OnePlus 6 Camera Review

OnePlus 6 Camera Review with Sample Images

In this article, I will be reviewing the OnePlus 6 rear-facing camera, analyzing sample images, including high ISO test pictures, inspect image noise, color reproduction, HDR efficiency, image sharpness, and other aspects related to image quality. This is part one of the review, I will share more insights soon, including testing of the autofocus performance. In this part of the review I will focus on the image quality aspect. So how good the OnePlus 6 main camera is? Is it that good as everyone say it is? Well, I made up my own tests to see for myself if it’s any good or not.

Here is a sample image I shot using the OnePlus 6 rear-facing camera. The image was shoot indoors towards the outdoor area. the focus area was on the trees behind the bars.

OnePlus 6 sample image
OnePlus 6 sample image. The focus is on the trees behind the bars, marked with a red rectangle.

Image information: 25mm (in 35mm) focal length, 1/100 sec shutter speed, f/1.7 aperture, ISO 200, Average metering, 4608×2176 pixel image size.

I’ve tested the sharpness in different lighting conditions and the results were overall very good. The OnePlus 6 main camera resolved detailed very well, making even a complex scene like this appear clear, especially around the tree areas.

There was a bit of noise in shadow areas and slight on mid-tones, but overall nothing to complain about.

The color reproduction of the OnePlus 6 is excellent. I assessed the color both using sRGB settings in ‘Screen calibration’ of the OP6 and on two other screens. The scene appears very slightly more saturated (mostly with the green color), but again, very slightly. Overall when I took the image, the scene colors of the scene in front of me resembles what I saw with my own eyes.

The next OnePlus 6 test image was shot indoors with artificial lighting in the ceiling turned on and natural light coming out from the window.

OnePlus 6 macro sample image
Close up sample image taken with the OnePlus 6 indoors.

Image information: 25mm (35mm equivalent), 1/20 sec shutter speed, f/1.7 aperture, ISO 650 sensitivity, Average metering, 4608×2176 pixel image size.

The OnePlus 6 did an excellent job with the white balance. The grey color reproduction was spot on. The image appears so natural and realistic because of the high dynamic range, great color reproduction, and good sharpness. This is an untouched sample image, like all the others of course—I’m really impressed I have to tell you.

The optics are good but not that good that they can resolve the resolution of the sensor.

According to the official specs, the rear camera (not the second one) is a 16MP, featuring a f/1.7 25mm (equiv.) lens with OIS, and a 1/2.6-inch sensor with 1.22-micron pixels.

The OIS works well and helps maintain stable and sharp images as a result.

OnePlus 6 HDR image
A OnePlus 6 HDR image (resized image)

On the negative side, the camera seems to favor slower shutter speed over higher ISO sensitivity, leading to moving subjects to appear smeared in the image. I don’t know if it’s because HDR was active for those particular images and I haven’t done a lot of testing to find the reason for that.  The camera also has a tendency to overexpose in bright areas, although HDR does tone it in high-contrast scenes and help produce a more even image, bringing up the details in the shadows.

Overall I am pleased with the HDR implementation with this camera. If you look at the image on the right, on my iPhone 5S the sky appeared very bright, mostly white, but here they sky appear blue.  Some HDR processing makes images appear unnatural, but this isn’t the case here. The OnePlus 6 HDR images look very natural. HDR is such a useful feature, especially when shooting in non-optimal lighting conditions.

I also enjoyed shooting macro pictures, especially considering the fantastic “Portrait” mode that creates a beautiful shallow depth of field (DoF) effect which is much more prominent compared to had you shot that same scene without it.

Macro shot, OnePlus 6 sample image
Macro shot, OnePlus 6 sample image (image resized, other than that, untouched)

Image information: 25mm (35mm equiv.) 1/12 sec shutter speed, f/1.7 aperture, ISO 4000, Average metering.

The image that you see above with the Korean Won bills was shot indoors in low lighting conditions.  Look how smooth and beautiful the Bokeh is.

Now I want you to look at something even more incredible. That image that you see above was shot with ISO 4000, yes, not ISO 400, ISO 4000! If you don’t believe me, take a look at the metadata, here.

ISO 4000 metadata OnePlus 6
ISO 4000 metadata OnePlus 6

Yes, you are looking at an image that was shot at ISO 4000

– WHERE THE HELL IS THE NOISE?!

I can assume that maybe the OnePlus 6 running multi-shot noise reduction of some sort, but I couldn’t find anything about it on Google. That macro low-light shot is amazingly clean.

ISO 800 image, OnePlus 6
ISO 800 image, OnePlus 6

I shot another indoor shot at ISO 800 with a lot of dark areas and that image was also surprisingly clean. The dynamic range was second-to-none. Here, take a look at the full-resolution image on the right side (80% quality of the original, but other than that, untouched).

Seriously, these are incredible results even in DSLR terms. No doubt that the fast f/1.7 aperture helps here, but I just can’t imagine the sensor being able to deliver such incredible results. The thing is that I’ve noticed slight noise in the outdoor image at ISO 200, so for me, this means that there might be some multi-layered noise reduction happening here, I mean, how else can you explain that performance.

It’s not that it’s completely clean, there is some luminance noise in the left wall and obviously, noise is visible, but whatever noise reduction systems work here, it does an excellent job making the image look clean with plenty of details. Keep in mind also that the focus in this image wasn’t on the walls but on the outside area, so this is why it appears blurry and out-of-focus.

OnePlus 6 sample image of objects
Look at how natural the scene look, so 3D, like you are viewing the real scene with your own eyes!

Image information: 25mm (35m equiv.), 1/35 sec, f/1.7 aperture, ISO 1000.

Summary

This was an in-depth initial analysis of the OnePlus 6 rear-camera image quality. I tried to focus on the small details than just go to a beautiful place and show you amazing looking photos. The goal was to analyze the image quality carefully.

As you can see, the OnePlus 6 rear camera produces DSLR-class image results. This is the type of image quality I expect from an APS-C sensor, not a 1/2.6″ one.

The color reproduction, dynamic range, low noise, sharpness, image stabilization, white balance, HDR – everything is combined so beautifully together and result in stunning images. The image quality of the OnePlus 6 camera is nothing but spectacular. I do want to know how OnePlus was able to pull out such fantastic results, but at the end of the day, I don’t really care, what I care is that this camera can deliver.

If you have any doubts about the image quality of the OnePlus 6 camera, those should be gone, long gone by now.

If you like my camera reviews and want to see more of those, please share this OnePlus 6 camera review. Thanks.

P.S. I will take many more images and videos and share them with you on my blog, so stay tuned – and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as well.