OnePlus 6 camera takes blurry and noisy pictures


Are you having issues with OnePlus 6 camera as described in this thread?

  1. Yes, I am having issues with camera taking blurry, noisy, and highly post processed pictures

  2. No, I am not having any issue with camera

  1. 01baftb
    Gingerbread Jul 2, 2018

    01baftb , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Update (10-15-2018):Reminder to everyone, make sure to go ask your Camera related questions to @@Jimmy Z. in the Ask our Software Team: Part 3 – Camera thread. I think this would be an excellent opportunity to bring the awareness of the camera issue to OnePlus.

    Update (10-11-2018): Many users are reporting this issue is NOT fixed even on Android P (OxygenOS 9.0). This issue is almost 4 months old, and OnePlus 6T is about to be released soon. It is high time now that OnePlus takes this issue seriously given that more than 90% of users on OnePlus forum have conveyed they are facing (check the poll results). On October 15, OnePlus will be having a "Ask our Software Team" event for the Camera team. If you're facing issues as I am, I highly request all of you to support this issue by posting on the Ask our Software Team (Camera) thread when it is created on Oct. 15.

    Update (9-19-2018): I have been told by the Bug Hunter team that the issues reported in this thread will be fixed in the next OOS update. Those that are following this thread and facing the same issues, please be sure to report back once the new OOS update is released and confirm if issue is fixed.

    Update (8-26-2018): I have created a poll on this thread. Please cast your vote on this thread so OP can understand how many users are experiencing this issue.

    I am hobby photographer and tech enthusiastic. I recently purchased OnePlus 6 and noticed issues with poor camera quality. I feel these issues are NOT normal in any decent smartphone camera. With my basic knowledge of optics and working with cameras in the past, I think the issues I am reporting are software related and I hope OnePlus will investigate and fix with update.

    Do not just take my opinion that OnePlus 6 camera has issues; you should verify it yourself also. I highly encourage the readers of this post to verify the issues I am reporting by reproducing the test methods I have outlined in this post below. The best way you can confirm is by repeating Example 3, 4, and 8 (section below) and by following the same steps as I have mentioned in Test Methods section below.

    Many OnePlus 6 users in this forum have reported issues with OnePlus 6 taking blurry and noisy pictures. I noticed some users even have submitted bug report which OnePlus has ignored due to lack of supporting information. I hope this thread will serve as a voice for many users who are facing the same problem as I of having blurry and noisy pictures from OnePlus 6 camera. This thread will contain detailed analysis of the camera issues. I have filled the following bug reports listed below. Please support if you're having the same issues.
    I have been a loyal fan of OnePlus since the very beginning. OnePlus takes pride in its community and listening to their users. I hope this detailed thread of the camera issue will help OnePlus improve OnePlus 6 and all future releases.

    • Pictures on OnePlus 6 camera are blurry, noisy, and have excessive post processing
    • OnePlus 6 camera has focusing issues and CANNOT uniformly focus even on a flat 2D surface focal plane (Example 8)
    • I think the best and the most repeatable method to reproduce the issues I am addressing in Example 3, Example 4, and Example 8. I encourage all users to repeat the same test as I did to confirm you're having the same issues as I am.

    Disclaimer: In this thread I am reporting issues related to OP6 which I think are software related. I will be comparing pictures taken on OP6 vs. iPhone 6s only to outline issues which should NOT occur in any decent smartphone camera. This thread is NOT a review/comparison of OnePlus 6 camera to iPhone, Pixel, or Samsung. I not taunting or giving judgement on which smartphone camera is better. I respect hardware differences and I am NOT expecting OP6 to have stunning DSLR or iPhone X quality pictures. I strongly think the issues I am reporting could be software related and I hope OnePlus will investigate this.

