3 things you didn’t know about zooming in with clarity on the OnePlus 5

Ever spotted something beautiful way out in the distance and wished you could capture it well? We’ve all tried zooming in, only to end up with a picture so grainy you could use it to bake bread. For this very reason, we developed a custom feature for the OnePlus 5 that enabled zooming in with clarity. Join two of our Lab reviewers, as they go hands-on with the OnePlus 5 Dual Camera zoom to teach you the skills you need to make the most of these new tools.

Keep it Steady

As zooming in narrows your area of focus, the image becomes much more susceptible to jerks and sudden movements. Making sure your shot is steady is vital, no matter the type of picture you’re trying to shoot, especially when zooming. Consider taking a page of out of Fabio’s book; “My advice is to look around and see where you can position the phone: a table, a window sill, a wall, the roadside or even my girlfriend’s shoulder.”

“My advice is to look around and see where you can position the phone: a table, a window sill, a wall, the roadside or even my girlfriend’s shoulder.”

Keeping it steady doesn’t just refer to your hands though, as tracking the movement of a subject is also much more challenging when zoomed in. “I mostly like zooming into subjects that don’t have too much movement. Because with the zoom feature, my area of focus or subject is magnified and movement of the subject would require my hand to move accordingly too which makes it difficult for me to maintain the sharpness,” added Sathvika.

The Magic Number is 2

No matter how crisp and clear your camera might be, the universal law all zoomers must abide by is that the more you zoom in the less clear your photo becomes. Sometimes, you may push your zoom beyond 2.0x, but generally the Dual Camera Zoom feature on the OnePlus 5 delivers the best results when set to 2.0x or below.

“My best shots were taken with x2 zoom and I believe this is the best choice for street photography. The reason is that typically I want to focus the background but I want to make it as close as possible so you can see its details, without the distraction of elements from first plan,” said Fabio. For the sake of clarity and sharpness, they advise against zooming in beyond the 2.0x mark. “Typically, I go up to 1.9. Beyond that I try not to zoom in because I feel it compromises with the sharpness of the picture to some extent,” agreed Sathvika.

A New Perspective

Zooming in can be used in lots of different situations, not just when taking a picture of an interesting building in the distance. There’s a lot of different possible photos you can only take when you take a closer look using your zoom, whether it’s a macro shot of your pet, an impactful shot of an imposing sight, or catching every detail of an eye or smile.

“However, I understood that people bring life and scale to places and that’s why I always try to shoot Architecture or street photography with people.”

Fabio’s expertise with a camera is perhaps most prominent in his willingness to experiment and defy convention. “Architectural magazines always showed buildings without people. However, I understood that people bring life and scale to places and that’s why I always try to shoot Architecture or street photography with people. Moreover I’m constantly searching for something new or familiar places seen from different perspectives,” he said, before adding “I capture what gets my attention, hoping others will see the passion I feel for the places I visit through the photos I share.”

Try to find a new perspective when zooming in, and experiment with different subjects and in different locations. You might just find an exciting new way to zoom in. In the end, photography is all about self-expression. Throughout this series of feature articles, our Lab photographers took us on a wild ride into their creative process. Each photographer taught us something new about mobile photography, daring us to think of new ways to shoot photos. We encourage you to use their advice to help elevate your own photographs. But, above all, you should aim to look for shots and photos that define you and your style. We can’t wait see what you produce.

Thank you for reading this series, everyone. Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and follow us on Medium for more exciting content the moment it leaves the proverbial press.