The Story Behind Nightscape

  1. Gary C.
    OxygenOS Operations Staff Member Nov 6, 2018

    Gary C. , Nov 6, 2018 :
    The OnePlus camera has been a popular point of discussion among the community ever since the first generation of OnePlus phones. We get lots of feedback from you in this area and work hard to make your experience better. Today, we’d like to talk more about a mode we introduced recently: Nightscape.

    Taking good photos at night has always been a challenge for the average photographer, particularly on a mobile device. For a long time, we deliberated how to best improve the night scene capability of our devices. We shared your frustration as fellow users. As a result, we’ve never stopped thinking: How can we optimize the experience of night scene shooting?

    Why is it so hard to shoot at night?

    Cluttered lights, complex environments and insufficient exposure etc. influence the photos taken by a mobile phone. Nine out of ten photos taken at night are unclear. What are good night photos? Everyone has their own definition. We prefer pure night shots with depth and cleanliness. Many users are fond of gorgeous lighting, so we try our best to keep as many details and colors as possible. In a nutshell, a pure and real night scene is what we pursue.

    Because a major issue with photos taken at night is clarity, we decide to optimize the user’s experience in two ways. One is to adjust the appropriate exposure time automatically, so that shaking can be avoided. The other is to optimize the anti-shake algorithm to reduce the impact of shaking on the final photo. Our team has continuously worked with these two areas in mind.

    How do we verify the results of our efforts?

    It’s a long process. To test the effect, our team can only take photos at night. How to pick the location? This is a question we think carefully about. To ensure the shooting location is proper, we pick scenarios that users are most likely to encounter when taking photos at night. The camera team often goes to Taipei 101 to find good views, according to the team leader.

    Once, we picked the rooftop of a residential building for our testing site. Overcoming some difficulties, we arrived at the destination. The conditions were very much in line with our expectations, so all of us were very glad. Then the security guards came and drove us away. Fortunately, we were able to capture some night scenes before we left.


    Taking the photo is just the first step. After taking the sample photos, we have to adjust parameters, optimize algorithms and record the problem. It may be early morning by the time the whole process is finished. And there are countless days like this.

    Some people think that the key to great night photography is making the dark night bright. However, we believe that such test-oriented needs are not the real needs of users. Just imagine - when do you use your phone to take pictures? It may be with a shining light, or it may be a moment of light and shadow. All this is beauty that you don’t want to miss. So we think a lot about what real scenes users may want to take at night.

    In other words, this is the idea of the OnePlus camera - to record, to share.

    In fact, one of the biggest challenges to launching the Nightscape mode is how to help users understand this mode. Nightscape is not designed to shoot all night scenes. In order to address insufficient illumination, we adopted a method of lengthening exposure time that makes it hard to capture quickly moving objects well. It was a difficult decision, but we finally agreed that we needed to provide a better experience for users. Applied properly, we believe Nightscape will ultimately benefit everyone’s night photo-taking experience.

    We hope all OnePlus fans can confidently record everything. We are committed to sharing advanced technology with users, but technology is not the goal. Life itself is the target. Everybody, please enjoy every moment.

    Finally, here is a small bonus - some of our dedicated camera team:


    Never Settle.

  2. palc
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 9, 2018

    roksrocky, Lues and Prayag Halgi like this.
  3. Cheetosdust
    Starting Point Expert Nov 9, 2018

    Cheetosdust , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Thanks for the story about Nightscape, @Gary C.

    For me it's not about what the feature can do now, but how I hope it will evolve over time.:cool:

    Never Settle for closing hours, apparently :p

    jlasensiofi, Lues, Hansota and 11 others like this.
  4. luxuskamel
    Lollipop Nov 9, 2018

    luxuskamel , Nov 9, 2018 :
    I'm not sure if nightscape will - ultimately - redefine the quality of low light shots... There's mixed feedback about it

    Thanks to you and the camera team, greetings to all!

  5. youbi
    Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Nov 9, 2018

    youbi , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Always nice seeing the faces behind the work being done. :)

    To be honest I haven't had time to test it since it arrived on my op6 (rainy days lately kind of ruin the fun of taking pics at nigh :p ), but will try to test it.

