OnePlus 5’s 2x Zoom Isn’t As Optical As Promised

By Monica U Santos , Jun 23, 2017 07:31 AM EDT

The previous marketing strategy of OnePlus 5 guaranteed users more than the engineering team delivered. In fact, the company is pushing the dual-camera setup on its OnePlus 5 harder than anything else. Things about the new sensor and early results of the camera lens are promising. However, there is one thing the Chinese smartphone maker hasn’t been too clear about, and that is the “optical zoom” that features extra lens.

Samsung's Galaxy S8, Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and ASUS' ZenFone 3 Zoom have the same dual-camera features like on the OnePlus 5. All the cameras consist of at least one standard lens and a telephoto lens that gives the smartphone to zoom in compared to other standard lenses. This also enables a form of optical zoom without losing high quality, 9to5Google explained. OnePlus previously claimed on its official website that 2.0x “lossless” zoom, but co-founder Carl Pei revealed that this isn’t quite the case.

According to GSM Arena, the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 offers 1.6x optical zoom while the digital zoom makes up the remaining 0.4x in order to reach the claimed 2x. This digital zoom ability is called as the SmartCapture multi-frame technology. So, instead of zooming in the camera up to 2.0x using the telephoto lens, OnePlus uses a bit of digital zoom to perform that number.

This news is really disappointing, especially to OnePlus 5 fans. However, it does demonstrate the quality difference between two camera sensors found in a single smartphone. It would be nicer if OnePlus comes up with the option of using only the 1.6x optical zoom in its newest flagship mobile device. In addition to that, the EXIF info that Pei shows said that the wide-angle and telephoto lenses have focal lengths of 24mm and 36mm, respectively, which would make the zoom of up to 1.5x. If this information is true, the actual focal length of the tele lens of the OnePlus 5 is 38.4mm.


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