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Camera shootout: OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The OnePlus 9 Professional guarantees some critical enhancements to the model’s digicam prowess. We’ve been impressed by what we’ve seen from the cellphone to date, however what higher method to actually check out OnePlus’ claims than by pitting the smartphone in opposition to top-of-the-line within the enterprise — the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely?

Click on right here to view the full-res files, for those who fancy conducting your individual evaluation. At once, let’s dive proper on in.

Extra Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely digicam assessments:

OnePlus 9 Professional vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely: Digicam specs

  OnePlus 9 Professional Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely
Important Digicam 48MP (12MP binned)
f/1.8 aperture
23mm focal size
1/1.43″ sensor
twin pixel PDAF, OIS
108MP (12MP binned)
f/1.8 aperture
24mm focal size
1/1.33″ sensor
Large-angle 50MP (12.5MP binned)
f/2.2 aperture
14mm focal size
1/1.56″ sensor
f/2.2 aperture
13mm focal size
1/2.55″ sensor
twin pixel PDAF
Telephoto zoom 8MP
f/2.4 aperture
77mm focal size
3.3x optical zoom
f/2.4 aperture
70mm focal size
1/3.24″ sensor
twin pixel PDAF, OIS
3x optical zoom
Periscope zoom 10MP
f/4.9 aperture
240mm focal size
1/3.24″ sensor
twin pixel PDAF, OIS
10x optical zoom
Focusing Laser AF system Laser AF system
Selfie 16 MP
f/2.4 aperture
1/3.06″ sensor
40 MP
f/2.2 aperture
26mm focal size
1/2.8″ sensor

Daylights, colours, and publicity

OnePlus made an enormous fuss about its collaboration with Hasselblad to enhance colour processing within the OnePlus 9 collection and the digicam package deal positively steps up on this regard this yr. Likewise, Samsung has (barely) toned down its traditionally overzealous colour processing this technology, making for an thrilling comparability.

Typically, talking, each handsets deal with colour and publicity very properly. It’s acquainted territory in some regards, with Samsung pumping up the colour saturation for usually extra vibrant footage. That is notably noticeable in greens and sky blues. The Galaxy S21 Extremely doesn’t produce essentially the most realistic-looking footage.

Our verdict: OnePlus 9 Professional overview | Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely overview

The OnePlus 9 Professional does a usually wonderful job at colour processing, erring way more on the facet of realism. Nevertheless, blue skies have a tendency to return out a bit too purple, and a few pictures are additionally too washed out in comparison with Samsung’s. Though this can be a bonus for those who prefer to edit all of your footage manually. General, the OnePlus 9 Professional doesn’t appear to have fairly as vast a dynamic vary because the Galaxy S21 Extremely, which we’ll see extra of later.

In relation to white steadiness, Samsung’s is the hotter of the 2 in quite a lot of pictures I took. It’s not too overbearing more often than not. Nevertheless, quite a lot of pictures got here out with a noticeable crimson tint and the hotter look additional provides to the saturated look of Samsung’s images.

General, nearly everybody needs to be properly served with the overall high quality of images taken from these two important cameras. There’s each wonderful and a pleasure to shoot with in good lighting.


Element and noise have traditionally let OnePlus down however there are once more noticeable enhancements this technology. Regardless of the telephones boasting very totally different 48MP and 108MP sensors, the 2 bin down to provide 12MP outcomes. As such, it’s the sensor dimension and processing that would be the figuring out consider element seize.

Considered at full-frame, there aren’t any apparent noise or element issues when capturing in quite a lot of eventualities. At a look, the OnePlus 9 Professional usually seems the tad sharper of the 2 in first rate lighting. Though the cellphone equally seems barely noisier in much less preferrred conditions. Upon nearer inspection, it’s clear that OnePlus applies a a lot heavier sharpening move than even Samsung.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera detail

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Personally, I desire a hands-off method to over-sharpening. An excessive amount of produces harsh strains, haloing, and a normal lack of depth. The OnePlus 9 walks a really fantastic line right here. More often than not, the sharpening move appears to be like fantastic and is typically higher than Samsung’s often overly delicate presentation. However the ugly harshness is unquestionably one thing to pay attention to for those who prefer to crop and edit your pictures.

Associated: The perfect digicam telephones you may get

As you’ll see afterward, the OnePlus 9 Professional turns into noisier in low gentle, so isn’t at all times in keeping with element seize. Likewise, Samsung has a good softer look when utilizing Evening mode. However general each handsets supply distinctive element within the overwhelming majority of day-to-day capturing environments.

HDR capabilities

Each the OnePlus 9 Professional and Samsung Galaxy  S21 Extremely present extraordinarily highly effective HDR applied sciences. Each seize vivid colours with well-balanced shadows and highlights.