    Issue: Both on front and back camera
    • Pictures are often blurry, poor depth of field, poor focusing, non-uniform focusing, noisy/grainy, lack of natural sharpness, and over saturation.
    • If you zoom in on on the pixels, you will often notice pictures have poor focus and high noise and grain.
    • While taking the picture, the live preview looks good, but after taking the shot, the images turn out to be blurry and grainy (refer to example 5)
    • Oil painting effect: When taking pictures of people and skin, I often notice edges are not sharp and skin features have artificial smoothness due to post processing done by Camera app even though beautify mode is turned OFF. Pictures which contain skin of people (ex: plam of a hand) tend to look "soft" and resemble a Gaussian blur, and lack sharpness and or contrasts. These pictures look unnaturally smooth. Other users in this forum that have similar issue often called this "oil painting" effect. In the live preview display (viewfinder) oil painting effect is not visible. Refer to Example 10 in this thread for more details.
    • [OOS 5.1.9] Camera has poor and non-uniform areas of focus. On the same focal image plane (ex: when taking a picture of a flat page of a book), there are random patches of area where image is NOT in focus (example 8).
    • [OOS 5.1.9] The depth of focus is very poor. Camera often has difficulty focusing on close objects but NOT macro. An example of a close object would be a picture of a book's page. In the live preview display AND the captured shot, you will notice the some areas of the image are out of focus. The issue is magnified if the subject is angled and it becomes clearly visible that there is poor depth of focus and only center area is in focus.
    • [OOS 5.1.9] Live preview display sometimes shows incorrect representation of subject (example 7). I often notice subjects in the live preview being "image processed" and screen tearing artifacts are visible. Some times the artifacts also include blurring and incorrect color on edges of a subject (example 7).
    • I am not the only one with this issue. Check out this detailed review by a "professional" photographer. (Thanks @hassan987 for sharing this video)
    Other Issues: Below are issues I have noticed but I will not discuss in this post due to my lack of expertise
    • Video recording has very high noise and blurring. In dynamic video recording (outdoors), I often notice objects blurring in and out and it seems like the Camera has a hard time staying in focus. In addition, it seems like there is some additional processing happening on video that make objects look distorted or fuzzed out.
    • Depth of field is too shallow in Portrait mode. Example, if take a picture of my hand, I can see portions of one of my fingers (edges) and my thumb being blurred out and out of focus.
    System information:
    • OnePlus 6 128GB Midnight Black
    • OxygenOS 9 (Android 9), OxygenOS 5.1.8, OxygenOS 5.1.9, OxygenOS 5.1.11 (also confirmed by @MetalSir)
    • Unless otherwise noted, all pictures are on OxygenOS 5.1.8. Because issue is still occurring on OxygenOS 5.1.9+, any updates I make to this thread will explicitly mention OxygenOS version.
    Comparison and Results

    Photo comparisons are often subjective and every user will have different opinions. In the examples below I tried to convey the issue using pictures which have non-dynamic backgrounds and are standards that are often used by photographers. Please refer to the Test Methods section below to know what exact procedures I used to proper comparisons of pictures.

    • Below examples show cropped portions of the full image to convey the issues. I encourage reader to download original full images for a more thorough comparison.
    • Unless otherwise noted, photographed images are using regular camera mode and NOT in Portrait/Pro/Pano/Video mode.
    • Unless otherwise noted, all examples were taken on OxygenOS 5.1.8. If I update this thread with more pictures with future updates of OOS, I will explicit mention the OOS version number.

    Example 1: Picture taken of my laptop keyboard without desk light on. Notice how letters on the keyboard on iPhone 6s are naturally sharp but also smooth (clear). On OP6, the letters on the keyboard are overly saturated and unnaturally sharp resulting in lack of smoothness and high contrast. Zooming in shows high noise. In addition on OP6 there is poor depth of focus thus the function keys (ex: F7) in the back are blurry.

    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/h68dx3qc2vtf226jalj22yi9htt7b19j
    | Mirror: https://imgur.com/BgO4OHm
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/204t8jafo27s7oacs8iwfpmgttm97gac | Mirror: https://imgur.com/QZG0JJe

    Example 2: Picture taken of my laptop keyboard with desk light on to ensure good ambient lighting conditions. Same issues as example 1 where there is blurriness due to poor depth of focus and features are not naturally smooth and sharp.

