OnePlus One - a “Swiss Army Knife” for filmmakers!

  1. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 14, 2014

    EXIV , Aug 14, 2014 :
    IMPORTANT: All these tests are exclusively driven by my passion and interest for this great device which is the OnePlus One. Many of you asked about what tripod and support system I use, well if you want to support me please buy them through the affiliate links posted below:

    The little tripod is a Manfrotto table tripod (affiliate links):

    The smartphone holder attached to it is this (affiliate links):

    It’s a smartphone, but it’s not just that… it’s an amazing “Swiss Army Knife” for filmmakers… is the OnePlus One!

    In this thread I will briefly describe all the advantages that, as a filmmaker, this amazing device is offering me.

    First of all, the dimension: 5.5 inch display is just perfect for replying emails, writing notes and keep going “on the way” with my screenplays (using Celtx), and sketching storyboards. This size is great for displaying my videos to clients or collaborators, and indeed it is really nice to see the astonished expression of a client watching one my latest works on a such rare and elegant device.

    And here we go to the camera… well I just started playing with it few weeks ago and I already love it. Actually, I still can’t believe I shot the videos below in 4K with a “simple” smartphone! Watch it and judge yourself.

    It’s so nice to be able to shoot 4K with a such a portable device. 3840 × 2160 resolution looks simply great! I’ve got so used to it already, that now HD resolution seems just so “blurred”.

    With regards to the physical act of filming, you can definitely make nice handheld shots, but I strongly suggest to use a light handheld stabilizer, a Glidetrack or a tripod in order to get a rid of that annoying and persistent “shacking issue”, which is the direct result of the lack of a stabilisation option inside the camera.

    The OnePlus One shoots unbelievably nice videos in ideal light conditions, while it performs less better in low lights, with incredibly poor results in night shots. Check the following test.

    Concerning the picture quality, I would just repeat all the positive things I have already said about the 4K video, with an additional note: at the moment we can shoot only jpg pictures, but it is rumored that really soon we’ll be able to shoot “raw”, which will make this smartphone even more desirable. Take a look at the following pictures.

    IMG_20140807_173229_ok.jpg IMG_20140808_140611_ok.jpg IMG_20140808_143701_ok.jpg IMG_20140809_135648_ok.jpg

    While the camera performs incredibly well in daylight, it requires the “slow shutter” profile activated on tripod for great results on night shots.

    IMG_20140809_205801.jpg IMG_20140809_205854.jpg IMG_20140809_205938.jpg IMG_20140809_210039.jpg

    UPDATE #1: I have been asked by some users about manual ISO and shutter speed while shooting on "slow shutter" mode, so I have made a video to show it, enjoy it:


    UPDATE #2: through this link you can download an original video sample of the video I have made on the forest: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ax17cl1uv4oqz7u/VID_20140808_111435.mp4

    UPDATE #3: super slow motion with Crunchie!

    120 fps is insane for a smartphone, but it really waste the picture quality, so I think the best option for a slowmotion will be to shoot in 1080p 60fps. I have to properly test it.

    UPDATE #4:
    "Canon 5D Mark III vs OnePlus One"

    The aim of this test is exclusively to compare how the OnePlus One performs respect the Canon 5D Mark III in a ideal light condition. In this case I am pleased to notice that the OPO did incredibly well, but for sure the Canon 5D Mark III is still the best option for filmmakers for all the reasons that make a DSLR what it is.

    In terms of dynamic range the OPO performed really well compared with the 5D, and I can tell you that with a similar exposure, there is almost no difference.

    UPDATE #5: This is the original footage shot with the OnePlus One for the test comparison "Canon 5D Mark III vs OnePlus One", available for you to watch in 4K UHD!


    UPDATE #6: "Clear Image" mode. Here is a quick comparison between a picture shot in "Auto" mode and one shot with the new function "Clear Image": thread link
    2.jpg 3.jpg

    A shot of my furry friend shot with the "Clear Image" mode.
    IMG_20140820_112014 ok.jpg
    "HDR" vs "Clear Image" (post processed in HDR)


    "Clear Image" (post processed in HDR)
    clear mode post in hdr.jpg

    UPDATE #7:
    "Time lapse" option, read this thread.

    I found the timelapse feature really bad... I'd like to see a better option like: with high res pictures to be taken instead of a very compressed video, and the option to choose a shooting modality (for example: in night time I'd like to be able to set the time lapse in "slow shutter" but now it's impossible).

    UPDATE #8: Clear Image in London. Today I had the chance to grab some shots in "Clear Image" mode.