    Also congrats on the name pick, its a great way to show people exactly what is meant to capture, is for Landscapes pics at night, and not to try and catch a pic of your cat while he is moving around at night on the backyard. :p :D

    Hope to see this feature getting constant updates and getting better and better. The truth is that just like Google is showing, the software part of taking great pics is becoming more important than ever. ;)

  6. Mukund760
    Honeycomb Nov 9, 2018

    MarcioReis87 and Wahoux like this.
  7. BobbyV8_
    The Showcase Reviewer Nov 9, 2018

    BobbyV8_ , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Nice efforts @Gary C., can you tell me if the whole process is focused on software optimisations and how far have you relied on hardware for this to happen?

    All I could see in your explanation is the focus on Algorithms to determine Exposure times.

    buntycubal, Shivang Joshi and SJBoss like this.
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 9, 2018

    YASHPLUSONE , Nov 9, 2018 :
    nice read! enough to shut many redundant camera threads regarding nightscape [e]1f609[/e]
    btw what steps do you plan to take in order to remove those moving ghostly images during longer exposure?

  9. the_o2
    User of the Year 2018 Nov 9, 2018

    the_o2 , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Wow, nice and thriller story, lots of effort need to do something software related but people never know or appreciate it :smirk:
    Hope the water was not much chilled ;);)

    Please don't tell me it is a unedited image shot on OP6T
    What was the editing software had used :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    buntycubal and otto2 like this.
  10. Y1537540350852
    Gingerbread Nov 9, 2018

    Y1537540350852 , Nov 9, 2018 :
    yeah...nightscape is a hot topic...since pictures are coming blurry and noisy....and updates has made default camera processing pathetic.USING GCAM TO GET DECENT SHOT.

  11. Rachitpanday
    Cupcake Nov 9, 2018

    Rachitpanday , Nov 9, 2018 :
    loving my new one plus 6t and its new features... night scape is an amazing new feature for photography.

  12. D1539624240601
    Donut Nov 9, 2018

    D1539624240601 , Nov 9, 2018 :
    will this update make image optimisation better ? As some photo lacks sharpness and clarity in low light condition.

  13. gaster
    Lollipop Moderator Nov 9, 2018

    gaster , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Thanks for the Nightscape story Gary. For me the fact that I am seeing you guys working and trying to improve the camera performance, is really a positive detail that makes me think for a better camera future in OnePlus devices. I hope you can support and work on even previous OnePlus devices. If it's all about the camera software, it means it can always reach a satisfied level. Keep up the good work guys!

    jlasensiofi, buntycubal and otto2 like this.
  14. Plenkske
    Dutch POC Assistant Head Moderator Nov 9, 2018

    Plenkske , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Totally agree with all the points you raise, nice story ! And great team effort.

    jlasensiofi and otto2 like this.
  15. 4sheesh
    Honeycomb Nov 9, 2018

  16. MKT_IRFAN3735
    Jelly Bean Nov 9, 2018

  17. woSch
    Marshmallow Nov 9, 2018

    woSch , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Thank you for this Story and key-info! For me as an 'old school' Photo-Enthusiast the best automatic is that one i can switch off, useful only if i can understand how it's working, this knowledge is essential in Photography :)

    On the other Hand i can understand the need of such an algorithm for all the 'non Photo-Enthusiasts' to get an 'appealing picture out of the box' :)

    Waving 'hallo' to the Team :)
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

  18. NoInspiration
    Honeycomb Nov 9, 2018

    otto2 likes this.
  19. otto2
    Lollipop Nov 9, 2018

    otto2 , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Good Story, but unfortunately the Software is not finished, oil painting reappeared, ghosting appeared, Lack of details with night mode. Tested it a lot on my last trip, no night mode picture was released in the travel thread due to Lack of quality. Was able to shoot way better pictures with my OP 6 in automode, no flash, freehand. Maybe you should call it a function in beta Status before releasing it?

    asdeepak, NateDev, jimmmysil and 7 others like this.
  20. otto2
    Lollipop Nov 9, 2018

    otto2 , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Checking your sample picture: The water looks static like a big black glass plate. Lots af artefacts at the buildings, colours oversaturated, I won t call this a "realistic" picture.