#OP3PeerReview - Time4Review - Camera

  1. Espmodro
    Froyo Jun 20, 2016

    Espmodro , Jun 20, 2016 :
    Hi All! My name is David Modroño, and I'm the creator of Time4Review platform, a spanish YouTube and Website focused on different tech. device gadgets. I'm one of the 30 chosen people that will bring you our personal point of view of the new brand OnePlus 3. Let's roll!

    Rear Camera

    Nowadays, smartphones are anything but "phones". This little devices serve us to more and more purposes. Some of them are now a standard, and have moved other products from their own field. The camera is an example. Some years ago, all of us were used to carry some compact cameras to our hollidays, and complained for not having one in the moment when it was really needed.

    Today, with smartphones we have the opportunity to carry on a great camera everytime. This has been a breakthrough in our lives and now people share more media than ever through social medias. It's so important that camera is one of the main reasons of choosing a phone from one brand or other one.


    The new OnePlus 3 camera sounds interesting in the paper. It packs a Sony IMX 298 sensor
    with a 16 Megapixel resolution. I'm not an expert in cameras, so I'm going to skip all the technical specifications (that can be just checked in OnePlus website) and go directly to the spot: picture & video examples, and my thoughts on them.


    Here you can see a list of different pictures taken with the OnePlus 3 camera in different conditions. Note that I have reduced the resolution of the photos (1500px) and compressed them before uploading them. You can check the full quality ones below:

    Macro - Automatic Mode


    Outdoors (Good light conditions) - Automatic Mode



    Outdoors (Bad light conditions) - Automatic Mode

    Indoors (Good light conditions) - Automatic Mode

    Indoors (Bad light conditions) - Flash OFF
    Indoors (Bad light conditions) - Flash ON

    If you want to check the original photos with full size, please check this link. I have uploaded all the photos to my Drive folder:

    • My Opinion
    The OnePlus 3 has a great camera. It's not the best out there, and it's definetly a step behind the more expensive flaghship phones from Samsung (S6/S7's | iPhone 6s's | LG G5 ...). However, I think that it takes great photographs in good light conditions and fairly good photos when there is not too much ambient light.

    Even if there is only one flash LED instead of two like in the previous iteration (OP2) this one it's powerful enough. Also, the phone takes less time between photos and has a very quick focus.

    Another point where there has been an important improvement is with HDR feature. HDR used to take some time processing the image and with the OnePlus 2 you could probably take 1 photo each 2-3 seconds. The new OnePlus 3 performs much better with HDR and takes just half a second or so to take each photo.

    For this reason, I mostly used auto HDR for default photos. In this mode, the phone itself decides wether HDR should be applied or not.

    I think that for the price of this phone you won't see much better cameras than this. Probably a LG G4 or Samsung Galaxy S6 may beat this camera in a similar price range (and not for a big margin).


    Even if I'm quite satisfied with the quality of the photograhps, I have a more negative feedback with the videos. This are the main drawbacks that I see when using the OnePlus 3 as a video camera:

    • No 1080p@60FPS: ¿Why, OnePlus? The Sony IMX298 supports this combination (check THIS). In my opinion, this is the best recording option by far. Much better than having 4K@30FPS, as it's quite difficult to take advantage of it (few people have 4K screens) nowadays. It was a dissapointment not to see it. The good part is that we might see this as a future software upgrade. ¡Hope that it's true!
    • The audio quality from the videos that I have recorded so far is not very stable.
    • Slow Motion video shows some kind of constant re-focus. Check this video that I made recently:

    Timelapse Example:

    Front Camera
    I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of "selfie" photos using the front camera. Having a great rear camera and deciding to use the other one just because we can see the result before shooting does not convince me.

    However, I have to admit that the front camera from this OnePlus 3 surprised me quite a lot. The quality of the pictures is like the main camera of some smartphones of few years ago, like an iPhone 4, Galaxy SII, etc... and we probably have a big book of photos with this quality, so having extra few of them of 3 years later it's not so critical.

    As always, I like to support my opinions with some objetive stuff. Here you have an example of myself. Remember that this photo has been compressed, but you have the original one in the Driver folder.

    Note: The front camera example is in a comment, as I can just upload 20 pictures in a single post!
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016

    1ikhan and Soild_UK like this.
  2. tfae
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jun 20, 2016

    tfae , Jun 20, 2016 :
    Nice (and not a fanboy/hater) review.
    The camera is not bad, but is ages from the true flagships. But well, for the price difference it's not that bad.

  3. dandypeter
    Gingerbread Jun 20, 2016

    dandypeter , Jun 20, 2016 :
    That's pretty harsh. The camera is pretty comparable to the S7 and 6s. One might do a little better with focus, low light, or auto white balance, but focus seems fine on all of them and with raw you can get a few extra stops and the JPEG color balance doesn't matter. For most people the time to shoot is way more important than the minimal quality differences between the flagships. Many post possessor apps are using the raw now.

    The Sony X is due out soon and should blow all them away, but with no raw and probably not even manual control, because Sony.

  4. kpmak
    Eclair Jun 20, 2016

  5. tfae
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jun 20, 2016

    tfae , Jun 20, 2016 :
    Only a minority knows what RAW is and how to use it. It doesn't even count for the statistics (but is a must have!).
    I think that with some software improvements the camera can turn out to be really good, but for now it is not that impressive. It's good, but not on the level of a S7.

  6. Espmodro
    Froyo Jun 22, 2016

    Espmodro , Jun 22, 2016 :
    Hello! I have updated the camera post with my opinion on the front facing camera. Here you have the example picture that is mentioned in the post.


    josefn24 likes this.