Posted on Apr 30th, 2021
OnePlus 8T: is it still a valid purchase?
Even though I know very well that the successor of the OnePlus 8T has already been released – namely the new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro – I still wanted to finally publish this blog post with my impressions of the OnePlus 8T camera. I got the device for about three months and got a lot of shots I want to share with you.
First of all, it must be said that, even if the new models have been released, the OnePlus 8T is still on sale at the moment (April 2021) and available for purchase at a significantly reduced price compared to the OnePlus 9 / 9Pro.
All the photos in this article are posted unedited. To see more details of the shot, you can enlarge a photo and read the description.
A note on this “review” and on the next ones that I will publish
In any case, I decided not to do more detailed reviews in which I took into consideration many aspects of the device. Indeed, I must say that I no longer want to do reviews of new smartphones or cameras.
In fact, I want to focus more on the expressive and communicative aspect of photography, showing more what can be done, on a technical and creative level, than looking for the famous “pixel peeping” at the shot taken. I personally don’t care if the shots have a bit of noise or if it’s not perfectly sharp. Photography is just an expression and I want to focus more on that even on future blog posts.
From now on, I will offer on this blog more of my considerations and shooting experiences in shooting sessions (mainly portrait and fashion sessions) using the devices that I will be able to have with me on tests.
OnePlus 8T: Hardware and cameras
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The OnePlus 8T offers a great all-around package as usual. A nice device, light and thin with excellent autonomy and a beautiful screen with refresh up to 120 Hz.
The photographic part sees the presence of four sensors. The problem is that two are present here only for marketing reasons to increase the number of the total camera. In fact, one sensor is dedicated to macro photography with a resolution of 5MP, another sensor is monochrome with a “giant” resolution of 2MP.
The two main sensors are a 48MP one for the Wide lens (26mm f / 1.7 equivalent focal) and a 12MP one for the UltraWide lens (equivalent to a 14mm f / 2.2).
Unfortunately, a sensor/lens dedicated to telephoto shots is missing, a function that I now use at 80/90% with my iPhone 12 Max Pro. So on OnePlus 8T, the telephoto function is actually relegated to a crop of the image from the Wide sensor from 48MP.
OnePlus 8T: photo quality
The photo quality of the OnePlus 8T is very good in all situations of good light and in particular in situations of contrasted light where the HDR algorithm kicks in. I must say that in many of these situations I found a more balanced photograph even than the photos taken with the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The colors are quite balanced and perhaps tending to a greater saturation than those proposed by the iPhone.
Compared to the previous models, a significant step forward has been made in the rendering of details: looking at the fullscreen screen and zooming in, you can see that the “grinding/smearing” effect that was seen in previous devices has now disappeared.
The Wide camera is obviously the best of the four proposals, but I was favorably impressed by the quality of the interpolation in the Telephoto camera: it is true that there is a loss of definition in the details, but I must say that the overall quality is very good.
One situation where the OnePlus 8T suffered a lot was in the shots taken with snow: if iPhone 12 Pro Max perfectly balanced the color by removing the blue cast given by the reflection of the sky on the snow, the OnePlus 8T instead had great difficulty and I’ve got many photos characterized by this blue cast to be removed later with a proper editing.
I liked the filters or color presets that you can apply directly while shooting. This is a tip I had given to OnePlus as early as the OnePlus 5 when I was one of the beta testers and photographers taking the final photographs for the marketing campaign. I am happy that after several years this feature has officially arrived in the camera. Be warned though that I noticed some banding (streaks on the sky) when I used these color presets on some photos.
It is a shame to note that some limitations remain in the use of Pro mode. If the interface works well enough, it is the raw files obtained that unfortunately lack information to extract the maximum from the colors and contrast. I tried to create ad-hoc color profiles (like the one I did for the iPhone 12 Pro series ), but the OnePlus 8T, was the only device with which I could not get a correct color calibration with the raw files.
Where to purchase OnePlus 8T
If you buy your OnePlus 8T by following the following link on the OnePlus Store, you will receive a voucher to spend on accessories while purchasing the phone.