OnePlus One Camera Comparison: OxygenOS vs ColorOS Camera

OnePlus One Camera Comparison: OxygenOS vs ColorOS Camera

By Rich W Woods

This should be the last of the camera comparisons since OxygenOS was released for the OnePlus One. So far, the stock camera app, Google Camera, has underperformed its predecessor, Cyanogen Camera on CyanogenMod 11. We’ve also shown that CameraNextMod is a massive improvement on the stock Google Camera app.

It would seem that the quest for the perfect picture with the OnePlus One is a never ending one. Plenty of OnePlus One users will claim that it has the best camera on the market “if you know how to use it”. Unfortunately, I’m trying to find the perfect photo for those that don’t “know how to use it”. After all, a smart phone camera is not a DSLR. It’s not even a point and shoot. Users of smart phone cameras need to be able to launch a camera app, tap the shutter button, and have a great photo to show for it.

When the OnePlus One first came out, the rear camera was terrible. All of the photos looked washed out, when compared with other cameras. It then received the CM11 05Q update, which promised camera improvements and delivered. Now it’s in the same ballpark as its competitors.

Now that Android 5.0 Lollipop is available for the OnePlus One in two completely different forms, it is up to me to compare them. We will see which one has the better firmware, better software, and ultimately which takes the better photos.

When I compared the CM Camera in CM11 to the ColorOS Camera, I didn’t take any low light photos or photos with the front camera. After all, low light performance has historically been fine and the front camera is among the best on the market. It wasn’t necessary. Here, it will be.

OxygenOS: Google Camera vs ColorOS Camera: Rear Camera

Google Camera lacks a number of features that ColorOS has. It doesn’t allow the user to use manual settings, such as ISO, exposure, color effect, contrast, and saturation, as ColorOS allows the user to do.

When it comes to video, 1080p sadly is the limit. The OnePlus One was known for its capability for recording 4K DCI and 4K UHD, features that were stripped out of OxygenOS. The ColorOS Camera app does have a 4K option listed, but when used, records 480p video.

Of course, 4K video recording on the OnePlus One is not all it’s cracked up to be. After about eight minutes of recording, it craps out. It tells the user that he has reached the maximum file size, which, just sucks.

Let’s look at some samples. Please note that in order to enlarge the images, simply click or tap them. Don’t tap them unless you have a touchscreen, otherwise tapping the images will only get fingerprints on your monitor. To view the full size image, there is a link in the gallery.

Google Camera ColorOS Camera

These camera apps seem to be very similar. There are some clear differences, but not the remarkable differences we saw when we compared the Google Camera app to CameraNextMod.

I would put these two camera apps on the same level. No one wins. Back when I compared the CM Camera app to the ColorOS camera app, the CM Camera app won for the same reason that it won over the Google Camera app on OxygenOS.

OxygenOS: Google Camera vs ColorOS Camera: Front Camera

I have long considered the OnePlus One to have the best front facing camera on the market, putting it up against high resolution front cameras such as the HTC Desire Eye and the HTC Desire 820, or lower resolution front cameras that perform well, such as the iPhone 6.

As I said when I compared the Google Camera app on OxygenOS to the iPhone 6, the front facing camera looks good, but not best in class good, as it does with the CM Camera app. I think the CM Camera app is the way to go here.

Also, notice that one of them reverses the photos? Huh.


All OnePlus One Camera Comparisons

All Photos Used for OnePlus One Camera Comparisons

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.