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Camera shootout: OnePlus 9 Pro vs Google Pixel 5

OnePlus has made some significantly daring digital camera claims this 12 months. With that in thoughts, we’ve been spending fairly a little bit of time with the OnePlus 9 Professional to place the digital camera by way of its paces. Up to now, we’ve had combined ideas on the handset’s images bundle. I believe it’s a bit of higher in some regards than Apple’s iPhone 12 Professional Max, however not fairly pretty much as good because the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely. Eric additionally thinks it’s higher than the far more costly Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely. Though we each agree, it’s not with out its caveats. Test all of our shootouts thus far through the hyperlinks beneath.

After all, there’s an enormous identify within the digital camera sport that we haven’t in contrast the telephone to: Google’s Pixel 5. Priced at simply $699, it’s the inexpensive digital camera telephone to beat. You’d assume that the dearer OnePlus 9 Professional is the higher purchase for the digital camera fanatic, however let’s discover out if that’s really true on this OnePlus 9 Professional vs Google Pixel 5 digital camera shootout.

Desire a nearer have a look at all the photos on this comparability? You could find the full-res image samples here.

See extra OnePlus 9 Professional digital camera shootouts:

OnePlus 9 Professional vs Google Pixel 5 digital camera specs

  Google Pixel 5 OnePlus 9 Professional
Predominant Digital camera 12.2MP
f/1.7 aperture
27mm focal size
1/2.55″ sensor
twin pixel PDAF, OIS
48MP (12MP binned)
f/1.8 aperture
23mm focal size
1/1.43″ sensor
twin pixel PDAF, OIS
Broad-angle 16MP
f/2.2 aperture
50MP (12.5MP binned)
f/2.2 aperture
14mm focal size
1/1.56″ sensor
Telephoto zoom 8MP
f/2.4 aperture
77mm focal size
3.3x optical zoom
Further Focusing Laser AF system
Selfie 8 MP
f/2.0 aperture
24mm focal size
1/4.0″ sensor
16 MP
f/2.4 aperture
1/3.06″ sensor

Daylights, colours, and publicity

Earlier than diving into the images, it’s value noting that the OnePlus 9 Professional’s most important digital camera has a barely wider area of view than the Pixel 5. Predominant lenses with a shorter focal size are a rising pattern within the cellular trade, and this has no bearing on image high quality. As we’ve come to count on from trendy smartphone cameras, your typical daylight photographs will principally look fairly good. The Google Pixel 5 and OnePlus 9 Professional are not any exception.

Actually, these handsets provide a few of the greatest white stability you’ll discover on any smartphone and colours are principally excellent too. OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad has positively closed this explicit hole. Neither telephone usually produces photos which might be too cool or too heat. Though OnePlus’ digital camera is understood to clean out colours occasionally whereas the Pixel can oversaturate a tad.

Our take: OnePlus 9 Professional evaluation | Google Pixel 5 evaluation

A extra constant distinction is that the Google Pixel 5 tends to underexpose extra usually than the OnePlus 9 Professional, significantly in brighter taking pictures environments. Shadows are constantly darker and this leaves photos with an excessively aggressive high-contrast look.

The Pixel additionally generally prefers extra yellow grass and leaf hues, which is a blotch on an in any other case reasonable presentation. Relating to skies, each can wrestle to seize the correct blue tint, with OnePlus’ take usually popping out far too purple.

Lens flare can also be clearly a problem within the above set of images. Whereas each telephones are prone to some extent, the OnePlus 9 Professional is certainly the more serious offender. And sure I cleaned the lenses a number of occasions when trying to take these photos. It truly is an inescapable concern with the OnePlus’ most important digital camera when taking pictures with the solar instantly overhead.

Each telephones additionally see small quantities of chromatic aberration lens distortion, though once more it’s worse with the OnePlus. Low cost lenses take the sheen off each telephones but it surely’s a a lot greater drawback for the OnePlus 9 Professional.


Very similar to colour and publicity, there are not any clear element deficiencies with both the Google Pixel 5 or OnePlus 9 Professional when taking pictures with plentiful lighting. Each endure when the lights go down, however we’ll take a better have a look at that in a while.

With 12MP of decision on present apiece (with the OnePlus 9 Professional pixel binning from 48MP), it’s all the way down to mild seize and processing to inform these two aside. Broadly talking, you’ll wrestle to note a lot of a significant distinction at full body. That mentioned, particulars from the OnePlus 9 Professional seem a lot sharper on nearer inspection, which is a case of professionals and cons.

Google Pixel 5 vs OnePlus 9 Pro detail 2

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Within the brightly lit picture above, it’s fairly clear that OnePlus is just too aggressive on the sharpening cross. Edges and branches seem harsh and there are jarring specular highlights on the bushes. Right here, the Google Pixel 5 seems a lot cleaner and extra true to life, with sturdy particulars and minimal indicators of overprocessing.

