the chamber of OnePlus 10 Pro it has a 10-bit color mode, which the company says is ideal for amateur photographers who want to take the best possible photo, and which it hopes the mode will become more common in the future.
Is OnePlus right and should I use 10-bit color on the OnePlus 10 Pro? Well yes, but you’ll have to take my word for what the photos look like, as not only do you need specific hardware to really appreciate the results, but the format the photos are saved in makes doing anything with them a snap. a little complicated. Here’s what you need to know about the 10-bit color mode on the OnePlus 10 Pro.
If you’re not a photography expert, chances are you haven’t come across the term 10-bit color before. It refers to the bit depth of an image or video, which is the depth of tone it can contain. Most cameras record in 8-bit color when recording and saving files in the JPEG format, which contains 256 hue levels, or 16.7 million colors. Quite, in other words.
However, switch to a device that can capture 10-bit color video images and the depth of tone jumps to 1,024 levels, which is equivalent to 1.07 billion colors. That’s a lot more, and as we know, bigger numbers are usually better. What does it mean to capture more colors? The benefits come when you look at scenes with color gradients and when you want to edit your images and videos.
A sunset is a good example of where 10-bit color helps to take a better image. An 8-bit color photo of a sunset may contain “banding,” where you can see a clear division between the levels of red, yellow, and orange that typically make up a sunset. In a 10-bit color image, this banding disappears and is replaced by a smooth color gradient.
If you want to deeply edit your photos or videos in Photoshop or another program, the additional levels of tone make a big difference in the final results. Eight-bit videos and images can’t be upscaled to 10-bit, so shoot in 10-bit from the start if that’s what you want. The problem is that JPEG doesn’t support 10-bit, so images can’t be saved with it. This is where the RAW format comes into play, or in the case of still images on the OnePlus 10 Pro, the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF).
Now that you know what it does, how do you test it on the OnePlus 10 Pro? To take 10-bit color still images, open the camera app and tap the three dots in the top right corner of the screen, then tap Setting. Scroll down until you see the 10-bit color option and turn it on. At the same time, the HEIF option below it will automatically turn on. The phone’s camera is now in 10-bit color mode.
Go back to the viewfinder and you’ll see a message on the screen reminding you that the camera is shooting in 10-bit color. That’s it, now just take photos as you normally would. No additional time or additional steps are required. The OnePlus 10 Pro will take 10-bit color photos in both standard Photo mode and Night mode regardless of which of the three cameras you use, but not in Portrait mode.
visit the menu Plus and activate the Hasselblad Pro mode, then tap the three dots in the top right corner and you’ll have the option to save the image as a RAW or RAW Plus file, both of which shoot in 12-bit color. Taking 10-bit or 12-bit photos or videos gives you much more flexibility when editing, and can make the image look better when viewed on a compatible display. However, before leaving 10-bit color mode on forever, there are a few major downsides to consider.
It’s easy to turn on 10-bit color mode and take photos, but the problems come when you try to do anything with them afterwards. First of all, you need to view the 10-bit images on a screen that displays 10-bit color. The OnePlus 10 Pro’s display supports 10-bit color, so you can see photos taken on it in all their glory. However, there is a possibility that your computer monitor or television does not support 10-bit color. Shoot in 12-bit color using Hasselblad Pro mode, and not even the OnePlus 10 Pro’s screen will show the improvement over 10-bit colour.
The other drawback is the HEIF file format, which is a bit of a pain. A 10-bit pain, if you will. The problem is compatibility, as although you can edit the photos on the OnePlus 10 Pro and on dedicated photo editing software, sharing them is much more difficult. Google Photos doesn’t support HEIF files, so they only appear as black squares in Gallery, but you can download them to your phone to view them. Google Drive doesn’t show them as previews either.
Twitter doesn’t allow you to upload HEIF files, and while Instagram will accept the file, the service doesn’t support 10-bit color, so it’s kind of useless. The web in general is not a friendly place for HEIF (or HEIC, Apple’s equivalent file format), as browsers like Chrome and Safari don’t support the file either. To print a HEIF file, you’ll need to convert it to a JPEG, which means you’ll lose the additional information collected.
Do you want to take photos that are awkward to share and view? I doubt it, and that’s the biggest drop from 10-bit color mode.
Imagine a gallery of beautiful 10-bit color photos here. You’ll have to because the frustrating quirk of the HEIF format means I can’t easily show them to you. Even if Digital Trends’ media library supports HEIF files (it doesn’t), your browser won’t display them, and there’s a good chance your monitor or phone screen won’t display 10-bit color either. You’ll just have to take my word for them to look pretty.
When I look at them on the OnePlus 10 Pro’s AMOLED screen, there’s a definite difference between a 10-bit color photo and an 8-bit JPEG. An 8-bit JPEG of a sunset didn’t contain any particular bands that I could see, but in the 10-bit photo, there was more color depth. I’d call it “richer,” and while it’s not an outstanding improvement, the scene did look more atmospheric. I like the results, and imagine that in the right situation the 10-bit color mode could produce some really eye-catching photos, but at other times you might look around and wonder what the differences are between 8-bit and 10-bit.
What does all this mean for this unusual feature on the OnePlus 10 Pro? Those who want to edit their photos and really make them look exactly the way they like them will appreciate the 10-bit color mode, and are more likely to have the necessary software and hardware to take full advantage of it too.
For the rest of us, it seems like we need to wait for the online world to catch up before using it widely. It’s frustrating because the photos show promise, but the file format means they’re difficult to view and share, which for many people will defeat the purpose of taking such a photo in the first place.