The OnePlus Approach to Photography

  1. Pete
    CEO Staff Member Oct 22, 2018

    Pete , Oct 22, 2018 :

    I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the direction of mobile photography—namely, where things are headed and what you can expect for the OnePlus 6T.

    In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed two major shifts in photography: the development of digital sensors and the convergence of the camera and the mobile phone.

    When I was young, photography was a relatively niche and cost-prohibitive hobby. Not everyone could afford to take pictures, and if you did, you certainly had to make every shot count. Many cameras lacked auto-exposure modes or even basic light meters, so you had to learn how to expose your images properly. I was never much of a good photographer, and often-times, my friends and family were disappointed by the pictures I took of them. Imagine that—to come back from a memorable trip, with everyone excited to see the pictures. You wait at the lab for the film to process, only for the photos to come out blurry and poorly composed!

    I remember how excited I was when the first digital cameras were announced. Sure, the designs were clunky, and the image quality was lacking, but the advantages were obvious: digital photography reduced the cost of taking photos and gave people instant feedback—no more waiting for photos to develop.

    This is a theme that has been repeated throughout the history of photography. Each photographic advancement has afforded users increased convenience and accessibility.

    Nowhere is this more apparent than mobile photography. The smartphone is a great photographic tool not just because it allows us to carry a camera with us at all times, but because it allows us to easily share the photos we take. Now, you can shoot, review, and share your photos, all from one convenient device. If digital photography allowed us to take more photographs, then mobile photography gave us a compelling reason to do so.

    Captured by @dhekhandelwal

    Convenience, Accessibility, and the OnePlus Vision

    People take more photos than ever, so it’s a given that smartphone cameras need to be fast and reliable. And to a certain degree, most smartphone cameras nowadays are fast and reliable—in all but the most demanding situations. Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t a lot of work left to do. On the contrary, there’s more work to do than ever, because putting on that final layer of polish, going into painstaking details, is hard work that demands a lot of patience and ingenuity.

    This is all part of a broader initiative to make the image-making process more direct, simple, and intuitive. The goal, as always, is to allow users to create incredible images more easily. In a past deep-dive, I talked at length about honest design. That concept extends to the camera on the OnePlus 6T.

    Captured by @suzannepatteet

    Creating Authentic Images

    I believe a smartphone camera is at its best when it’s able to produce images that remain faithful and true to the scene it’s representing. That means a variety of things, including good exposure, accurate colors, and the preservation of fine detail. From a technical perspective, these are the essential qualities of a good photo. The user can just snap, send, and share.

    Of course, we want to give users the option of editing the photos they take as well. In the film days, you could pick out the exact type of film you wanted to put in your camera. Some produced high-contrast images with vivid colors, while others produced low-contrast images with soft colors. The point is, you got to choose the exact look you want—a look that color scientists spent years tweaking.

    With smartphone cameras, the smartphone itself is like the film stock. Let me explain: when you take a photo with your smartphone, the smartphone is pulling raw data from the camera sensor. It then interprets and compresses this data, creating an image file that’s convenient to share and send, and broadly accessible on all devices. However, certain in-camera processing can hurt the final quality of the image. You can only do so much to correct an overly sharpened image. Excessive noise reduction can be permanent when applied in-camera. As with anything, moderation is key. A light touch is all that’s needed.

    That’s not to say there isn’t any room for fun filters or editing. In fact, as I scroll through the #ShotonOnePlus campaign, it’s easy to see that many of the photos are edited in some way.

    Captured by @telltalepixels

    With the OnePlus 6T, we wanted to better connect users to the image-making process, to allow them to create documents with honest results that preserve the special moments in their day-to-day lives. And if they want, they can adjust their photos to suit their taste. As always, I look forward to seeing the OnePlus community share their best photos with the world.

  2. Tobikage
    Nougat Oct 22, 2018

  3. GopalB.
    Nougat Oct 22, 2018

    GopalB. , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Lets see what are we getting in OnePlus 6T's camera, as this all is just pointless if the end result is still mediocre...

