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OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode | Reviews

Smartphone cameras have become really great at taking amazing photos. Though low-light situations are still a bit of their Achilles heel, they deliver great results in almost every other scenario. Thanks to advanced sensor technology and computational photography, Smartphones are delivering results previously unheard of from phones.

The OnePlus 6, launched early this year, came with a very capable dual lens camera system. It was lauded for its photo taking abilities and for the fact that it was able to compete with flagship smartphone cameras which were much more expensive.

It's low light photos, though pretty good, were still no match for the results from much more expensive devices. 
OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode

However, with the launch of OnePlus 6T, the company has rolled out a new dedicated night mode. So the question now is, is this night mode any good?

Let's find out!

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Read my complete OnePlus 6T coverage here!

OnePlus 6 Night mode

This year, many flagship smartphones like the Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Google Pixel 3 introduced a dedicated night mode that allowed users to take amazing photos at night. They used computational algorithms to capture images for 4-5 seconds and align them together to remove any shake.

This resulted in bright, sharp and noise-free images!

So, when OnePlus launched the OnePlus 6T in October 2018, it also came up with its own night mode named NIGHTSCAPE, which was then rolled out to OnePlus 6 as well. With this mode, OnePlus did something similar to what Huawei and Google were doing with their own implementations.

OnePlus, in Nightscape mode, essentially takes multiple frames and combines them together to give a shot that is brighter, has a better dynamic range and has less to no noise. It does this handheld in just 2 seconds where other implementations take 4-5 seconds.

However, when compared to other implementations, Oneplus's night mode still lacks!

OnePlus just doesn't have the expertise yet to match the computational magic if Google and even Huawei.

However, that comparison is for some other time. In this article, we are going to compare the normal mode with the new night mode. We will see if the Nightscape mode does actually help improve the photos on OnePlus 6.

Normal Mode vs Nightscape

I have 3 sets of photos that I recently took during Diwali celebrations here in Noida, India. All 3 sets were taken at the exact same spot at night. All images were shot handheld without the use of any tripod.

The first will be via the normal mode and the second via the night mode.
You be the judge if the night mode does help or not.

All images have been resized for the web. To check full resolution images, click this link.

OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode
OnePlus 6 - Normal Mode
OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode
OnePlus 6 - Night Mode

In this first set, you can clearly see that the image shot with the night mode is much brighter and has better dynamic range. The sky is bluer and clearer. The led lights on the left are less blown out. The night mode image also has less noise.

However, if you check out the full resolution samples and zoom in 100%, you will see that night mode photos are slightly softer.

This is a trend you will see in all the remaining 2 sets of images.

OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode
OnePlus 6 - Normal Mode
OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode
OnePlus 6 - Night Mode

Once again, the night mode photo is so much brighter and less noisy. There is ample detail to see and it's amazing that we can shoot such a photo in a low light situation, handheld.

OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode
OnePlus 6 - Normal Mode
OnePlus 6 Camera - Normal Mode vs Night Mode
OnePlus 6 - Night Mode

Once again, we see a much brighter image with better dynamic range. Yes, the image is slightly softer but OnePlus can always tweak the image processing software to sharpen the image slightly. One can also sharpen the image himself later.

Capturing such a bright and noise free image at night, handheld, is something that is amazing!

Final Thoughts

With Nightscape, OnePlus has brought a very useful feature for its users. Though they launched it with the OnePlus 6T, they rolled it out to all the OnePlus 6 devices as well which is really great on their part.

I Agree, this nightscape mode is no Google Night Sight killer!

But, it does help improve the image quality of the nighttime images quite a bit. And I have found it to work quite well handheld. The images could use a bit more clarity and sharpness but I am sure Oneplus will update and improve this feature further in the coming months, given their track record.

All in all, I think it's a great add-on feature that enhances the already great OnePlus 6 camera!

What do you think? Do you agree with me?

Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.

I am an ardent Techie and a Free Thinker. I love to explore new topics and technologies, and share my knowledge and views with the world.
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