePlus never said that 1.6x is the maximum optical zoom either, and walking away from that presentation I’d be inclined to believe that 2x represents optical zoom, regardless of whatever software tricks OnePlus would use to enhance the picture. Why else highlight 2x zoom as they did during the presentation? Why not focus on any other zoom level if both optical and digital zoom are working together?”

This isn’t the only issue, though, as a few reviews have called the camera on the OnePlus 5 mediocre at best. The Verge’s was the first one I saw and, while the overall verdict wasn’t great, the section on imaging was easily the worst.

Clarity, overall picture quality, and the OnePlus 5’s dual camera lens were all called into question, as you can see below:

“OnePlus contends that this is the best camera it’s ever shipped on a phone. I’m willing to believe that, however, I’m not willing to accept the OnePlus 5 as a competitive entry in a contest that has advanced considerably with the introduction of the Google Pixel and the upgrade of the Galaxy S8 camera. Photography is now the biggest differentiator among Android phones, especially given how many companies have figured out how to do good design, big batteries, and (mostly) bezel-less screens. For OnePlus to stand out without its disruptive pricing, it needed to deliver something truly unique with its new camera system. On the evidence of my experience with the OnePlus 5, it has failed.”

Ouch.

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