There are marginal variations between the 2 in HDR environments. In most HDR pictures I took, the OnePlus 9 Professional exposes a bit of brighter than Samsung’s cellphone, which as a substitute does a barely higher job at extracting spotlight particulars. General although, the 2 deal with just about all HDR environments very properly.

I needed to push the cellphone by way of some fairly tough HDR environments to showcase extra significant variations. Finally, I discovered a few strongly backlit environments that showcased the marginal superiority of Samsung’s HDR expertise.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera hdr

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The above image showcases a delicate however vital distinction. There’s a small quantity of clipping within the window in OnePlus’ image however none in Samsung’s. The Galaxy S21 Extremely does a slightly higher job at avoiding clipped highlights whereas nonetheless balancing the shadows and colours. However once more, there’s not an enormous distinction in most conditions.

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

Taking pictures in low gentle

As you’d anticipate from the marginally smaller sensor, the OnePlus 9 Professional takes grainier footage in much less preferrred lighting conditions. The cellphone holds up in addition to the Samsung with dim indoor lighting. It’s solely once you attain notably darker circumstances that the OnePlus 9 Professional seems noticeably worse. Each by way of noise and colour copy. The pictures beneath are taken with out the help of night time modes.

OnePlus could have showcased heavier processing to date in our shootout, however that state of affairs adjustments in very low-light capturing circumstances with night time modes enabled.

Within the instance beneath, Samsung’s flagship does extra with the restrict gentle however with some caveats. There’s extra element within the sky, higher publicity on the bush, and usually a fraction extra dynamic vary all through the image. Nevertheless, the OnePlus 9 Professional’s Nightscape mode produces a lot cleaner particulars than Samsung’s barely mushy look. Samsung’s night time mode is unquestionably too heavy-handed in terms of denoise and smoothing. Though the 9 Professional subdues the orange glow from the streetlight a bit of an excessive amount of.

Associated: 6 ideas for bettering smartphone low gentle pictures

Pushing the lights down actually low exhibits simply how good software program has grow to be at making up for restricted {hardware} sensor sizes. Though it’s clear that there are nonetheless some notable compromises to picture high quality to extract element from this picture. This scene is lit totally by two LEDs, so was nearly pitch black.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera night

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Once more the OnePlus is way noisier, however you’ll discover uglier smudging artifacts when cropping in on Samsung’s image. The perimeters of the laborious drives appear like a machine studying algorithm’s gone haywire. Even so, each pull out a shocking quantity of element and colour in what’s in any other case full darkness. It’s a little bit of a toss-up right here about which appears to be like higher. Professionals and cons I suppose.

General, each of those telephones take a number of the higher footage out of all of the smartphones I’ve examined when the lights go down. Neither is flawless, however I’ll give the nudge to Samsung right here.

Zooming in on particulars

Samsung’s premium digicam package deal justifies its larger price ticket with not one however two zoom cameras. The 10x periscope digicam grants the Galaxy S21 Extremely vastly enhance long-range high quality in comparison with the OnePlus 9 Professional. Particulars, colour steadiness, and dynamic vary are palms down higher on the Galaxy S21 Extremely at 10x.

Efficiency is nearer when zooming to round 2x and 3x. Nevertheless, even right here you’ll spot some points with the OnePlus 9 Professional’s zoom setup. There are noticeable sharpening and colour artifacts in OnePlus’ outcomes at these zoom ranges. It virtually appears to be like like the photographs are being cropped from the 48MP sensor, sans pixel binning. The outcomes are usually not nice and neglect about utilizing the zoom past 5x.

OnePlus’ telephoto digicam doesn’t seem for use in any respect till 3.3x and past. Not like Samsung, there aren’t any indicators of hybrid picture stitching to enhance picture high quality. Sadly OnePlus’ sensor struggles with much less preferrred lighting and suffers from chromatic aberration (purple halos) within the pictures above. It’s actually not an amazing zoom setup for a premium-tier cellphone.

That stated, Galaxy S21 Extremely doesn’t present a flawless zoom setup. The software program zoom used between the cameras’ optical zoom factors can look worse than OnePlus’ in terms of fantastic particulars. There’s a noticeable dip in high quality notably round 5x – 7x, the place it’s a a lot nearer run contest between the 2. No less than by way of decision and element seize.

General although, the Galaxy S21 Extremely extra constantly takes the best-looking long-range footage. Samsung additionally does a a lot better job at making certain constant colours, publicity, and white steadiness when switching between zoom ranges. Whereas each supply versatile capturing choices between their vast, important, and zoom digicam setups, the Galaxy S21 Extremely is unquestionably the higher winner right here.

Large-angle lenses

On paper, the Galaxy S21 Extremely and OnePlus 9 Professional supply nearly similar focal lengths for his or her wide-angle cameras. Each supply a big step again from the principle digicam, permitting you to suit way more into your shot. Samsung’s wide-angle digicam is technically a fraction wider, nevertheless it makes nearly no distinction to the photographs you’ll be able to seize.