    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/spi86mn6jvy7lkw2zgek8332iz0yz29g | Mirror: https://imgur.com/1yr6Y7s
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/5f8qkqg7rz74d9dh54ze3r1orj90xvai | Mirror: https://imgur.com/H7UXcTt

    Example 3: An ISO12233 focusing test pattern was printed out and picture was taken at a fixed distance. Notice how numbers in the chart are fuzzy and not sharp with OP6 while on iPhone6s the patterns/numbers are relatively more clear.
    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/mano7su54hn03my2hd17sni7veovi1oz | Mirror: https://imgur.com/dRjUjk7
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/irk1qefxpnuhlbsa0ajtu3qkbae6o3jd | Mirror: https://imgur.com/tXFI89Y

    Example 4: Another type of focusing test pattern chart from B&H was printed out and picture was taken at a fixed distance. Notice how letters in the chart are fuzzy and not sharp with OP6.
    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/oeo4w9q0ihmicfm2kbo6yq43j6fs6b94 | Mirror: https://imgur.com/dZOu85B
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/vso9ga57di5flf2hslk0ba8e5dky6xr9 | Mirror: https://imgur.com/4DoNsVE

    Example 5: A bag of chips. Notice how on the top portion of the image where it says "Gourmet Sandwiches", the image is blurry and out of focus.Prior to taking picture with OP6, the top portion was in focus and NOT blurry in the viewfinder's live display preview (refer to example 5).
    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/kfo3n3rowk3uomy1gu98wlta7p8v33nr | Mirror: https://imgur.com/BGBD2lx
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/lu9nmkkyxr9erf726dl1waikixdq6p9t | Mirror: https://imgur.com/WZF0gvK

    Example 5 (continued): Prior to taking picture with OP6, the top portion was in focus and NOT blurry in the live preview. To prove this, I took a picture of the live preview (viewfinder) with another phone prior to capturing the photo on OP6. The photo on the right shows the captured image which is blurry in the top portion. I think this is a perfect example of the issue being a software issue and OxygenOS Camera app and post processing the captured image causing the image to be blurry.
    Example 6: Updating to OxygenOS 5.1.9 did NOT solve any of the issues being reported. In example picture below, you can clearly see that picture captured on OP6 is very noisy and grainy. Letters on the keyboard tend to have high contrast and lack smooth edges. In addition there is poor focus on top portion of keyboard. Metadata shows that OP6 used the following settings: ISO-250, f/1.7, 1/50sec exposure while iPhone6s used ISO-64, f/2.2, and 1/30sec exposure. The poor quality image of OP6 could be due to high ISO and a larger aperture (lower f-stop). Basic physics of optics tells us that a larger aperture leads to bokeh effect. In addition, due to larger aperture, more light is captured which could lead to noisy/grainy picture if ISO is high and shutter speed is low.

    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/g8cgmnd5obhtgmzzfwym5irteobvyfxz | Mirror: https://imgur.com/PmhUp8D
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/s2jnhq8g83o4svx1ua0fjhbd3vd4rdco | Mirror: https://imgur.com/H5Jo7bD

    Example 7: After updating to OxygenOS 5.1.9 I noticed the live preview display (viewfinder) has some sort of visual artifact similar to jittering or screen tearing. I noticed the live display of camera has some sort of instantaneous image processing being done on the subject being captured. One clear example of this is picture below which shows the live camera preview on the OnePlus 6. Notice the top corner of the green tea box which has a "brown" patch. This brown patch randomly occurred in the live preview and it is an artifact of some image processing being done on the live preview. I even captured a video of live preview which shows the brown patch occuring: https://i.imgur.com/JU5elFh.gifv. I noticed this issue on OOS 5.1.9 but haven't tested it on 5.1.8.
    Video: https://i.imgur.com/JU5elFh.gifv

    Example 8: A paper with text on it (ex: LaTex 2 Cheet Sheet) was printed out and placed on a flat desk surface. Pictures of the paper with text on it was taken to investigate uniformity of focus for the OP6 camera. Pictures in OP6 surfers from non-uniform areas of focus; there are random patches of area where the text on paper is blurry. Assuming the subject (paper with text) is flat, then the entire area of subject should be in focus because it is on the same focal plane. Non-uniform areas of blurriness are circled in red in the image preview below. On iPhone6s entire area of the paper with text was in focus are no random patches of blurriness are visible. One interesting point I noticed that no matter how many times I took the picture on OnePlus 6, the patches of blurry areas were always generally in the same location (note: I make sure my framing using 3x3 grid were at the same location every time I took the picture). Lenses of both cameras were confirmed to be clean with no finger prints. Readers are encouraged to download original file to inspect for themselves.


