Choose Your Region

February 2 2015 | By: Guest Author
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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-01---Lower-Manhattan-with-WTC

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-02---White-Hallway-towards-Brookfield-Place-NYC

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-03---Coney-Island-Sunset

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-04---Lower-Manhattan

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. 

Photo-05---Manhattan-Chinatown

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.

Photo-06---Dongdaemun-Design-Plaza


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.

  • Jeton Kukalaj

    Great potential! Awaiting the update of Camera FV-5 that will allow us to take pictures in RAW…
    And hoping that the camera be also better with the new firmware…

  • Alex Gombi

    In my camera next is smaller than that of colorOS

  • SaurabhKoolkarni

    Camera has a great potential. I really hope that they implement Lollipop’s Camera 2 API in their OxygenOS. I want it so badly….especially that Manual Focus mode *.*

  • Salman Rizvi

    Very nice blog! Talking about the One’s camera.. Subjects that are well lit come out to be fabulous and sharp only low light becomes too grainy on my One.. Action mode helps but i’m searching for other better options to enhance low light performance.
    Keep on posting.. Cheers!

  • Hey Buckwheat!

    But how do you get photoshop express to import the dng file? i haven’t found a way till now…

    • Mohsin Hasan

      Use FX file browser, select the DNG and click “Open As”, select picture and select photoshop express.

  • gavin

    Disappointed with camera on my oneplus one. My nexus 5 performed way better in low light and moving objectd. Hopefully this can be fixed through software updates as the phone is great otherwise.

  • jsamuels

    Very nice. I look forward to using a OPO for personal photography. Maybe soon?

  • BH

    so, in other words, as long as you have the post editing capabilities to clean up the original raw photos the camera takes good pictures? How about just using a cellphone camera that takes good photos in its own right? How does the 1 + stack up then?

  • Moody Caplan

    I’d like to share my experience with the one too, I can showcase few photos of mine for you, check my work up on instagram @nabkawe5 everything with the oneplus one is tagged.

  • But how do you get photoshop express to import the dng file? i haven’t found a way till now… http://www.senorama.com

  • In my camera next is smaller than that of colorOS http://www.senorama.com

  • In my camera next is smaller than that of colorOS http://www.senorama.com

  • I’d like to share my experience with the one too, I can showcase few photos of mine for you, check my work up on instagram @nabkawe5 everything with the oneplus one is tagged. http://www.senorama.com/emploi/offre-demploi-senegal

  • In my camera next is smaller than that of colorOS http://www.senorama.com/emploi/offre-demploi-senegal

  • Here’s what I consider a master piece, it’s lightly edited with Mobile photoshop to increase shadows a bit. http://www.senorama.com/emploi/offre-demploi-senegal

  • Disappointed with camera on my oneplus one. My nexus 5 performed way better in low light and moving objectd. Hopefully this can be fixed through software updates as the phone is great otherwise. http://www.senorama.com

  • Cameron

    Cant wait to take photos like this with OP2.

  • Peter Bergonzi

    @javin lau–regarding this photo:
    https://blog.oneplus.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/weekly-86.png

    If you’re going to make someone a hand model, it would be better to trim the cuticles.

    P.S.–Love your Blade Runner shot:
    https://blog.oneplus.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Travel_Blog2.png

    • Javin

      hey dude, worst replier. but yaa!

  • Pushkin Abbott

    Beautiful pictures!

  • 1+2

    That’s amazing. i would like to see the original without touch up to get a sense of the camera.

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