Earlier this year, the OnePlus 7 was updated with a new 48MP sensor and a 5MP depth camera while the 7 Pro enjoyed a tri-cam setup. The new camera hardware on the 7T borrows two cameras from the 7 Pro, but the telephoto camera is a bit different. In addition, the 7T omits the laser autofocus that's present on the 7 Pro.
So the camera setup on the OP 7T now includes a 48MP Sony IMX586 main camera with f/1.6 aperture and 0.8µm pixels, a 16MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 lens and 117-degree field of view, and the 7T has a new 12MP f/2.2 telephoto camera (the 7 Pro has an 8MP f/2.4 one). It is worth keeping in mind that the 7T's telephoto camera has a 2X zoom field of view while the 7 Pro had a tighter 3X zoom.
Interestingly, OnePlus thought the focal length of the new sensor wasn't long enough to require OIS. To be fair, it does have a slightly brighter aperture (f/2.2 vs f.2.4) and higher resolution (12MP vs 8MP), but we'll be testing both telephoto cameras and see if we can spot any noticeable difference in image quality of zoomed photos and portrait shots.
On the topic of zoom, we didn't like the amount of distortion present on the ultra-wide (0.6X) camera back on the 7 Pro, particularly on the outer edges of the frame. Throughout the camera section, we'll be comparing the 7T's camera to the 7 Pro's, which is running the last Oxygen OS 9.5 build just before the Android 10 update. We'll be looking out to see if the wide camera lens was updated at all.
The UI remains mostly unchanged from the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. With Oxygen OS on Android 10, there are a few new shooting features previously unavailable. With Android 10 on the 7T, the OnePlus camera now allows you to take portrait photos with either the 1X or 2X camera.
Meanwhile, Nightscape is now allowed on the ultra-wide camera. There is also a new Super Macro shooting mode that uses the ultra-wide camera to get really close to a small subject.
To clarify, our 7T is running a reviewer's build of Android 10 and a day-one update for the handset will enable 960fps slow-motion for the main camera and 4K @ 30fps video capture with the ultra-wide. At the time of writing the review, these camera modes were unavailable to test so we'll be updating the camera section with those findings.
Looking at the daylight images of the OnePlus 7T, the images from the main 48MP camera are generally good. Pictures have good color reproduction and there is a decent attempt at capturing all the dynamic range in the image.
However, looking closely at the images, we were left a bit unimpressed with the level of detail on offer here. The images are obviously only 12MP by default, as is the nature of the Quad-Bayer arrangement (although a native 48MP option can be found in Pro mode). At this resolution, the detail in general isn't expected to be revelatory but we still think OnePlus has a somewhat heavy-handed approach to noise reduction.
Another issue we see with the images is a smearing of fine texture, which gives the images that watercolor painting look when seen up close. This is most easily seen when colors change in a gradient, such as soft shadow transitions, where we see noticeable banding. As we have seen with previous devices, OnePlus also likes to compress its images more heavily, so there's not a lot of bits going around to hold all that information.
Compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro (and subsequently the OnePlus 7), we see not a lot has changed between the two. In fact, we didn't really spot any differences in image quality between the two phones. The hardware is identical so we weren't really expecting to see any changes and we didn't find any.
Moving on to the 12MP 2x telephoto lens, once again we see the image looks perfectly fine at first glance, with good colors and dynamic range. The images don't always match the main camera in terms of colors and even dynamic range could change depending upon the camera choosing to enable HDR for that particular field of view but in most cases the images look quite comparable to the main 48MP camera.
Looking at the images up close once again reveals some minor issues. The images from the 2x telephoto camera has aliasing and interpolation artifacts. It's likely that OnePlus is once again upsampling images from a slightly lower resolution sensor as it has done in the past. This means the images don't necessarily have a ton more detail in them than what you could have achieved by simple cropping a bit from the center portion of the main 48MP sensor, as OnePlus did on the OnePlus 7.
In comparison, the 3x telephoto lens on the OnePlus 7 Pro has a clear advantage. It's a more usable lens because it has greater reach, something one looks for in a telephoto lens, and it also has better details and less aliasing when looked up close.
Finally, we have the ultra-wide-angle lens, which again is seemingly identical to its ultra-wide counterpart on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
It's not the best camera for image quality; details are lacking, there's a lot of noise in the shadows even in daylight images and there's the obvious distortion around the edges. But with an ultra-wide-angle lens we are mostly looking for a greater field of view while having reasonable image quality that at least matches the main camera in terms of colors, contrast and dynamic range and the ultra-wide camera on the OnePlus 7T achieves that.
Compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro, there's not much to separate the two cameras since they are identical. Perhaps the only thing worth considering is the slight difference between telephoto cameras. Otherwise, you can expect similar quality.
Let's start with the main 48MP camera again. Like the daylight images, low light images from the main camera on the OnePlus 7T are good, if not exceptional. The details are understandably soft and you can tell that the noise reduction algorithm is working overtime. The previous caveat of overly compressed files applies here as well.
However, the images are still very well exposed and have good overall dynamic range. Most importantly, the color rendition even in low light is very good and images don't automatically look washed out or bland when shooting pictures indoors. This means unless you go pixel peeping, the images in low light look really good.
