DxOMark Reviews OnePlus 5 Camera Quality, Gives it a Score of 87

DxOMark Reviews OnePlus 5 Camera Quality, Gives it a Score of 87

Yesterday we published a news article about DxOMark’s imminent publishing of their OnePlus 5 camera review. In that article, we stated we’d be reconsidering DxOMark’s place in our news feed based on this score due to our own experience with the device’s camera:

If we found the score unreasonable given their partnership with OnePlus, we wouldn’t cover or feature their reviews in our Portal.

Our statement was understandably polarizing for what is a quite polarizing device as-is. The OnePlus 5 is a phone we regard quite positively as seen in our First Impressions piece, a 4500-some word article we wrote ahead of more in-depth coverage and a deeper review. In said article, I reported my findings of the OnePlus 5’s camera quality, stating that “the OnePlus 5 offers an improved camera experience that can, indeed, offer impressive results”. However, I also stated that “it could be much better given the amount of attention being put towards this specific item”, and noted many of the inconsistencies and UX annoyances I found throughout my testing. In short, my verdict at that point was that the OnePlus 5 offers good camera quality, but it’s not on par with what other manufacturers with more intricate camera expertise have been offering.

Luckily, the reputable people at DxOMark have published their own in-depth review of the OnePlus 5’s camera, and these reviews go beyond what most camera sections in mainstream reviews offer. The company had begun working with OnePlus so that the OnePlus 5 could feature improved camera quality, as DxOMark also serves as an image quality consultant. This is why such a review was highly-anticipated, and why it is currently under scrutiny, given that the possibility of conflict of interest or collusion cannot be ignored. However, after reading the review in full, I personally agree with most of the written assessments, and while the score might be debatable, DxOMark did provide a thorough summary that matches my experience and those of many reputable reviewers. Here’s what they found:


Pros Cons
Photo

  • Accurate white balance in all lighting conditions.
  • Vivid and pleasant color in all lighting conditions.
  • Good detail preservation in bright light conditions.
  • Fast and smooth autofocus in all lighting conditions.
  • Very stable autofocus in both auto and triggered mode.
Photo

  • Occasional strong loss of details in outdoor conditions.
  • Very fine details are lost in low-light conditions.
  • Ghosting effect sometimes visible in outdoor conditions.
Video

  • Good target exposure in all lighting conditions.
  • White balance is accurate in all lighting conditions.
  • Fast exposure and white balance convergence.
  • Fast and accurate autofocus in all lighting conditions.
  • Good stabilization in all lighting conditions.
Video

  • Visible loss of low-contrast details in all lighting conditions.
  • Visible luminance and chromatic noise in low-light conditions.
  • Noticeable frame shift with abrupt direction changes during panning.

Outdoors

The review covers all the main points thoroughly and leaves several comments that resonate quite well with my findings, matching my experience. Talking about stills performance, DxOMark claims that the camera’s main strengths are “vivid color rendition”, accurate white balance and good detail preservation with “fast and smooth autofocus”. All of this is something that can be observed in the photo comparison we published in our First Impressions, too, and DxOMark also speaks positively of the OnePlus 5’s HDR mode, stating that “highlights are well-preserved in HDR exposures”. The review also addresses the vibrant colors by recognizing it features “slightly punchier saturation compared to the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S8“, claiming it’s “on par with the Google Pixel“.  It mentions “levels of detail are similar to, if not slightly better than (…) the Samsung S8” in bright light, and it briefly touches on noise (which is one of our bigger gripes with the camera at XDA), saying “noise reduction is also good, especially under bright light” though it admits luminance noise is visible in homogeneous areas. Finally for stills, it comments on the lack of proper stabilization in part by stating “there’s noticeable blur and loss of detail in some handheld shots compared to those using a tripod” particularly in low-light exposure or conditions.

Indoors

As for video, it speaks highly of the overall quality while noting that other video strengths include “fast and accurate autofocus” and an “effective stabilization system”. While OnePlus’ EIS has definitely improved, it’s not quite on par with a proper OIS solution or Google’s tremendous EIS on the Pixel, though it is competent enough. DxOMark recognizes this as it gave the OnePlus 5’s stabilization a score of 87 in its breakdown, whereas the Pixel received a 91.


DxOMark’s review text is quite level-headed and I personally haven’t found clear-cut disagreements or any objectionable comments that would indicate any sort of undue collusion. The most questionable remarks in the review relate to the OnePlus 5’s detail preservation (especially compared to their own published comparison images) and some statements on noise reduction. I don’t disagree with any of its remarks qualitativelythough I am not sure if its scores are ones I’d pick. Then again, I am just some editor on the internet and I admit camera performance is not my forte, and judging camera quality accurately is a complicated job only few publications can do — XDA has never been an authority on the matter. Overall, DxOMark’s review presents quite satisfactory results for the OnePlus 5, with the score of 87 putting it below the HTC 10 (88), Samsung Galaxy S8 (88), HTC U11 (90), and Google Pixel (89). It’s also placed above the Apple iPhone 7 (86), Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge (86), LG V20 (85) and LG G6 (84). That’s quite an achievement for OnePlus given it hasn’t been long since the company began focusing on camera quality.

In short, DxOMark’s review presents a very favorable picture for OnePlus and its camera efforts, and the review itself is quite sound in its assessments. While scoring is always up for debate, we are glad to see it’s not unrepresentative of our experiences.


What do you think of DxOMark’s review of the OnePlus 5’s camera? Sound off in the comments!

Source: DxOMark OnePlus 5 Camera Review

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