Google Pixel 5 vs OnePlus 9 Pro detail

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Nevertheless, the outcomes are a lot nearer in decrease mild and trickier HDR environments. Right here, the Pixel 5 is barely noisier and the darker particulars barely smush collectively. This isn’t a problem with the OnePlus 9 Professional which, though nonetheless oversharp, holds up a bit of higher in much less supreme taking pictures environments. That mentioned, the excessive degree of sharpening nonetheless makes OnePlus’ particulars seem a bit of too grainy.

Images phrases defined: ISO, aperture, shutter pace, and extra

General, I a lot want the Pixel 5’s softer strategy to processing. Nevertheless, the smaller sensor implies that Google’s telephone can’t all the time maximize the out there degree of element.

HDR capabilities

Google helped pioneer trendy smartphone HDR applied sciences and the corporate’s glorious software program continues to permit the Pixel’s extra dated {hardware} to punch above its weight. Nevertheless, a number of telephones have closed the hole and even exceeded the Pixel’s capabilities in recent times. The OnePlus 9 Professional joins these ranks.

Each telephones handle respectable publicity in difficult HDR environments. Nevertheless, the pictures above clearly showcase much less spotlight clipping from the OnePlus 9 Professional. By clipping, we imply colours or element which might be masked by overly brilliant white highlights. OnePlus’ bigger picture sensor actually helps out in relation to dynamic vary, whereas the Pixel 5’s {hardware} is de facto beginning to present its age. Though it’s nonetheless higher in HDR conditions than different inexpensive telephones in the marketplace.

OnePlus 9 ProGoogle Pixel 5 OnePlus 9 Professional

Google Pixel 5

It’s not simply highlights and shadows that come out higher with the OnePlus 9 Professional. In very difficult HDR situations, the telephone is ready to produce far more vivid and reasonable colours. The scene above is much extra washed out on the Pixel 5 in comparison with OnePlus’ end result. Google HDR know-how stays respectable, particularly for its worth, but it surely’s actually not the most effective within the enterprise anymore.

Capturing in low mild

With a bigger picture sensor, we’d count on the OnePlus 9 Professional to tug forward in low mild conditions however that’s not strictly the case. Turning the lights down sees each telephones endure from extra noise and element smudging than in good lighting. Nevertheless, the Pixel 5’s extra intensive use of computational images retains particulars and colours wanting comparatively sharp in much less supreme situations. Though the telephone has for much longer seize and processing occasions consequently.

Curiously, within the second image above the Pixel 5 depends on Night time Sight which takes a number of seconds to seize. The OnePlus 9 Professional manages to seize an identical picture with no actually lengthy publicity and processing time, albeit with a barely darker publicity. The latter is certainly the extra helpful telephone for a fast snap in low mild, though the result’s blurrier than Google’s.

The tables flip when forcing night time mode on each telephones, the place we see a transparent benefit for the OnePlus 9 Professional. The Pixel 5 manages cheap publicity and colours however clearly isn’t in a position to seize as a lot mild and element because the OnePlus 9 Professional’s bigger sensor at night time. Google’s telephone additionally struggles a bit of extra for focus in decrease mild.

Once more we see the strengths and weaknesses of each handsets. Surprisingly, the Pixel 5 takes higher photos in so-so lighting. The OnePlus 9 Professional has the extra highly effective Night time mode however makes use of it far more sparingly.

Associated: 6 suggestions for enhancing smartphone low mild images

Zooming in on particulars

And not using a devoted telephoto lens, the belief can be that the OnePlus 9 Professional’s {hardware} benefit will win out over the Google Pixel 5’s Tremendous Res Zoom software program strategy. As soon as extra, the cheaper handset punches above its weight.

Within the photos above, the OnePlus 9 Professional’s telephoto lens struggles for element past 3.3x, with a noticeable colour tint that’s fairly ugly. The Pixel 5, though a lot harsher wanting on shut inspection because it’s relying solely on software program zoom, doesn’t seem far off the mark. It has no such colour tint concern and extracts a surprisingly related degree of element.

Even at 2x and 3x, the variations between the Google Pixel 5 and the OnePlus 9 Professional are fairly small. It’s because they’re each counting on software program zoom from the primary sensor. OnePlus finally ends up with a marginal element benefit, however you need to actually pixel peep to make it out.

We will nearly copy and paste the above evaluation for this second set of zoom photographs — no less than for the 2x and 3x photos. Each telephones apply a harsh degree of processing which doesn’t look significantly pleasing. As soon as once more the extent of element seize is sort of shut, with a minor benefit for OnePlus’ handset. Though we will make out some unusual artifacts within the tree branches.

The OnePlus 9 Professional manages to tug forward of the Pixel 5 at 5x any past in these second photos, no less than by way of element. Nevertheless, there’s noticeable chromatic aberration from an affordable lens implementation that spoils the look of those photos. General neither of the smartphones provides a massively compelling zoom setup for long-range, and the Google Pixel 5 actually retains up at shorter ranges below 5x.

