The OnePlus 7 Pro may be hinging a lot of its appeal on a new display, but it won’t be lacking in the camera department either. This morning, we’re getting our first look at some OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples, and they confirm some interesting details.

OnePlus shared a OnePlus 7 Pro unit with the folks over at WIRED, who took it for a spin at a nearby racetrack to give the camera array a whirl. As previously confirmed, the OnePlus 7 Pro is set to have three cameras on the back, and these new samples show us what they’ll be capable of.

Most notably, this is our first confirmation that the OnePlus 7 Pro will have a 3x optical zoom lens. This isn’t quite as impressive as some of the “periscope” zoom lenses we’ve seen from the Huawei P30 Pro or Oppo Reno, but it’s still a handy tool. WIRED explains:

It doesn’t beat the Huawei P30 Pro’s 5x zoom, of course. There’s marginally less detail, more noise and less mid-tone contrast in the OnePlus 7 Pro’s zoomed images. But 3x zoom is a more accessible field of view than 5x. In certain situations, 5x can seem too much.

…there’s also 10x digital zoom on board, and from the footage taken during this test, video captured with 3x zoom is stabilised to some degree and looks pretty good.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples w/ 3x optical zoom

Apparently, that 3x zoom lens is also used to help with depth measurements in Portrait mode. The company says that the mode is “more natural” and that the effect should be “closer to what you’d get from a professional lens.”

Further, OnePlus also confirmed some improvements to how the OnePlus 7 Pro can handle low-light and how HDR has been tweaked alongside these samples. OnePlus doesn’t explicitly confirm the rumored 48MP primary sensor here, but explains that it uses “pixel binning to create 12-megapixel images,” just like other phones with comparably sized sensors. There’s also some promise when it comes to HDR here:

OnePlus has made steps forward in other areas, too. The OnePlus 7’s HDR implementation is better than the OnePlus 6T’s. That last-gen phone is extremely good at preserving highlights but can end up compressing mid-tones. This is what can make HDR images look oddly flat, the opposite of how a good HDR photo should appear. The HDR look is much more natural this time, and the OnePlus 7 Pro holds onto realistic colour temperature and tonal fidelity well when lots of dynamic range-boosting is required. HDR tone mapping has been a minor OnePlus issue since its first phone but it seems the company may have finally nailed it.

More OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

Finally, there’s low-light performance. This hasn’t been a strong point for OnePlus in the past, but the OnePlus 7 Pro may change that a bit. Thanks to a new sensor and some software tweaks to its “Nightscape” feature, the company says performance should be improved over the OnePlus 6T. Not only is there less light bloom, but apparently the feature is only “slightly slower” than normal shooting.

9to5Google’s Take

Personally, I’m not too impressed with these samples. While compression and less than ideal circumstances may have played a role, I don’t think these look much better than what the OnePlus 6T is capable of. Hopefully, I’m entirely wrong and this phone actually holds up against the Pixels and Huawei’s of the world.

The OnePlus 7 Pro will be officially announced on May 14th.

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Ben Schoon

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