    Original image (iPhone6s): https://app.box.com/s/gcu40m9tofm8eb489zb2rwvj8h0avrcy | Mirror: https://imgur.com/odLpJQX
    Original image (OP6): https://app.box.com/s/h38nmxnrdmv4uw65kbj2xk4xrjm1sgvi | Mirror: https://imgur.com/cBX53zK

    Example 9: This example is my worst fear because it may show evidence of the camera issue in OnePlus 6 being a hardware issue instead of software issue. I used Open Camera app and compared it to the default OxygenOS Camera app. In addition, I compared pictures on OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus One. It seems that on OnePlus 6, both the default Camera app and Open Camera app have blurry pictures. The picture taken on OnePlus One with the Open Camera app had better clarity. The patches of blurry area seemed to generally occur the same location every time I attempted to repeat this test. Note: My framing using 3x3 grid was always in the same reference location every time I repeated the test. I am curious to know if other OnePlus 6 users have the same issue as myself. It would be great if someone else can repeat Example 8 and Example 9 experiments to see if they're having the same issue. You can print out this example paper with text (ex: https://wch.github.io/latexsheet/latexsheet.pdf) and take a picture of it. Check to see if you have random areas of blurriness.
    Original image (OnePlus 6 default Camera): https://app.box.com/s/ojojcwgsdkg0vwgtjf69osh6cdykv9k2 | Mirror: https://imgur.com/EQ423ip
    Original image (OnePlus 6 Open Camera): https://app.box.com/s/bmj01up24fmuhs956d0urcpbow4k5f0t | Mirror: https://imgur.com/17ArWS5
    Original image (OnePlus One Open Camera): https://app.box.com/s/bqw10dn9d140lqgzqrx2gwto5tmgvpcr | Mirror: https://imgur.com/tQs0rJY

    Example 10: A good way to see the oil painting effect live is by taking picture of the palm of your hands. If you take a picture of palm of your hands, you will often notice the palmar creases get smoothed and loss of detail. The live preview display which show nice sharp palmar creases on your palm, but after taking the picture, those creases will get smooth out and it won't be a true representation of what you saw in the live preview display.This smoothing effect is the oil painting effect which I think occurs from post processing and Gaussian blur algorithm.

    Example pictures coming soon for Example 10


    • Dynamic pictures in OP6 often "look good at a glance". However, when looking at high res picture, the image is blurry, grainy, noisy, and has unnatural sharpness and contrasts possibly due to post processing.
    • High saturation in all pictures is very common in OP6. Some people like this, some people don't. However, I feel it it not natural and don't justify the subject being captured
    • ISO, shutter speed, and aperture of captured shots in OP6 significantly differ from iPhone 6s. I think Camera app is incorrectly choosing the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture when capturing the shot thus resulting in over exposure, high noise, and poor focus. I think poor focus occurs because aperture is too large (lower f-stop) resulting in "bokeh" effect and subjects in the picture being out of focus away from the center. Basic physics of optics tells us that a larger aperture leads to bokeh effect. In addition, due to larger aperture, more light is captured which could lead to noisy/grainy picture if ISO is high and shutter speed is low.
    • In OP6 often subject/features are slightly blurry due to poor focusing. I think this could be either related to method uses for stabilization (OIS vs EIS) and image processing during capture. I wouldn't blame the optics (lens) or CMOS sensor directly since these are often well design hardware from vendors
    Other examples
    I will continue to update this post additional example comparisons which may also include dynamic backgrounds.

    Cat sleeping on sofa
    Issue: Although there is good lighting and exposure with OP6, zooming you will notice unnatural sharpness in some areas.
    iPhone 6s: https://app.box.com/s/t0euqsi5qhjg5522ow8z0lh6mmi1g1jr | Mirror: https://imgur.com/wauoueL
    OP6: https://app.box.com/s/lu9nmkkyxr9erf726dl1waikixdq6p9t | Mirror: https://imgur.com/8G9dRWh

    More coming soon...

