OnePlus explains their view on photography ahead of OnePlus 6T launch
OnePlus phones are traditionally known for offering powerful hardware, clean software, and lower prices than mainstream flagships. One thing the company hasn’t traditionally been known for is camera performance. OnePlus has made a few notable missteps in this field, and phones such as the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T weren’t acclaimed for great image quality. With the OnePlus 6, however, the company made a major improvement in camera performance. The OnePlus 6’s camera is still not up to the level of flagship phones in every respect, though, which means there’s still room for improvement. Now, ahead of the OnePlus 6T launch, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has written a forum post explaining the company’s view on photography.
Mr. Lau wrote his thoughts on the direction of mobile photography by recapping the move from film cameras to digital cameras, which was followed later by the move to mobile phone cameras. In the film camera era, Mr. Lau notes that many cameras lacked auto-exposures modes or even basic light meters, which made knowledge of exposure a prerequisite. Photography was also expensive back then. The move to digital cameras reduced the cost of photography, but the more significant change was the convergence of the camera with the mobile phone.
Mr. Lau noted that each photographic advancement has afforded users increased convenience and accessibility. The smartphone is the best example here. It’s often said that the best camera is the one users have with them, which is typically their smartphone camera. It allows users to easily share photos as well. Users can take, review, and share photos from a single device now.
Coming to the topic at hand, Mr. Lau states it’s given that smartphone cameras need to be fast and reliable. He notes that most modern smartphone cameras are fast and reliable in normal conditions. However, there is still work to be done here. (For example, the Google Pixel 3’s ZSL mode in “HDR+ on” mode makes it one of the fastest cameras on the market.)
The broader initiative of OnePlus is to make the image-making process more direct, simple, and intuitive. OnePlus’ goal is to allow users to create incredible images more easily.
Mr. Lau then continued by stating that it was his view that the best smartphone cameras are the ones that can produce images that remain faithful and true to a given scene. That includes good exposure, accurate colors, and preservation of fine detail. Needless to say, the company also wants to give users the option of editing their photos, to allow users to choose the exact look they want.
The RAW to JPEG procedure is then explained by Mr. Lau. He notes that certain in-camera processing can hurt the final quality of the image, and that users can only do so much to correct an overly sharpened image. He acknowledges that excessive noise reduction can be permanent when applied in-camera, and states that moderation is key. “A light touch is all that’s needed,” he states. If the OnePlus 6T can manage to live up to these principles, that would be great.
Finally, Mr. Lau states that the company wants to better connect users to the image-making process. How that will be achieved wasn’t clearly explained, however.
The objective of this forum post is to clearly increase interest in the camera of the OnePlus 6T. There are a lot of areas where OnePlus could improve its camera performance. The Pixel 3‘s incredible Night Sight feature shows that innovation is still possible here. We are cautiously optimistic about the OnePlus 6T’s dual camera setup, and we expect to learn more at the launch event.
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