OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro review: The makings of a flagship smartphone killer

By Liu Hongzuo - 28 Jun 2020

Camera & Imaging Performance

Cameras and Imaging Performance

The camera system on the OnePlus 8.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro is their camera systems, with the former touting triple rear cameras, and the latter with a total of four rear cameras.

OnePlus 8 camera systems compared
OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Pro
  • Sony IMX586 sensor powering a 48-megapixel main camera, offering 0.8µm pixel size, and a six-piece lens element with f/1.75 aperture.
  • A 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 116-degrees field of view.
  • A 2-megapixel macro camera with a pixel size of 1.75µm.
  • Sony IMX689 sensor powering a 48-megapixel main camera with 4-in-1 pixel-binning techniques (2.24µm total pixel size at 12-megapixels, 1.12µm per pixel), and a seven-piece lens element with f/1.78 aperture.
  • 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle with 120-degree field of view.
  • An 8-megapixel telephoto lens with OIS that supports 3x hybrid zoom and up to 30x digital zoom.
  • A 5-megapixel colour filter lens for monochrome stills. 

The camera system on the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Cutting to the chase - the OnePlus 8 main camera sensor is the same as the secondary rear camera on the Oppo Find X2 Pro, while the OnePlus 8 Pro's main camera is the same as Find X2 Pro's primary rear shooter. Both phones have electronic and optical image stabilisation built into the primary shooter. Given how both phones tout flagship-tier sensors, we've come to expect decent imaging quality on the OnePlus 8 series. Software optimisation plays a huge role in delivering ideal shots, which is why we've sample photos for comparison nonetheless.

The Circuit Breaker measures in the last couple of months meant that we did not have access to our controller indoor lab chart, which is situated within the testing studio in the office. To improvise, we've decided to bring both phones outdoors while abiding by the containment measures. Photos taken are shot on default settings, with any adjustments made only to ensure we're using the correct lens for each photo.

OnePlus 8 main camera.

100% crop of above image.

OnePlus 8 Pro, main camera.

100% crop of above image.

Starting with the "temporary lab chart" above, we're looking at photos from the main cameras shot at the nearest provision store under an overcast sky. It's evident that both OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are both very capable at photo-taking, but they do have their quirks. The OnePlus 8 prefers vibrancy at the expense of some detailing, while the OnePlus 8 Pro can bring out outlines at the cost of contrast. Both are high quality, no doubt, with the OnePlus 8 Pro coming out better at overall imaging performance and better colour neutrality. Below is another pair of main camera sample photos for comparison.

OnePlus 8 main camera.

OnePlus 8 Pro main camera.

While the colourisation on the OnePlus 8's main camera is more favourable, the OnePlus 8 Pro can capture the details that the OnePlus 8 overlooks.  Images feel 'less flat' when taken via the OnePlus 8 Pro.

The OnePlus 8 series both have dedicated ultra-wide-angle cameras on the rear with differing resolution capabilities, and they both have differing zoom features (10x digital zoom on the OnePlus 8, 3x hybrid zoom and 30x digital zoom on the OnePlus 8 Pro), so we decided to try them out as well.

0x zoom. Main camera shot (OnePlus 8 Pro) for control and comparison.

Ultra-wide-angle camera, OnePlus 8.

Ultra-wide-angle, OnePlus 8 Pro.

10x digital zoom, OnePlus 8.

30x digital zoom, OnePlus 8 Pro.

The built-in "Super Macro" Mode, OnePlus 8. It triggers the built-in 2MP macro camera, which was hard to control.

The built-in "Super Macro" Mode, OnePlus 8 Pro. While the Pro lacks a macro camera, EXIF image data helped point that the 48MP ultrawide angle camera was used for the shot and results show up nicely too.

It's rather clear which of the two phone models was the favourite child when judging by the secondary cameras' imaging performance, especially when you toggle on "Super Macro" mode. We must say that both the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro certainly have decent imaging quality via their main shooter, just enough to be lower-priced flagship devices. However, it's the OnePlus 8 Pro that does the better job overall - from detail reproduction to the handling of the device while shooting, making it the more versatile photo taker between the two. 

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