Image taken by Javin Lau with the OnePlus One in Seoul, South Korea
Hey guys, my name is Javin and I was kindly asked by the OnePlus staff to write a short review and photoblog of my experiences with the OnePlus One so far. Since pictures speak a thousand words, I’ll begin the article with photographs that I’ve taken with the OnePlus One during my time in New York City, November 2014.
Photo 01: NYC Manhattan Chinatown with lower Manhattan and WTC in the background. I had conceived this shot after looking long and hard to try and portray a very old part of NYC while being able to contrast it with the new. This was a particularly cloudy day, so the settings were all auto in the camera app with RAW enabled. And, because it was such a cloudy day, I exposed for the buildings for the foreground since there was no texture to save in the sky. This was then edited in Photoshop Express and VSCOCam. Shot in November 2014.
Photo 02: Mysterious white hallway going towards Brookfield Place in Manhattan, NYC. I shot this photo when I was walking around in downtown Manhattan, trying to find this mysterious hallway on Instagram. When my friend @phil.photo told me where it was over the phone, I was glad I spent 30 minutes trying to find it. In this photo, I exposed for the shadows in the right and brightened everything up in post. This was shot in RAW with native camera app, edited in Photoshop Express and VSCOCam. Shot in November 2014.
Photo 03: A sunset from a Street Dreams Magazine and Mashables Instameet at Coney Island, Brooklyn, NYC. I remember it being quite cold that day, and the wind rushing from the ocean was becoming less and less bearable by the second. I was carrying a Canon 6D and a Canon 7D on my back, and I had still refused to take it out at the time due to the cold. My friend @phil.photo started haggling me about being a one-trick pony and only shooting architecture. I snapped this photo in spite of this comment, and it has turned out to be one of my favourite photos from my trip. I exposed for the highlights (between the orange and the blue in the sky) because I knew I wanted to completely plunge the bottom right side of the photo in darkness. This was shot in RAW with native camera app, edited in Photoshop Express and VSCOCam. Shot in November 2014.
Photo 04: Lower Manhattan with the Brooklyn Bridge. I remember strolling through Chinatown and decided to get a higher vantage point to take a photo of lower Manhattan. I probably wasn’t in the safest neighbourhood, so I decided to snap a quick few photos from my OnePlus One rather than take my camera gear out. Here I exposed dead center to include both the sky and the building. This was shot in RAW with native camera app, edited in Photoshop Express to brighten all the shadows and highlights and VSCOCam. Shot in November 2014.
Photo 05: Manhattan Chinatown at night. I have an affinity for visiting Chinatowns in the rest of the world. I find it interesting how different diasporas live in different countries. This feeling is not too dissimilar to my affinity for trying McDonalds in different countries just to see what the local take on the flavor would be. I exposed for the yellow Joe’s Ginger sign and brought the shadows and highlights back through Photoshop Express. This was shot in RAW with native camera app, edited in Photoshop Express and VSCOCam. Shot in November 2014.
My experience with the OnePlus One has been nothing short of awesome. Having 13mp in a camera now enables me to print small photos if I really wanted to. Being able to shoot RAW has been nothing short of game-changing for a lot my shooting, especially at night. The convenience of having a great camera in a small form-factor that you always carry with you in this day and age is definitely indispensable.
The RAW file format has enabled me to recover shadows and highlights that I never thought were possible, especially in photos 3 (sunset) and 5 (Chinatown night). The gradients in the sunset are on par with APS-C quality and short of intense pixel peeping, most would be hard-pressed to know that the Chinatown night shot was shot with a smartphone due to the highlights and shadows that were recovered in the signs.
To achieve the looks in my photos, I’ve been shooting the photographs with the native camera app to get the RAW DNG, edit in Photoshop express, which has the ability to edit DNG photos to sharpen and recover shadows/highlights. I then take the JPEG into VSCOCam for further colour toning and upload/crop in Instagram.
Lastly I’ve been able to use the OnePlus One to film some gorgeous 4K video, and I’ll be releasing a NYC video sometime in February. The trailer for the new video can be found here.
Thanks for taking the time to read, hopefully everyone’s OnePlus One’s camera experience has been as fulfilling as mine!
P.S., here’s a photograph from Seoul at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Next stop, Hong Kong and Shenzhen!
Photo 06: Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, South Korea. I exposed for the sign on the right and brightened everything in post. Shot in RAW with native camera app, edited in Photoshop Express and VSCOCam.
Javin is a freelance photographer living in Toronto, Canada. His photos can be found on Instagram and Flickr. You can follow Javin on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Visit his website at JavinLau.com.