  4. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016 Oct 22, 2018

  5. youbi
    Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Oct 22, 2018

    youbi , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Nice writing. And yeah, Photography is getting more and more important to people when choosing their new phone, so its important to get that part right. :)

    Curious to see the improvements brought in this mid cycle upgrade.

    yep, we are the key... :smirk:

    :D ;)

  6. Tobikage
    Nougat Oct 22, 2018

    Tobikage , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Only if in moderate quantities. :rolleyes:

  7. G_shreyans_jain_xLKd
    Froyo Oct 22, 2018

    G_shreyans_jain_xLKd , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Another year, another disappointing camera(low light and indoors only, daylight is great):)
    OnePlus pull your socks up and put your money where your mouth is. Words sound good, but we need some actual end result.

  8. youbi
    Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Oct 22, 2018

    youbi , Oct 22, 2018 :
    So true. Been there, done that. :sweat:

    Kids nowadays don't know how lucky they are. You can click a thousand times until you get it right. :D

    Yep, like all things, moderation is always important, it can't be either too much neither too less, it needs to be the right amount. And I'm obviously talking about in-camera processing here. :p Because for forum moderation we all know its never enough.


    Finding that balance is never easy, and it will always be hard to make everyone happy about the final result, what for one may be a nice photo at night, to other it may be a ruined photo by the excess of post processing. And what is a nice photo to one, may be an awful photo to other because its filled with noise. Its always hard to win fully that one.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

    Jalex_h, Bouncer71, script and 8 others like this.
  9. mr_priyanshu
    Jelly Bean Oct 22, 2018

  10. Shivang Joshi
    Starting Point Expert Oct 22, 2018

    Shivang Joshi , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Hmm, okay. So, did you finally switched back to the Telephoto Lens rather than having a useless Depth Sensor? :rolleyes: (Telephoto Lens is itself capable of that)

  11. Moin2200
    KitKat Oct 22, 2018

    Moin2200 , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Always happy to see you take some time for the forum. But I'm skeptical to see anything other than mediocre for the 6T camera.

    parag008, chevalam, AcmE85 and 3 others like this.
  12. gloster
    Eclair Oct 22, 2018

    gloster , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Great insight, cant wait to see what the OP6T offers. #NeverSettle

    Adityasureka05 likes this.
  13. Baymax
    Starting Point Expert Oct 22, 2018

    Baymax , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Interesting read.
    Would be interested in seeing how it stacks up against the top smartphone cameras.

  14. Baymax
    Starting Point Expert Oct 22, 2018

    Baymax , Oct 22, 2018 :
    You'll find out.

    otto2, dalmia09, woSch and 1 other person like this.
  15. jaivaghela
    Ice Cream Sandwich Oct 22, 2018

    jaivaghela , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Oh was hoping to get some details on hardware, oh well, good read, hoping for good improvements.

  16. BobbyV8_
    The Showcase Reviewer Oct 22, 2018

    BobbyV8_ , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Rule for good photography is post processing. Most of the times fun is killed by the auto processing smartphones offer. RAW is my place to go to have fun. So I don't think post processing aka editing means the device is any less capable. But the filters are really killing creative side of photography.

    I'm excited to see how this goes ahead. Hope no poor results on initial phases as well.

  17. v0 HaVoK 0v
    Ice Cream Sandwich Oct 22, 2018

    v0 HaVoK 0v , Oct 22, 2018 :
    You do realize it's all software, and these improvements could be brought to the 6 also.. or any of your smartphones. So why is the 6 still taking so over processed photos. They come out like oil painting and you call that preserving fine details? Seriously fix your current phones also

  18. nadeemzangi
    Cupcake Oct 22, 2018

  19. Shivang Joshi
    Starting Point Expert Oct 22, 2018

    Shivang Joshi , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Yeap, hopefully soon.

    *in reality.

    Bouncer71, dalmia09, woSch and 2 others like this.
  20. nyzproof333
    KitKat Oct 22, 2018

    nyzproof333 , Oct 22, 2018 :
    Sellin that camera pretty hard there @Pete. Time to put up or shut up because this is becoming a broken record.