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OnePlus 2 Mobile Review: Excellent for still photos

By Paul Carroll - Friday January 22 2016

Mobile Review
DxOMark Mobile
76

Overview

Photo overview & highlights

With a DxOMark Mobile score of 76 points, the OnePlus 2 mobile offers solid camera performance. It’s particularly strong for still photography, achieving a mobile photo sub-score of 80, compared to 67 for video. Still photos capture good detail in all lighting conditions, together with low luminance noise on images shot in bright light.

Pictures taken outdoors also offer accurate white balance results, and in bright light, autofocus is fast and responsive. The OnePlus boasts an excellent flash unit, which scores 4.6 out of 5 for flash results thanks to good exposure, detail preservation, and color accuracy.

Good for landscape & architecture, but not for backlit scenes

Nice color, white balance and low noise results in bright-light pictures makes the OnePlus 2 a sound mobile option for landscape and architecture photos, as well as for natural-light portraits. In very bright light, however, images tend to be a little underexposed to retain some detail in the brightest areas, but other elements are also little too dark. Some pink/purple color fringing is also evident along contrast lines when shooting in bright light.

Tip: Landscape images shot in slightly cloudy conditions or external architecture shots in which the building fills most of the frame should yield the best exposure results from the OnePlus 2.

exposure

Images are generally well-exposed, with the exception of high dynamic range scenes where shots are slightly underexposed (center & right).

white_balance

Shooting in bright light outdoors, white balance is good (left), with a slight blue cast noticeable on high-dynamic-range scenes (right).

detail_outdoor

Crops at 100% show that a high level of detail is captured on outdoor scenes.

noise_sky

The good detail preservation results in a noticeable buildup of luminance noise in homogenous areas such as the sky.

fringing

Shooting high-dynamic-range scenes, heavy pink/purple color fringing is evident along contrast lines.

ringing

Some ringing is visible along contrast lines.

Indoor & low light: Photos with good detail, but lots of noise 

Under low-light conditions and shooting indoors, the OnePlus 2 boasts good overall exposure and achieves the same score of 83 out of 100 for exposure for both low- and bright-light results.

Detail and texture preservation are also a positive when shooting in low light with the OnePlus 2, but this comes at the price of a high noise buildup, which is particularly noticeable in homogenous areas. Shooting indoors under a tungsten light source, the mobile's white balance renders pictures yellow, however, with color shading evident as well.

tungsten_white_balance

Shooting under a 100 Lux tungsten light source, white balance renders a strong yellow cast and colors are oversaturated.

color_shading

Pink color shading in the center of the frame is visible on images shot under all lighting conditions, and particularly on those captured under tungsten light (left).

detail_low_light

100% crops shot under a 20 Lux light source show good detail recorded, but with noticeable luminance noise.

Tip: Shooting busy indoor scenes with lots of detail will lessen the visibility of noise, which looks worse in large homogenous areas. If color accuracy in low light is important, try using a daylight balance light source instead of tungsten.

Flash & autofocus

Flash performance on the OnePlus 2 is very commendable, with nice overall exposure, high detail/texture preservation, and good uniformity, thanks to the well-centered flash. We noted some white balance issues, such as a green tint when using just flash and a yellow cast when mixing flash with a tungsten light source, however. These color casts were minimal, however, and not overly offensive to most users, but if you need accurate color for portraits, mixing natural light, or a daylight balance artificial light source, with flash on the OnePlus 2 will produce the nicest results.

In Auto Mode, autofocus on the OnePlus 2 was both accurate and repeatable, producing sharp shots in most situations. In bright light, it was quick and responsive, too, and particularly so when set to the macro position. Where we had problems, however, was in trigger mode, where increased focus failures and overshoot were observed, rendering this mode less effective than the OnePlus 2’s Auto autofocus setting.

Video: Good exposure when lighting remains consistent

The OnePlus 2 captures nice video in bright-light conditions in which noise is low and panning or handheld stabilization is good enough.

But exposure adaptation when changing scenes is not smooth, and we observed some video autofocus errors with unnecessary refocusing during video recording, along with focusing overshoot.

In low light, the OnePlus 2’s video stabilization isn’t as successful as in bright light, either, with walking movement not adequately stabilized and some juddering effects due to the use of a low frame rate.

Tip: Avoid changing location and lighting during continuous video capture, as doing so brings out exposure adaption and walking stabilization errors. 

Photo

DxOMark Mobile Photo
80
Exposure and contrast
83
Color
77
Autofocus
73
Texture
83
Noise
82
Artifacts
81
Flash
90

Pros

- Accurate white balance when shooting outdoors.

- Very good detail with low luminance noise when shooting outdoors.

- Good detail preservation in low light.

- Fast and accurate autofocus in bright light with auto mode.

- Nice flash exposures with good detail preservation and color accuracy.

Cons

- Underexposed, with clipped shadows, especially in high-dynamic scenes.

- Strong yellow cast when shooting under tungsten light.

- Autofocus performance using trigger mode is not accurate.

- Visible color shading on images shot under low & bright lighting conditions.

- Visible color fringing and ringing.

Video

DxOMark Mobile Video
67
Exposure and contrast
79
Color
71
Autofocus
51
Texture
80
Noise
74
Artifacts
70
Stabilization
56

Pros

- Low noise on videos shot in bright light.

Cons

- Focusing failures with unnecessary overshoots.

- Color inconsistency visible in low-light and bright-light conditions.

- Jerky effect is very visible due to low frame rate used in low light.

- Exposure adaptation is not smooth.

- No roll correction, with visible image shaking in low-light videos.

- Visible pink cast on video captured under a tungsten light source.