OnePlus 9 Pro - wide angleOnePlus 9 Professional – 1x OnePlus 9 Professional – vast angle

OnePlus 9 Pro - 1x

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - wide angleSamsung Galaxy S21 Extremely – 1x Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely – vast angle

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - 1x

Apparently, Samsung does a a lot better job sustaining a constant colour profile between its important and wide-angle cameras. Most of the footage I took with the OnePlus 9 Professional ended up with hotter outcomes from the wide-angle lens in comparison with the principle digicam.

One of many greater {hardware} variations between the OnePlus 9 Professional and Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely is discovered of their wide-angle cameras. OnePlus contains a big 1/1.56-inch sensor in comparison with the small 1/2.55-inch sensor inside Samsung’s handset. This alternative of {hardware} makes an enormous distinction to element seize.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera wide

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Even within the middle of the body, the OnePlus 9 Professional captures much more element than the Galaxy S21 Extremely, particularly when capturing long-range landscapes. Samsung’s alternative of small sensor depends far too closely on denoise and sharpening to wash up its picture. Each handsets appropriate for lens distortion moderately properly a the body edges and corners, however once more OnePlus produces way more practical particulars across the fringes. Even when the outcomes are a bit of noisy.

Learn extra: The entire information to ultra-wide digicam telephones

Whereas few customers will crop in on their wide-angle footage like this, the distinction intimately seize is vital for many who wish to edit, print, and blow up their pictures. Whereas Samsung’s wide-angle lens wins on colour steadiness, OnePlus has a transparent benefit intimately seize.

Bokeh and portraits

Transferring into the ultimate part of our shootout, we’re again to the telephones performing equally admirably with portraits and bokeh blur.

Each the OnePlus 9 Professional and Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely supply strong bokeh edge detection, seemingly owing to their related use of a laster autofocusing system to help in-depth detection. Neither is kind of excellent, particularly at capturing stray free hairs, however each are superb.

Blur high quality can also be properly offered on each handsets. Though I barely desire the softer look of OnePlus’ bokeh impact. Samsung’s cellphone is a tad extra aggressive at making use of blur nearer to the focus, however you usually need to have the ability to make out a little bit of the background.

Each telephones can even apply bokeh blur to your selfie images. Edge detection is unquestionably not pretty much as good when utilizing the entrance digicam, which will be seen within the stray hairs within the footage beneath. Though once more each outcomes are extra alike than they’re totally different by way of general high quality.

In good daylight, the 2 selfie cameras seize wonderful pores and skin tones and particulars. I’ve no complaints about both smartphone right here. Nevertheless, Samsung’s selfie digicam pulls forward with indoor lighting, as the instance beneath exhibits.

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera selfie

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There’s not an excessive amount of to complain about at full-frame, however cropping in on facial particulars reveals a a lot softer presentation for the OnePlus 9 Professional in much less preferrred lighting circumstances. The marginally smaller sensor and narrower aperture don’t fairly sustain with the Galaxy S21 Extremely right here. Samsung’s flagship pulls additional forward with selfie high quality as you flip the lights down decrease, making it the higher decide for many who resort to their front-facing digicam extra usually.

OnePlus 9 Professional vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely digicam check: The decision

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera 2

Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The OnePlus 9 Professional options the corporate’s finest smartphone digicam but. Picture high quality from the principle digicam rivals the perfect within the enterprise. That is notably in terms of colour realism (besides the purple skies), which bests Samsung’s punchy oversaturation, in addition to offering strong HDR and Nightscape, capabilities. The wide-angle digicam, though providing inconsistent colours, scores a significant win for picture high quality versus Samsung’s ultra-expensive handset and units a brand new benchmark for picture high quality.

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Nevertheless, the OnePlus 9 Professional’s selfie digicam performs fairly poorly in lower than preferrred lighting circumstances. The zoom digicam can also be a sizzling mess of artifacts and over-sharpening, even at 2x. Whereas the Hasselblad partnership has undoubtedly improved the principle digicam, it’s a disgrace that the identical consideration to element hasn’t fairly been paid to the broader package deal.

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Extremely is one in every of, if not the very best smartphone digicam packages on the market for its sturdy mixture of consistency and flexibility. Though the OnePlus 9 Professional goes toe to toe in frequent eventualities and scores just a few wins of its personal, the Galaxy S21 Extremely stays the higher all-around possibility for many who worth long-range zoom, low gentle capturing, and selfies.

The OnePlus 9 Professional takes wonderful footage however is not as constant all-round because the Galaxy S21 Extremely.

In fact, the OnePlus 9 Professional prices $969 reasonably than $1,199, so it was at all times unlikely to rival Samsung throughout the complete discipline. For that worth, the 9 Professional is lastly a OnePlus smartphone that needs to be on each cellular photographer’s radar.

What do you think?

Written by virajthari


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