OnePlus held a camera workshop full of pro-level and mid-level videographers to learn about how it can improve its device’s video recording features.
One of the common threads throughout all of the feedback is that many aspects of the camera are inconsistent. Its lenses don’t all share the same exposure, autofocus and skin tones lack consistency among a few other issues.
Below is the full list of takeaways OnePlus learned from the event:
- Exposure/color / white balance shift and consistency across all cameras
Tuning all the cameras to have the identical exposure, white balance is our first priority and main goal.
- Autofocus consistency
We weren’t able to reproduce the issue reported by the OEF attendees in our lab, but an upgrade both on hardware and software for autofocus will come in 2020.
- Skin tone consistency
Skin tone improvement is one of our top priorities. It will improve via future system updates.
- Sharpness: Sharpness needs improvement across all scenarios
We are trying to find a new balance between sharpness and noise.
- Super stabilization: Support for 4K recording; Reducing noise and improving low light quality.
There are hardware limitations, but 4K super stabilization will be supported in some of our future devices.
- Dynamic range: Subject is lit but background is too dark
We have been working on video HDR, which will solve these dynamic range problems.
- Light flickering
We’ve heard a lot of feedback about this, and we are working on de-flickering solutions to reduce this issue.
- Panning shots are not smooth: Improve panning shots stabilization and smoothness
So far, we weren’t able to reproduce this issue in our lab, but smoothness and video are part of our key improvement points for 2020.
- Faster camera
Again, this is one of our main goals in 2020. Faster shutter requires updates from system, application, as well as the animation. It will constantly be improved via future updates.
- Lens feature-parity: 1080P and 4K should be supported in all three lenses, allowing to switch between lenses while recording
This is due to a hardware limitation in current devices, but we’re exploring ways to make it possible for future devices.
- Limited 4K record length
Having considered overall performance and temperature, we will not change current limit, but will keep working on optimizing this in the future.
- Single handed use: Difficult to reach the top bar for features; Single hand zooming
This is very important feedback for us, and we’ve already been discussing solutions with the design team.
- Video editing
We plan on completely updating our Gallery app’s video tools, so many of the features requested during the OEF will be supported. For color grading or LUT options, we will have news soon.
- Pro video mode
Pro video mode will be put into backlog, since our high priority is improving default video quality and use experience across the board.
- Depth of field for tele camera recording (optical)
We have already been researching and working on this feature, and the current quality has not reached our standard to release.
- Zoom-in time-lapse
We have some similar ideas for time-lapse as well, they are already in future product plan.
- Reverse recording video
Less frequent user scenario, so we’ve put into backlog. Our main focus in video is basic quality and user experience for all users.
- Night mode for night video
This is something we believe to be very interesting, we have already been researching and working on it.
- AR emoji and stickers recording
We still haven’t found a killer scenario for AR in video. There are some third-party apps that already offer interesting sticker features, so this isn’t a big priority for now.
- Social media mode: Directly to twitter, crop ratio for Instagram, etc.
We believe the image quality in third-party apps is of high importance and has a higher priority. We have been working on this, these features are planned after image quality improvement.
- Light painting mode
We decide not to follow on light painting effect due to a narrow user scenario.
- 2 cameras recording at the same time: Wide and ultra-wide; rear and front
This is already supported by current platform and cameras, but we are looking for user scene to fully take advantage of this feature.
While not all of these are make or break aspects to build the best mobile camera, it’s good OnePlus is now aware of its current issues and has a rough roadmap to help it build a better mobile video camera.
The phone manufacturer has been slowly creeping up on Apple, Samsung and Huawei for a few years and while its hardware has gotten better, it still has a fairly low ranking camera setup.
Hopefully, OnePlus will hold more ‘Open Ears Forums’ in the future to get more prosumer feedback on how to improve its phones.