The OnePlus 9 Pro promised big things with its camera. The company worked with Sony to develop the new 48MP Sony IMX789 camera, which is 1/1.43” sensor giving the phone a competitive edge against the recently launched OPPO Find X3 Pro, which uses the 50MP 1/1.56″ Sony IMX 766 for both the main and ultra-wide lens.
The camera has then signed a deal with Hasselblad, which will last at least three years to help them tune their cameras. This is similar to how Huawei has worked with Leica for the past few years. OnePlus will likely be wanting to monopolise on Huawei’s current predicament by upping their camera game to become one of the best choices for people wanting a high-quality camera phone.
In this initial collaboration, Hasselblad has been responsible primarily for tuning the colour accuracy. I would expect/hope their involvement will go beyond this in coming years.
For me, I had no expectation that the OnePlus 9 Pro was going to be the best camera phone of the year, but at the time of launch, it offers the best balance of features and price.
I liked the more affordable Xiaomi Mi 11, the 108MP Samsung sensor is superb, but the rest of the camera spec is quite basic, and I am a big fan of ultra-wide.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is certainly the most rounded camera phone on the market, but the high price tag is just too much for me to justify, especially with limited travel and, therefore, photography opportunities for most of this year.
Currently, it would seem that the phone is receiving mixed reviews about the camera quality. I am far from an expert, but I have been quite happy with it, importantly, taking good quality photos with the flexibility of two high-quality lenses.
It is certainly not perfect though, quality seems a bit inconsistent, and the 3.3x optical zoom lens isn’t amazing; going beyond that zoom length results in predictably poor quality photos. Overall though. I’d say it is not as good overall as my Huawei P40 Pro, but the OnePlus has the advantage of being able to use Google services.
The full review of the phone will go live at some point next week but for now here are some samples from the phone.
OnePlus 9 Pro GCam / Google Camera
Some people that have criticised the quality of the OnePlus camera have suggested the popular Google Camera port, GCam will resolve a lot of the issues. There are currently working ports of this, and I have managed to install it and confirm it is working, but I haven’t taken any proper photos yet.
While it is excellent that enthusiast users can potentially get improved performance from a third-party camera app, this should not be something regular users have to do to get the most from their camera.
However, should you wish to try out GCam yourself, I downloaded it from here.
The specific file I downloaded was MGC_8.1.101_A9_PV0h_snap.apk
I will update this gallery the more I use the phone.
The phone can record up to 8K, however there is no super stabilization on this. You can record 4K @ 30FPS or 1080P @ 60FPS with super stable on. If you plan on walking and videoing anything then you will want to use that enhanced stabilization or a proper gimbal.