OnePlus One: Cyanogen Camera vs ColorOS Camera Comparison

OnePlus One: Cyanogen Camera vs ColorOS Camera Comparison

By Rich W Woods

This is the last in a string of requests. First, a bit of a back story. I have done more camera comparisons with the OnePlus One than any other phone. This will be the 28th. You can see them all by clicking the link above. You can also see all of the photos I’ve used here.

The OnePlus One has a reputation for not having the best of cameras. The photos it takes historically look washed out, very washed out. Forget about using the flash to take a picture. When I was reviewing the Nexus 6, I found that the Nexus 6 used the same camera hardware as the OnePlus One. Since the Nexus 6 uses the Google Camera app as its stock camera app, I compared the OnePlus One to the Nexus 6 using Google Camera, and so it began…

The OnePlus One did not show much of an improvement using the Google Camera app. That’s when the suggestions started coming in. Some suggested FV-5, then CameraNext, then CameraNextMod, and ColorOS Camera as well. After all, not all OnePlus Ones ship with Cyanogen. The Chinese models ship with ColorOS.

Way back when I compared the OnePlus One to the Nexus 6 using the Google Camera app, I came to the conclusion that it was not the hardware, not the software, but the firmware that causes the photos to come out as they do. When Cyanogen released CM11S 05Q, there were some major camera improvements, coming very close to solving the issue of washed out photos.

The Cyanogen vs CameraNext comparison wasn’t what people wanted to see, because people seem to believe that CameraNext and Cyanogen Camera are the same thing. They’re not. The comparison between the Cyanogen Camera and the CameraNextMod seemed useless because the photos looked exactly the same, as it would appear that both apps use the same camera algorithm. As I stated in the very beginning of this column, I’m doing these by popular demand, which is my little way of saying “If you don’t like the results, don’t blame me.”

As I also said, this is the last of the requests. The next step in OnePlus One camera comparisons comes with OxygenOS, as all new firmware beings about an all new camera. It’s a camera that does not as yet have the ability to record 4K DCI or 4K UHD video (a selling point of the OnePlus One), but an all new camera nonetheless.

So let’s dive into some photos. I’m not doing the front camera, nor am I doing low light. We know that the OnePlus One does both of them just fine. In fact, I think the OnePlus One has the best front camera on the market and I’ve been documented numerous times saying just that.

To enlarge the images, simply click or tap them. To view the full size image, there is a link in the carousel.

Cyanogen Camera ColorOS Camera

Wow. The ColorOS Camera app is much worse than I was led to believe. When you first start out scrolling through the photos, they look virtually identical. Then, when you get to the eighth and the tenth photos down, you start to see that the ColorOS photos looked washed out, like the OnePlus used to do before it got the CM11S 05Q update.

I think it’s fair to say that Cyanogen Camera has matured to a point where we in the forums can no longer bash it for its washed out photos. We don’t need to use HDR or Clear Image or Smart Scene. It does just fine on its own.

Next up will be camera tests with OxygenOS. I just wish that they used a better stock camera app. The Nexus 6 uses Google Camera; however, even though it has the same hardware, the OnePlus One lacks features that the Nexus 6 has, such as HDR+ and 4K UHD video. I will be posting these tests next week.


All OnePlus One Camera Comparisons

OnePlus One Review

OnePlus Power Bank Review

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.

  • Peter

    Very nice comparison. Thanks. The conclusion? Oneplusone own camera app with android M is the best option for the opo