OnePlus 5 dual camera optical zoom is 1.6x, software snaps to 2x
When we hit our reviewers’ guide for the OnePlus 5, we noticed the shocking omission of lens focal lengths for the dual-camera system. We know that the iPhone 7 Plus has 28mm and 56mm lenses on its cameras. Why not on the OnePlus 5?
The camera’s software presents the instant zoom option to us as a straight-up 2x zoom. But OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has announced on Twitter that the optical element of it only accounts for a 60 percent frame pull. The other 40 percent comes from software.
Optical zoom is at 1.6x, the remaining 0.4x is realized through SmartCapture multiframe technology.
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) June 21, 2017
Note the claim of “lossless zoom,” tough to claim with software since there’s an inherent loss when you’re forced to make pixels redundant — all you can do is to be smart about how you edit those pixels. And even if Pei were to claim that a software crop of the 20-megapixel sensor behind the telephoto lens down to a 16-megapixel view equivalent on the wide-angle side, the company still advertised a 20-megapixel camera in conjunction with 2x zoom — there’s room for confusion still.