The OnePlus 7 Pro marks the brand's first major change to the camera setup since the OnePlus 5 when it first introduced a dual camera setup. Since then, every camera has offered a similar setup: 16MP main camera and a 20MP telephoto one. With every phone, there have been incremental improvements and we did enjoy the camera quality of the 6T.
The biggest changes are the addition of an ultra-wide angle camera and a telephoto one complete with OIS. The main camera is now 48MP. The 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor has 0.8µm individual pixels which net to 1.6µm sized pixels when you account for the 4-to-1 pixel binning. A slightly brighter f/1.6 aperture lens, OIS, and the larger sensor should all contribute to much better low-light photos. This camera uses a combination of laser-assisted autofocus and phase detection autofocus.
On the OnePlus 6T, the 20 MP secondary camera was nothing more than a glorified depth sensor. The telephoto camera on the 7 Pro is the real deal now and even though it's just 8MP, it offers 3x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Its aperture is F/2.4.
The ultra-wide camera is a 16MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture lens that offers a 117-degree field of view. The ultra-wide camera is the only one that isn't optically stabilized but still does offer autofocus.
Where the competition has a leg up on this camera setup is a couple of things: dual pixel autofocus is significantly quicker and more accurate than phase-detection and here there's no dedicated depth sensor like the ToF camera appearing on a bunch of flagships over the past several months.
The camera app interface remains mostly unchanged from the OnePlus 6T's. HDR mode is set to come on automatically by default and it works very well as you can see the expanded dynamic range in the viewfinder before you've even taken the photo.
You can swipe left or right to switch between camera modes and you can swipe from the lower cluster towards the top of the phone to see all the available modes. You can add more camera modes to the carousel in the settings.
OnePlus has a new Ultrashot feature that takes advantage of the full 48MP resolution of the main camera. Unfortunately, the feature wasn't ready before launch, but we do expect it to make an appearance in an upcoming firmware update. We'll update this section when we have a chance to test it out.
You can still shoot with the camera's full resolution, but you must do so in the Pro mode UI, which also supports shooting in RAW.
The UI can tell you when it thinks you should use a different shooting mode. For example, when shooting buildings or wide scenery, the camera can suggest that you switch to the ultra-wide angle camera. The other case we noticed was a suggestion to enable the Nightscape mode when we were shooting out at night.
OnePlus took a different approach than other manufacturers when it comes to the shooting resolution. There is no way to change the resolution of your photos, and that's okay. Huawei's cameras, for instance, offer an option to take full resolution photos, but the result is softer images with much larger file sizes. This keeps the 48MP camera to be used as intended - by producing a 12MP final image from the available 48MP of the sensor.
The image quality is very similar to the 6T's: exposure and dynamic range are quite good, and colors are not too saturated and nicely represented. The OnePlus 7 Pro is able to bring out slightly more details from the shadows, despite the image's lower final resolution, and it does this particularly well in daylight shots.
The Galaxy S10+ does slightly better in dynamic range and its colors are slightly more vibrant than the OnePlus 7 Pro's. Meanwhile, the P30 Pro produced slightly duller colors and the post-processing sharpness is noticeable, particularly when shooting foliage.
In daylight, these cameras performed very well and the average person likely won't be able to spot a difference between cameras.
The ultra-wide angle camera, on the other hand, is certainly behind the competition. Colors are noticeably muted compared to the main camera's, but the image quality just isn't as good.
Although the competitors do have some lens distortion towards the sides of the ultra-wide frame, the OnePlus 7 Pro's is pretty severe. It gets to a point where you can see the separation of the colors, which looks like a multi-colored blur.
The telephoto camera worked fairly well. The added OIS helps to keep images clear and resolved details aren't the best, but still above average for a zoom. While the 48MP main camera did a great job of eliminating noise, the 8MP zoom camera shows a considerable amount of it; You can only really tell when pixel-peeking, of course.
Colors were significantly better than the ultra-wide's, and more in line with what we saw with the main camera. Otherwise, the dynamic range seems to be good as well.
HDR is set to automatically trigger and this means it's almost always on.
We found that using HDR makes photos look generally better, particularly in scenarios when with bright sky background or drastically different exposures. Using it will add that extra "oomph" of bold and dramatic tones. We do think the tonal balance could use a little tweaking, and this is something that could potentially be addressed with a future software update.
