The OnePlus 5 features a dual-camera system which works similar to the iPhone 7 Plus and ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom. You have the main 16MP f/1.7 shooter that takes normal shots and a secondary 20MP f/2.6 camera with a telephoto lens.
When the device was announced, the OnePlus 5 claims to provide 2X zoom and you’ll get 2X by default when you tap on the zoom toggle button on the camera interface. On other dual-camera setups, that is usually optical zoom where you get a closer shot with the lens without any digital zooming enhancements. Now it turns out that you’re not really getting 2X optical zoom with the OnePlus 5.
OnePlus’ Co-founder, Carl Pei, has clarified that its 2X “lossless” zoom isn’t optical as most had probably assumed. He added that the OnePlus 5’s Telephoto lens provides 1.6X optical zoom while the remaining 0.4X is achieved through its SmartCapture multi-frame technology. In other words, it is a hybrid of optical zoom with the assistance of digital zoom.
Optical zoom is at 1.6x, the remaining 0.4x is realized through SmartCapture multiframe technology.
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) June 21, 2017
While the multi-frame technology might help to preserve more details than a conventional digital zoom, we would prefer if OnePlus defaults to a pure optical zoom at 1.6X before any form of digital zoom kicks in. At 1.6X, the OnePlus 5 definitely a step below the iPhone 7 Plus and ZenFone 3 Zoom when it comes to optical zoom. We can assume that the OPPO R11 is also having the same setup as they refrained from mentioning “Optical Zoom” when they highlight their 2X Zoom feature on their product page.
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below.