    IMG_20140821_171708_ok.jpg IMG_20140821_182729_ok.jpg IMG_20140821_191700_ok.jpg IMG_20140821_193906_ok.jpg IMG_20140821_194048_ok.jpg IMG_20140821_221131_ok.jpg IMG_20140821_225058_ok.jpg

    UPDATE #9: Here are a couple of other night shots I just made yesterday night! These pictures are post-processed: there is color correction and bracketing.
    IMG_20140831_212945–ok_ok.jpg IMG_20140831_215108_ok_ok.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014

  2. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 14, 2014

    Stickied Post
    EXIV , Aug 14, 2014 :
    UPDATE #10: HDR mode in 4K video
    Here is another OnePlus One video, testing HDR in 4K UHD video mode. Even photographing I am not a fan on HDR, but because many people asked me about it so I decided to make some shots and share them.

    The footage looks really deteriorated - in terms of quality - by the HDR effect, which drastically changes exposition between shot and shot. What I really don't appreciate is the incredible amount of noise that it generates, which you won't find in a 4K footage shot in "Auto" mode. My suggestion is though to shoot in "Auto" mode, and then improve the footage in post, simulating HDR, that works much better.

    UPDATE #11: 4K video HDR vs AUTO mode - final test.

    Here is the final test of OnePlus One in 4K UHD video in HDR mode. As you can see in the previous test, when you record videos in HDR mode, the footage looks considerably bad respect the one shot in "Auto" mode. What I really don't appreciate is the incredible amount of noise that it generates, which you won't find in a 4K footage shot in "Auto" mode.

    My suggestion is though to shoot in "Auto" mode, and then improve the footage in post, simulating HDR, as I did in this test. On this way it works much better, as you will discover in this very final test. Anyway, you have to consider that this workflow works better when you work on steady shots, because you can take shots in different exposures and then mix them together.

    Here you'll find the thread dedicated to the "HDR video mode" comparison: https://forums.oneplus.net/threads/hdr-mode-in-4k-video.95202/#post-4654823

    UPDATE #12: A very quick audio test with violinist Nikos performing a "Godfather" theme.

    The audio recorded seems really good considering that all around there was a lot of noise, and fortunately the camera managed to avoid recording it.

    UPDATE #13: A 4K glimpse of London with the OnePlus One.

    In this raw video (uncorrected) I mixed few shots I took one day in London, while I was going to a private screening in Brick Lane.

    You can see how the picture quality changes from the day to the night, and how much noise it gets in the darker shots. Later on I'll try to publish the same video, color correcting the shots and reducing the noise.

    Music: "Snowflake - Stay (for this Moment) (Ray Rama Arpeggio Mix)" by rayrama 2011 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014

  3. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 14, 2014

    Stickied Post
    EXIV , Aug 14, 2014 :
    UPDATE #14: OnePlus One tap to focus issue in video mode. In this video I point out the issue with tap focus issue we actually have with the OnePlus One.

    If you want to find out more about this camera please check out my blog: http://giacomomantovani.com/blog/oneplusone

    UPDATE #15: Professional short doc made with the OnePlus One: Plastic garbage - scourge of the seas

    To find more about it, check this out: http://giacomomantovani.com/vox-mundi/plastic-garbage

    UPDATE #16: Aphids - 4K super macro

    I have filmed this video with the OnePlus One buy attaching to it a little cheap lens I took from an old binocular. I'll test more with some higher qualitative lens, in the close future.

    I still can't believe I managed to do this with a phone!!! :)

    This is the cheap lens I used and how I attached it to it, with a simple elastic.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This pic might not seems the best, but have you got any idea how tiny an aphid is? If so you would consider this pic a great achievement. :)


    This is how small a Aphid is:

    UPDATE #17: Here we go guys, I have found a way to protect the phone in case of theft. This anti theft solution is made possible by three simple steps:

    1- Install the app "Android Lost"
    2- Set a screen lock pin code
    3- Install the app "Smart Lockscreen Protector"

    On this way, it will be impossible for the thieves to switch off the phone (at least in all the phone with non removable batteries, like the OnePlus One), thus allowing the owner of the phone to remotely access and control the device, locating it and rescuing it.

    UPDATE #18: Hi guys, here we go with another OPO video. This time my girlfriend filmed me with her OnePlus One while I was giving blood on Monday night...

    I hoped that in such interior location the performance of the OPO camera would have been fine, indeed in the majority of the shot the video looks incredibly noisy. I managed to edit the footage to make a short message for all of you. So, if you haven't considered giving blood yet, please do it now!
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014

  4. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 14, 2014

    Stickied Post
    EXIV , Aug 14, 2014 :
    UPDATE #19: Hi guys, in this video I highlight new "RAW format" feature that we were waiting for since long time, and some related issue that this new firmware update brought.

    Tomorrow I'll make some shot in RAW so I can properly test it and see how great it is.

    If you want you can take a look at these jpg and dng files:

    JPG https://www.dropbox.com/s/j12e2qppn41ojb3/IMG_20141008_162213.jpg?dl=0
    DNG https://www.dropbox.com/s/qcqo5nroxr9tgvi/IMG_20141008_162213.dng?dl=0

    UPDATE #20: Just a day ago OnePlus have released the new firmware update aka "38R" that, among the various bug fixes, finally allows to shoot in RAW! Yes, we can finally get dng files, and this is the amazing result.

