The OnePlus 5 makes taking pro photos easy, reveals fashion photographer Raghav Goswamy
Over the years, smartphones have slowly become a necessity and often, an inseparable part of our lives. Thanks to its portable nature, smartphones have made us question the need to buy a desktop computer, a gaming console and now, even a full fledged DSLR. Phones these days are powerful, fast and can mostly do everything a computer can. Yet, for a good long time, the maximum potential of a smartphone could only be experienced when you spent all your savings on a super-expensive, high-end flagship phone. But then, three years back, OnePlus arrived and changed all that. The OnePlus One made us realise you don’t need to spend so much to get the best out of a phone. The OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T that came out last year cemented that realisation.

But one thing remained elusive. The imaging experience. Phones did manage to upend the need for carrying a bulky laptop, but for the longest time, it would come nowhere close to taking photos as good as a professional grade camera. OnePlus thought on working towards achieving that and this year’s OnePlus 5 is the result.

With the OnePlus 5, the Chinese upstart has not only managed to win the hearts of its loyal fans, but it has also convinced professional photographers that you don’t need to carry a DSLR anymore. We gave the phone to Raghav Goswamy, a young and talented lifestyle and fine arts photographer who went to the iconic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi one evening and took some stunning shots. At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the photos were shot using a professional setup. An untrained eye will even claim it to be a work of a DSLR camera. That’s the charm of the OnePlus 5.

The OnePlus 5 offers a dual camera setup on the back. Much like the iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus 5 features the usual 16-megapixel f/1.7 lens and a 20-megapixel f/2.6 lens which is a 35mm telephoto lens. This allows the OnePlus 5 to offer some amount of optical zoom which is again optimised to offer clean, lossless zoom. But does it really help?

“Normally zooming in too much on phones is a hassle, because the images tend to get grainy. I did use the feature in a few of my images though, and was surprised to see barely any difference, especially when I clicked them on RAW as I could edit them and correct whatever little difference I saw, once I was done clicking,” Raghav told Gizmodo India.

The OnePlus 5 can indeed take photos in RAW format, which used to be a feature exclusive to DSLRs. Professionals use RAW images so that it can be processed better in post production.

But more than that, the OnePlus 5 can make a photographer out of just about anybody. While a professional image maker can take brilliant shots from any device, the OnePlus 5 is quite simple to use. The stock camera app offers high-end editing options which can turn any image into something you could frame and hang on your wall.

Raghav's job was made easy thanks to the OnePlus 5.

"There isnt much I have done to these images post capturing. Mostly edits can be completed on the phone itself, the stock app is pretty easy to handle. There are also additonal apps on the phone these days that make editing a super simple process," revealed Raghav.

But post processing the photo is only half the work. The magic lies in figuring out the camera's limitations. Every camera has its sweet spot and Raghav manipulated it to get those brilliant images you saw in his gallery.

"It’s more or less getting used to the focal length of the camera. It’s slightly wide , so I tried to stick to that focal length and used an approach that compliments that. I also experimented with the portrait mode and the depth of field setting that comes with it. Its an interesting bit that’s added to the phone camera, and its fun to explore it in different light settings," Raghav illustrated.

And that's about it. Unlike using a DSLR where you need to muddle through complicated controls to get that perfect shot, phone cameras like the one on the OnePlus 5 takes the pain away by offering useful features like the portrait mode and the optical zoom. It's that simple.

Raghav Goswamy is a young and talented fashion and fine arts photographer based out of New Delhi and Mumbai.