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The 8T has four cameras: a 48-megapixel main camera, a 16-megapixel super wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera for close-ups and an additional black and white sensor for black and white photos. TL; DR: The main and wide camera modes can take great shots, but the black and white sensor is pointless and macro images don’t look good. Read on for more information and to see my test images.
When I use the standard camera lens in standard mode, I am impressed with the phone’s ability to compensate for bright lights and shadows (the auto HDR mode apparently helps). The colors are rich and vivid and the pictures are full of detail.
When switching to the wide-angle lens, I am happy to have a good grip on the exposure again. While I think the colors look more subdued than with the regular lens, the white balance has shifted. It’s a wide view that makes it easy to capture a large portion of the scene in front of you.
OnePlus 8T monochrome mode
One of the new additions to the 8T’s camera setup is a monochrome sensor. Interestingly, the picture is still captured with the main camera sensor, but the mono sensor apparently captures more light and shadow detail, allowing for better looking black and white images.
The mono images produced by the phone are decent. The lights and shadows are balanced and there is a pleasing amount of detail overall. The problem I have is that the mode feels redundant: the shots are no better than you could get if you edit your photos in a free app like Snapseed or if you use the software-based black and white modes that the phone already offers. We have already seen special monochrome sensors on phones like the Huawei 2016 P9. They don’t tend to stay long – Huawei dumped it after the P20 Pro. Personally, I don’t think it adds any additional photographic value here.
Disappointing macro mode
The phone’s 5 megapixel macro lens allows you to focus on objects much closer than is normally possible. In theory, it’s a great way to capture tiny details about things like flowers and insects, but in practice, the 8T’s macro shots don’t impress.
Details are so squishy that I don’t even want to upload these pics to a Facebook album, let alone print them out to view. If macro photography is your thing, this lens won’t cut it. Instead, consider using external macro lenses like those from Moment (an 8T compatible lens housing is expected) and OlloClip. You can keep reading our guideto see how these pictures can look.
The OnePlus 8T can take great shots with its main lens or its ultra-wide angle lens. For the majority of your snap, it will be great. But I find the monochrome sensor an odd and redundant addition, and the macro mode doesn’t impress me. Given that these are two main features of the camera setup, I can’t help but be disappointed with the entire camera package.