The Nightscape feature does help in really low lighting conditions. It can detect if you're hand holding the device or if it's on a tripod and adjusts the time it takes to capture the shot accordingly. We think Huawei, Google and Apple do a slightly better job of turning pitch darkness into a reasonably good quality image than OnePlus.
Where we think Nightscape is more comparable is in more realistic low light scenarios, such as with indoor lighting or shots of a lit street. Here, Nightscape works really well, bringing up the overall exposure and also controlling the dynamic range better. Images shot with Nightscape generally look better than those shot without, so we would recommend using it even if it's not too dark.
Of course, the details are largely lost when using Nightscape. The camera is stacking multiple long shutter speed shots and because the process isn't perfect, the images are slightly blurred to hide motion artifacts. So, even though the images look great when you look at them zoomed out, it's best if you don't look too closely at them.
The ultra-wide-angle camera also gets Nightscape on the OnePlus 7T. The feature helps improve the exposure, color and dynamic range of images shot in low light with this lens. This is a great addition, as without it, images shot with the ultra-wide camera in low light are just not good enough, even for viewing on the phone's display. Nightscape, however, turns these largely unusable images to something we wouldn't mind sharing with others at all.
Unfortunately, the 2x telephoto camera has no such luck. The camera isn't completely useless, especially if you have strong artificial lighting around but when it starts to get really dark, the images turn out to be soft, blurry and generally just not worth the effort.
In comparison, the 3x telephoto camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro generally does better with detail and stability, thanks to the OIS. It's not particularly great, either, but is definitely a lot more usable than the OnePlus 7T telephoto.
You can head off to our photo compare tool to do some more pixel peeping and compare the OnePlus 7T performance to every other smartphone we've tested.
And here's how it fares in the 48MP competition.
The OnePlus 7T is capable of shooting portrait images using both the 48MP wide-angle and the 12MP telephoto camera.
Portrait images shot with the main camera look decent, if a bit unnatural due to the combination of wide field of view and strong background blur. The edge detection is not perfect but was quite good in many of the shots we took and tolerably bad in others. There were no glaring issues with it with our subjects but your mileage will vary.
The telephoto portrait images generally have better composition and a more flattering looking subject due to background compression and less distortion. The OnePlus 7T telephoto camera does well here and soft details may likely be seen as an advantage by your subjects. Edge detection here again was passable by our standards.
The OnePlus 7T has the same front camera as the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro (minus the pop-up mechanism). So once again, the image quality on offer here is similar.
The images from the front camera in daylight are a bit soft compared to most other phones but have enough detail. The color rendition is also decent and skin tones look mostly accurate. The HDR works to keep the dynamic range in the background in check but we did notice some harsh highlight transitions on our faces. Overall, a pretty good selfie experience.
You can also use the portrait mode with the front camera, which actually worked quite well despite not having a dedicated depth sensor or dual-pixel sensor. The AI-driven subject isolation in our test shots seemed to work quite well subjects.
Super Macro is a new addition to the OnePlus 7T's camera. It uses the ultra-wide camera to focus really close on small subjects. You can switch between three zoom levels while in Super Macro mode, but keep in mind that these only crop on the same camera and don't actually switch to any of the other cameras.
Super Macro suggests a distance of between 2.5cm to 8cm from the subject, letting you get right up in there.
Something we learned about the ultra-wide camera is that it has autofocus in the first place! We also learned that this camera's autofocus is not very accurate and is slow to react, especially when trying to shoot flowers gently moving in the breeze. Since the Super Macro mode uses the ultra-wide camera exclusively, it was sometimes difficult to focus on the correct part of the small subject.
We shot most of the images in the 1X zoom setting and the results were quite good. Details are nice and crisp when in proper focus with vibrant colors and the natural bokeh of the camera adds a nice amount of drama. Shooting macro in the widest 0.6X mode will yield the best details.
Shooting Super Macro photos will have an overall clearer image if you shoot just a little further away from the subject. Getting closer to the 2.5cm limit will shorten the focal range, thus making it more difficult to get the whole subject in focus - depending on what that is, of course.
The OnePlus 7T Pro is capable of recording 4K video in 30 and 60fps on the main 48MP wide sensor. It can also record 4K 30 video on the 2x telephoto but only 1080p 30 on the ultra-wide camera. There are also a variety of slow motion modes, including a new 960fps Super Slow motion feature.
Starting with the 4K 30 quality, we see good color and detail reproduction with relatively smooth motion. The weather made it difficult to judge the dynamic range but based on last generation OnePlus phones we would assume it would be fine as well.
The 1080p 30 video quality from the main camera is also impressive. The level of detail available is not bad for this resolution. If you don't need the highest resolution, you can easily shoot in 1080p instead of 4K and don't miss out much in terms of quality.
The 2x telephoto can also record videos in 4K 30. Unfortunately, the 4K videos look mostly like upscaled 1080p videos as the level of detail available here is quite unimpressive for a 4K video. You likely won't see much difference if you just drop down to 1080p on this lens.
The 1080p video from the ultra-wide camera is a bit soft. However, you get good color accuracy that matches the main camera, not to mention the wider field of view.
And time for some pixel peeping for videos.