    Test Methods
    • 3x3 grid on live preview display of the camera was used for proper alignment/framing to ensure same field of view (area) is being captured from multiple cameras being compared
    • A tripod was NOT used but the 3x3 grid on live preview was used to ensure proper framing for comparisons between different cameras
    • All pictures were captured in auto focus and auto exposure mode. I did NOT tap on any part of the live preview before taking the shot. Tapping on the subject before taking shot leads to change in manual focusing/exposure.
      • One may argue why not use manual focus by taping on the screen. The reason I choose to use auto focus is because the moment you tap on screen, you end up in "manual focus". When comparing results between multiple camera and pictures taken by multiple people, it is best to let the phone do auto focus which keep things consistent for comparisons. If every user does manual focus, it leads to more uncertainty and dispute of if the user correctly focused or not.
      • I think auto focus may NOT be reproducible when you have a dynamic picture (ex: flowers, people, etc...), thus a need for manual focus to guide the software and tell it want you want to focus on by tapping the screen. For simple and static picture as I have presented in this thread, auto focus should be very reproducible and consistent.
    • Pictures were transferred from phone to PC without any modifications

    Other Related References
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018

  2. Salt505
    Jelly Bean Jul 2, 2018

    Salt505 , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Very thorough comparison here, nice work. I've noticed this myself but I haven't been able to try it in a testable situation. I agree that this definitely needs to be looked at.

    iamrj, Blixtconny, benkb and 53 others like this.
  3. ejraney
    Donut Jul 2, 2018

    ejraney , Jul 2, 2018 :
    While I'm not expecting photos like the SO or iPhone 8/X. I have had similar issues. I would hope that OnePlus can correct quality with a software update.

    I am curious if a 3rd party camera app can do any better?

  4. Patrickim2147
    Gingerbread Jul 2, 2018

    Patrickim2147 , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Interesting findings, try these tests again in 5.1.10 where there's supposed to be camera improvements.

  5. tb77
    Gingerbread Jul 2, 2018

    tb77 , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Could be a hardware limitation of the camera lenses, cheaper lenses produce blurriness / distortions to more you reach the outer area of it. I think on DSLRs this can be reduced by specific lense profiles for each lense, I guess on phones as well, but maybe the limit is much more noticeable for cheaper hardware ( I think iPhone 6 vs OP6 is like Mercedes-Benz vs Opel) ...

    Q1528590230467 and 01baftb like this.
  6. chakfung2
    Eclair Jul 2, 2018

    chakfung2 , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Finally someone mentions these problems.
    Thank you very much.
    The noise and the unnatural sharpness is unbearable, let alone the focus problem.

    These are pretty much the reasons why I am looking forward to the completion of the gcam mod.

  7. 01baftb
    Gingerbread Jul 2, 2018

    01baftb , Jul 2, 2018 :
    I highly doubt the issue is a hardware issue. Often CMOS camera sensors and optical lens stack are well designed and tested by vendors. I strongly thin the issue is coming from the software side. I think the Camera app in OxygenOS is doing some additional processing during and after capture to make the picture look good, however it instead leads to poor quality.

    Check out the example below. I took a picture of the live preview display on OP6 prior to taking the picture. Notice the object in the picture is clear and in focus. However, the resulting image captured doesn't look as good as in the preview display AND the top portion is blurry which was not the case in the live preview.


  8. kEiDITOR
    Donut Jul 2, 2018

    kEiDITOR , Jul 2, 2018 :
    the same with me, hope OP will fix this soon :[
    big fan from Vietnam [e]1f64f[/e]

  9. G_Roman_Krešne_tDXb
    Froyo Jul 2, 2018

  10. T1529778822031
    Cupcake Jul 2, 2018

    onebot likes this.
  11. rathp
    Honeycomb Jul 2, 2018

    rathp , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Finally a thread that nails the issues that the camera always had. I read somewhere that OP has fixed some and is to be released soon.

    I just hope they fix the video too. Would save me carrying my other dirt cheap phone just for the videos..