We noticed that HDR helped the apparent noise in some of the telephoto shots. Images come out with the same amount of detail with noise that's been smoothed out thanks to the image stacking nature of HDR processing.
HDR won't help the telephoto camera indoors or in lower-lit situations as it just made the noise worse in the bookstore shot.
And when you are done with the real-world sample shots, try some pixel peeping in this comparison below.
And here are the 48MP samples.
We were quite surprised at how well the OnePlus 7 Pro took portraits. When activating the shooting mode, it uses the 3X zoom camera so you do need to keep a considerable distance from your subject. The camera app recommends between 0.5 to 2 meters away (between 1.5 to 6.5 feet).
Perhaps due to the increased distance needed to frame with the telephoto camera, the subject separation of the bokeh effect is quite impressive. It still has imperfections, yeah, particularly in hair, which is difficult to separate from a background, but the line is blended well around our subject.
The 48MP sensor allows the camera to capture more light, which should translate to better low-light performance and improved details, particularly in the shadows.
Even in automatic, the OnePlus7 Pro took decent low-light photos. HDR doesn't help much in this situation; It can only slightly boost shadows and sometimes it ends up suppressing highlights.
Nightscape mode stacks more images to combine exposures into a single, clear night shot with lots more details and more dynamic range.
Here are some Night Mode shots taken with the Pixel 3a XL for comparison.
Based off these shots with the 3a XL, you can tell which shooting mode is superior. The Pixel 3a produced better lighting, more vibrant colors, and better details than the 7 Pro could. Still, that's not to say the 7 Pro did a terrible job.
Nightscape was able to pull more details out of the scene while also sharpening the overall image compared to taking a regular photo. Although the OnePlus 7 Pro has this capability to shoot in demanding lighting situations, there are other smartphones that can do this better. We hope OnePlus can tweak the software to improve the feature over time.
The selfie camera sees a minor improvement over the OnePlus 6T's, which often took dull-looking selfies in most lighting conditions. There's a 16MP camera sensor embedded in the pop-up mechanism that hides away when the camera isn't in use.
Although the selfie shooter uses identical hardware, this issue is apparently gone with the 7 Pro's selfie camera. Even when trying to shoot a selfie with a restless arm, selfies are sharp enough with plenty of resolved details in the right lighting.
Dynamic range is generally good and HDR does a great job of balancing tones and exposures when taking selfies out in bright conditions or in direct sunlight.
Unlike the main camera, HDR on the selfie camera can only sometimes be useful. In lower light situations, it appears to create more noise than it can reduce - like in our guy's selfie at the bookstore. The selfie camera is also fixed focus, so you need to make sure your face is the correct distance from the camera. Anything closer than half an arm's length is too close and your beautiful face won't be in focus.
When you enable Portrait mode, HDR is no longer an option for selfies, but the resulting photos look quite good. There's also a beauty mode, which comes with three levels of beautification.
The artificial bokeh is not bad and the subject separation is pretty good. There are some defects, but the 7 Pro does a good job of blending them so they aren't too noticeable.
The video camera supports up to 4K video at 60 fps, 1080p at up to 240 fps, and 720p at up to 480 fps. That's, of course, if you are using the main camera. The telephoto can also record at 1080 or 2160p at 30 and 60fps but unfortunately for some reason, the OnePlus 7 Pro isn't able to shoot videos using its ultra wide-angle lens.
Luckily, the quality of the 4K recording is pretty impressive. Detail is good, colors look mature - not over the top - and there's no noise at all. The dynamic range is pretty nice too - highlights are well-preserved but there's some loss of detail in the shadows. We've noticed some additional sharpening but only after a good few minutes staring into the screen.
In 1080p mode, things don't change much. Of course, there's a noticeable loss of detail but the overall processing is pretty much the same. However, the sharpening effect is more prominent although, we can say it's beneficial in this regard. It's hard to notice, it's not over the top and helps with the overall video quality.
Shooting with the telephoto lens isn't as impressive. Due to the obvious disadvantage of the smaller sensor, OnePlus had to resort to some processing. Oversharpening is quite prominent as you can see from the moving tree and some of the cars look odd too. After all, that's what you can get from an 8MP camera.
And here's how it stacks against the competition in a more controlled environment.