Broad-angle lenses

The Pixel 5 provides a 0.6x step again from its already narrower most important sensor versus a 0.5x step again with the OnePlus 9 Professional. I’ve resized the Pixel 5 picture beneath to provide you a tough concept of simply how a lot further image the OnePlus 9 Professional captures from its wide-angle digital camera. It’s not loads within the grand scheme of issues however the lens suits a bit of extra into its wide-angle scenes.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Google Pixel 5 wide FoV

The Google Pixel 5 wide-angle digital camera has a barely smaller area of view than the OnePlus 9 Professional

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

What’s maybe extra off-putting concerning the picture above is the purple tint noticeable on the highway from the Pixel 5. That’s positively mistaken however this, happily, isn’t consultant of different photos I took with the handset’s wide-angle lens. That mentioned, each handsets are a bit of off the mark in relation to colour matching between their most important and wide-angle lenses.

Learn extra: The entire information to ultra-wide digital camera telephones

There are a couple of different variations to notice with the wide-angle digital camera in relation to element seize and lens distortion.

Google Pixel 5 vs OnePlus 9 Pro wide

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Initially, I wasn’t a lot of a fan of the Pixel 5’s wide-angle lens, however subsequent updates seem to have vastly improved the extent of picture high quality. Particulars look like a match for the OnePlus 9 Professional’s giant wide-angle sensor, no less than the place brilliant outside lighting is anxious, and the processing is much less intense too.

Google additionally handles lens distortion on the edges of the body even higher than OnePlus, though that is to be anticipated given the narrower area of view. Whereas element isn’t significantly nice within the corners from both handset, there’s marginally extra noticeable stretching and warping seen within the OnePlus 9 Professional’s wide-angle photos versus the Pixel 5. Even so, each are much better than most on this regard.

Bokeh and portraits

We’re rounding off our shootout with a have a look at the cameras’ bokeh and selfie capabilities. Beginning with the previous, the handsets have fairly completely different approaches to edge detection and the appliance of blur.

For starters, the Pixel 5 applies an excessively sturdy degree of blur by default. That is now (lastly) adjustable in post-processing, in contrast to the OnePlus 9 Professional. General, the Pixel 5 provides a barely larger high quality wanting bokeh, though there’s a much less delicate shift from foreground to background. OnePlus’ bokeh blur, by comparability, appears to fade extra naturally between focal factors.

Google’s extra on-off strategy is much much less forgiving in relation to edge detection errors, which you’ll spot barely extra usually within the Pixel 5’s photos. The OnePlus 9 Professional actually doesn’t provide flawless edge detection however tends to cover its errors higher because of its much less aggressive blur.

The 2 telephones additionally provide bokeh blur with their selfie cameras. It’s the identical professionals and cons as above, with edge detection errors extra noticeable on Google’s telephone within the pattern above.

Selfie high quality is fairly good on each telephones. Once more, Google appears to have improved picture high quality fairly considerably in current updates and pores and skin textures are a lot much less harsh in look now. In good daylight, the 2 handsets produce natural-looking pores and skin tones and textures, though the Pixel is a bit of too heat within the above instance.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Google Pixel 5 selfie

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Each telephones truthful much less nicely with indoor lighting. The Pixel manages pores and skin textures a bit of higher however tones start taking over an unrealistic hotter hue than OnePlus’ selfie digital camera. Actually, it’s the OnePlus 9 Professional that captures higher hair particulars within the present above. Both approach, each positively lack the identical sharpness indoors as they do open air. Once more, we will see that the OnePlus 9 Professional provides barely extra correct hair detection for its bokeh blur.

High quality deteriorates additional when turning the lights down, as you’d count on. Neither holds up significantly nicely in low mild situations, with each exhibiting excessive ranges of noise and smudging.

Google Pixel 5 vs OnePlus 9 Professional digital camera take a look at: The decision

Google Pixel 5 vs OnePlus 9 Pro cameras 2

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As we’ve come to count on from trendy smartphones, that is one more shut shootout. Though it’s even nearer than I initially thought it will be, with the Pixel 5 nonetheless holding its personal towards far more costly smartphones.

My verdict is that the OnePlus 9 Professional provides excellent most important and wide-angle lenses that exceed the Pixel 5 in publicity, HDR, and night time mode capabilities. Nevertheless, the bundle is let down by low cost lenses susceptible to flaring and a telephoto zoom bundle that’s positively second-rate. OnePlus virtually nails a premium-tier most important digital camera however the broader bundle nonetheless feels familiarly under-baked.

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Google’s Pixel 5 continues to excel on the fundamentals, constantly nailing colour stability, saturation, and particulars. Updates have additionally improved the standard of Google’s bokeh, wide-angle, and zoom capabilities and it actually rivals the dearer OnePlus 9 Professional in these regards. That mentioned Google’s digital camera bundle is displaying its age, significantly in relation to low mild capabilities and the restricted dynamic vary versus its rivals.

In the event you’re after a wonderful digital camera telephone on a price range, the Google Pixel 5 stays very exhausting to beat. In the event you’re trying to find a extra cutting-edge bundle, I’d spend the additional cash on the Galaxy S21 Extremely quite than the OnePlus 9 Professional.

What do you think?

Written by virajthari


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