  12. Vicsazar
    Donut Jul 2, 2018

    Vicsazar , Jul 2, 2018 :
    My comment has been deleted and I dont understand why. So, I am not a fanboy, I returned the 3T and the 5T just because the camera (when they were out for just 50 more € I had in late 2016 the S7 edge and in late 2017 the S8+ ). But now in my opinion the camera has improved a lot and I dont feel the need to return the phone for that reason. With good lighting this phone takes fantastic, crispy and good detailed photos. In poor lighting conditions it does a good job, very decent, worse than the king in night photos that the P20PRO is with its awesome night mode, but just a bit worse than other 2018 flagships such as the S9 and G7 and the king of 2017 the Pixel 2. BUT better than the iPhone X. I took pics with my OP and with a friends iPhone X at night in the city and the photos were a lot better on the OP, with a lot less noise and grain, with much more light and detail. When my 519 € OnePlus takes better night pics than my friend's 1200€ iPhone it makes me satisfied with the camera quality. And better too than the S8+ that I owned. The only scenario where it takes mediocre photos is in very dark conditions, when the OP shoots with very high ISOs producing a lot of noise. But at these conditions only the P20PRO with the night mode does a very good job, comparable to what a DLSR would deliver. In conclusion, it is a good camera, excellent for a 500 € phone, and we shouldn't complain a lot this year for that reason.

  13. 01baftb
    Gingerbread Jul 2, 2018

    01baftb , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Great pictures but pictures are very dynamic (subject and background) such that raiting the quality is very subjective and every user will have different opinions. It would be great to see the actual high resolution image file of these photos to see if it has issues I am discussion about.

    Glad to know I am not the only one with the issue. I hope OP will fix soon.

    As I mentioned in the original thread post, I am goal is NOT to compare cameras of different phones and give judgement of which phone is better. I am simply outline some issue I noticed in OP6 which I think are software related and not normal in any decent smartphone camera. I have used iPhone 6s as a comparison to convey the issues.

  14. nyzproof333
    KitKat Jul 2, 2018

    nyzproof333 , Jul 2, 2018 :
    This cant be true. I think youre lying. Reviewers on youtube told me it was as good (of not beyyer sometimes) as more expensive phones.

    I think youre wrong.

    Herbert_Lagos likes this.
  15. mrachit29
    Donut Jul 2, 2018

    mrachit29 , Jul 2, 2018 :
    Can relate often the pictures are grainy and the post processing blunts the image alot infact whenever I click picture in auto mode often the image is noisy, Giving such good hardware in this phone all users expect high performance of camera and expect that one plus would fix it in futurw update .

  16. Shubhamkhichi
    Donut Jul 2, 2018

    Shubhamkhichi , Jul 2, 2018 :
    The camera focusing is surely a problem. I stopped using the stock camera and started using Open Camera on play store. they offer better focusing.

    the hardware is not a problem, it's just the software issue. they will fix it soon. I wonder how the Android P beta testers find the camera ?

    mkabelis, Viraaj00, Seakker and 3 others like this.
  17. Taylz2100
    Cupcake Jul 3, 2018

    Taylz2100 , Jul 3, 2018 :
    +1 for the incredible in depth analysis.


    The preview image quality is quite a bit better than the produced photo.

  18. Vivek12xx
    Froyo Jul 3, 2018

    Vivek12xx , Jul 3, 2018 :
    Dude you just nailed it, I guess you almost covered every issue this camera has. Whenever I click any pic from my OP6 and I immediately view it, I see a post processing being done to images ,you are ryt it's definitely a software issue and as far I know this issue came after 5.1.8 update because I haven't noticed it before that. I just wish photos can look exactly same like in we see in app preview . One plus engineers should see your analysis.

  19. C1530264868044
    Cupcake Jul 3, 2018

    C1530264868044 , Jul 3, 2018 :
    My portrait mode is not working properly, it is not focusing up to the mark. What should I do??

    mkabelis and D1530851139010 like this.
  20. caspere
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 3, 2018

    caspere , Jul 3, 2018 :
    good technical observations and well written, well thought out. thanks for the post