It looks like OnePlus 7 Pro does not come with 3x optical zoom, a buzzword that the company used to market the camera of its latest flagship smartphone. According to the details that OnePlus revealed at launch, one of the camera sensors out of the triple-camera setup on the back of OnePlus 7 Pro is used to offer a 3x optical zoom. However, a little over a week after the launch of the OnePlus 7 Pro, a new report has emerged online stating that the 3x optical zoom claim is misleading.
According to a report by Android Police, instead of 3x optical zoom, the sensor with the telephoto lens is providing a zoom that is closer to 2.2x, and then achieves the remaining 0.8x by cropping the image. The cropping provides users with a 3x field of view without any digital zoom but in the process, it also changes the focal length of the camera. This was discovered by a Reddit user by the name “ImKuya”. According to the post on Reddit, OnePlus 7 Pro users can test this.
As part of the discovery, the Reddit user noticed that the field of view that the camera provided in the portrait mode was significantly larger than the 3x zoom mode. It is worth noting that Portrait mode uses the same telephoto lens to capture the blurred background. One can confirm this by covering the bottom telephoto lens in Portrait mode and see the image being obstructed. Both the modes use the same sensor but the Portrait mode captures images with a wider field of view and at 13-megapixel resolution in comparison to the 8-megapixel images that are cropped in the 3x zoom mode.
This crop is not really equal to the traditional digital zoom and instead, it simply crops the edges of the camera to achieve a particular field of view. However, this means that the focal length at the cropped 3x optical zoom on the OnePlus 7 Pro is not the same as that of a true 3x zoom image. According to the report, the focal length at a true 3x zoom should be about 78mm and not be about 57mm from the cropped images shot using the 2.2x zoom. The difference in the 21mm of focal length may sound small but it significantly changes the look of the photos captured.
It is also worth noting that this is not the first time when we have noticed misleading claims about the amount of zoom provided by the camera on OnePlus devices. For instance, the optical zoom on OnePlus 5 was claimed to be 2x while in reality it was just 1.6x optical and the 0.4x difference was done through “SmartCapture” which likely means digital zoom. In response to this, OnePlus has issued a statement highlighting that the 3x zoom does not come with any digital zoom or loss in detail. However, instead of stating 3x optical zoom, the company is terming it as lossless zoom.