I can’t show you how good the OnePlus 10 Pro’s 10-bit color photos look


The OnePlus 10 Pro The camera has a 10-bit color mode, which, according to the company, is great for amateur photographers who want to take better photos, and expects that in the future this mode will become more common.

Is OnePlus right, and should I use 10-bit color on OnePlus 10 Pro? Well, yes, but you need to take my word for it as to what the photos look like, because not only do you need special equipment to truly evaluate the results, but the format in which the photos are saved allows you to do anything with them. a little a worries (good). Here’s what you need to know about the 10-bit color mode on the OnePlus 10 Pro.

What are 10-bit color photos?

If you’re not an expert on photography, chances are you haven’t met the term 10-bit color before. This applies to bit depth of image or videothat is the depth of tone it can contain. Most cameras record in 8-bit color when you shoot and save files in JPEG format, which contains 256 levels of hue or 16.7 million colors. In other words, quite a lot.

Andy Boxal / Digital Trends

However, switch to a device that can capture 10-bit color video images, and the depth of the tone will jump to 1,024 levels, which is 1.07 billion colors. It’s much bigger, and as we know, bigger numbers are usually better. What does it mean to capture more colors? The benefits come when viewing scenes with color gradients, as well as when you want to edit images and videos.

Sunset is a good example of when 10-bit color helps to make a better image. The 8-bit color photo of the sunset can contain “stripes” where you can see a clear separation between the levels of red, yellow and orange that usually make up a sunset. In a 10-bit color image, this band disappears and is replaced by a smooth color gradient.

If you want to deeply edit your photos or videos in Photoshop or another program, additional tone levels are of great importance for the end results. Eight-bit videos and images cannot be enlarged to 10-bit, so you have to shoot in 10-bit from the beginning if that’s what you want. The catch is that JPEG does not support 10-bit, so images cannot be saved using it. Here comes the RAW format or, in the case of photos on the OnePlus 10 Pro, the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format.

How to activate 10-bit color on OnePlus 10 Pro

Now that you know what it does, how to try it on OnePlus 10 Pro? To take 10-bit color images, open the camera application and tap the three dots at the top right of the screen, then select Settings. Scroll down until you see the 10-bit color option and activate it. At the same time, the HEIF option below it is automatically activated. The phone’s camera now works in 10-bit color mode.

10-bit color mode on the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Andy Boxal / Digital Trends

Return to the viewfinder and you will see a message on the screen that reminds you that the camera is shooting in 10-bit color. That’s it, now just take pictures as usual. No extra time or other action is required. OnePlus 10 Pro will take 10-bit color photos in both standard photo mode and night mode, no matter which of the three cameras you use, but not in portrait mode.

Visit Read more menu and activate Hasselblad Pro mode, then click on the three dots in the upper right corner, and you will be able to save the image to a RAW or RAW Plus file, both of which are captured in 12-bit color. Capturing 10- or 12-bit photos or videos gives you much more flexibility when editing and can improve the image if you view it on a compatible screen. However, before leaving the 10-bit color mode forever, there are a few important drawbacks to consider.

Cons of shooting in 10-bit color

It’s easy to activate 10-bit color mode and take photos, but problems arise when you try to do something with them. First of all, you need to view 10-bit images on a screen that shows 10-bit color. The OnePlus 10 Pro screen supports 10-bit color, so you can view photos taken on it in all its glory. However, there is a chance that your monitor or TV does not support 10-bit color. Shoot in 12-bit color using Hasselblad Pro mode, and even the OnePlus 10 Pro screen will show no improvement over 10-bit color.

10-bit color photo shown on OnePlus 10 Pro.
10-bit color photography on OnePlus 10 Pro. Andy Boxal / Digital Trends

Another minus HEIF file formatthat hurts a little. 10-bit pain if you will. The problem is compatibility, because you can edit photos on OnePlus 10 Pro and in special photo editing software, but you can summarize them much harder. Google Photos does not support HEIF files, so they are simply displayed as black squares in the Gallery, but you can download them to your phone for viewing. Google Drive also does not show them as a preview.

Twitter doesn’t allow you to upload HEIF files, and although Instagram will accept the file, the service doesn’t support 10-bit color, so that’s a bit pointless. The web is generally not a friendly place for HEIF- (or HEIC-, Apple’s equivalent file format) because browsers such as Chrome and Safari also do not support this file. To print a HEIF file, you will need to convert it to JPEG, which means you will lose the collected additional information.

Want to take photos that are awkward to share and view? I doubt it, and it’s the biggest drawback of 10-bit color mode.

What do the photos look like?

Just imagine a gallery of beautiful 10-bit color photos here. You have to, because the nasty quirks of the HEIF format mean I can’t easily show them to you. Even if the Digital Trends media library supports HEIF files (it doesn’t), your browser won’t show them, and chances are your monitor or phone screen also doesn’t show 10-bit color. You just need to take my word for it that they look beautiful.

When I look at them on the AMOLED OnePlus 10 Pro screen, there is a definite difference between a 10-bit color photo and an 8-bit JPEG. The 8-bit JPEG sunset didn’t contain the special bands I could see, but the 10-bit photo had more color depth. I would call it “richer,” and while it’s not an outstanding improvement, the scene looked more atmospheric. I like the results and I imagine that in the right situation 10-bit color mode can create some really bright photos, but at other times you can look and wonder what the differences are between 8-bit and 10-bit.

What does all this mean for this unusual OnePlus 10 Pro feature? Those who want to edit their photos and really make them look exactly the way they like will appreciate the 10-bit color mode and will most likely have the necessary software and hardware needed to get the most out of them.

For the rest of us, it seems like we have to wait until the online world catches up with what we missed before we use it extensively. This is frustrating because the photos are promising, but the file format means that they are difficult to view and generalize, that for many people the goal of taking such a photo will win in the first place.

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I can’t show you how good the OnePlus 10 Pro’s 10-bit color photos look

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