    Still life #1 reduced.jpg Still life #2 reduced.jpg Still life #3 reduced.jpg

    I am so excited by this long waited function, this is really expanding our "artistic" possibilities on another level. Despite this, the firmware update still present some bugs, the one which is annoying me more is the fact that sometime the 4K video recording fail, and the only solution is to reboot the phone... this is really something that I hope the developers will solve soon.

    UPDATE #21: This is just a quick video to show you the basic difference between the dng and jpg.

    Of course you can process the jpg as I did with the dng, but you are going to loose a lot in terms of quality.

    DNG processed

    JPG unprocessed

    This is a brief raw shot I made this morning, before and after:

    And once again, this is my little best friend Crunchie, under pure dng power:

    IMG_20141010_130828_ok-2 reduced.jpg

    UPDATE #22: A very quick video to briefly explain the main advantage of shooting in RAW with the OnePlus One.

    UPDATE #23: Another dng test :)

    IMG_20141013_105148_ok.jpg IMG_20141013_105204_ok.jpg IMG_20141013_082117_ok.jpg

    UPDATE #24: In this video I'll give you some very basic tip that will help you shoot great pictures with your smartphones.

    For the OnePlus One fans, unfortunately I shot this video in HD instead of 4K UHD, as indeed I usually do. This is because I just updated the firmware to the 38R OTA and I forgot to re-adjust the camera settings, so I accidentally recorded in HD.

    UPDATE #25: Adobe Photoshop Express for Android on the OnePlus One

    On this video I am going through my favorite app to process pictures directly on the OnePlus One (or any other phone). Adobe Photoshop Express works incredibly well allowing the user to process the image in a professional way, with just a couple of touches. Nothing easier than this.

    Conclusion: I am really pleased with this camera (considering it is just a smartphone) but I'd like - if possible - to have few things improved in the next software updates:

    Video mode:
    - manual controls
    - image stabilization
    - improved slow motion quality
    - improved auto-focus
    - improved tap-to-focus while recording
    (it simply doesn't work)

    Picture mode:
    - raw format (seriously) DONE!
    - better time lapse option (read this dedicated thread)
    - improved low light performances
    - improved light metering
    - press-and-hold burst mode
    - better panorama

    If you want to contribute to this list of requests please refer to this thread.

    I hope you found helpful this brief “filmmaking” review.

    Bye for now.

    All the best.

    P.S. If you like my tests please subscribe to my YouTube channel and like my videos! :)

    @David S. @Emmanuel #oneplus #oneplusone #4Kvideo #4kresolution #android #cyanogenmod11s #exiv
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

  5. Architect
    Honeycomb Aug 14, 2014

    M_DC, gioren1974, EXIV and 1 other person like this.
  6. epresnell1
    Honeycomb Aug 14, 2014

    epresnell1 , Aug 14, 2014 :
    Good post, thanks. Tried video recording at night with my one plus and it turned out better than I thought it would.

    gioren1974 and EXIV like this.
  7. nash859
    Jelly Bean Aug 14, 2014

    epo916, gioren1974 and EXIV like this.
  8. swgoh23
    Gingerbread Aug 14, 2014

    swgoh23 , Aug 14, 2014 :
    What are the 4k video file sizes like? And also how's the battery drain during capture?

    gioren1974 and Jeffr0 like this.
  9. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Moderator Moderator Aug 14, 2014

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014

    Jeffr0 and EXIV like this.
  10. mandylee
    Honeycomb Aug 14, 2014

  11. Sparkolo
    Community Veteran Aug 14, 2014

    Sparkolo , Aug 14, 2014 :
    Really nice focus review Giacomo! Thanks to you for this glimpse of the OnePlus One capabilities by a fellow Italian ;)

    Faruha, Rollopda, loz3vi and 6 others like this.
  12. Feuerbohnenzieher
    Gingerbread Aug 14, 2014

    EXIV likes this.
  13. saucy
    Jelly Bean Aug 14, 2014

    sucker, Jeffr0 and EXIV like this.
  14. Monkeymanjr
    Honeycomb Aug 14, 2014

    EXIV likes this.
  15. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 14, 2014

    EXIV , Aug 14, 2014 :
    Thanks a lot!

    IWantOneNow likes this.
  16. David S.
    OnePlus Europe Staff Member Aug 15, 2014

  17. CMYK
    Honeycomb Aug 15, 2014

    CMYK , Aug 15, 2014 :
    Are you one of those "filmmakers" that uses a slider for every god damn scene?

  18. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 15, 2014

  19. boonkhim
    Ice Cream Sandwich Aug 15, 2014

    EXIV likes this.
  20. EXIV
    KitKat Aug 15, 2014

    EXIV , Aug 15, 2014 :
    Not alwasy... only when it's strictly necessary :)

    IWantOneNow likes this.