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OnePlus One goes against Canon 5D Mark III, does surprisingly well

Photo and video enthusiasts will promptly tell you there is no way a smartphone camera can ever match a DSLR camera, but one just did!
August 18, 2014

Photo and video enthusiasts will promptly tell you there is no way a smartphone camera can ever match a DSLR camera (especially one like the Canon 5D Mark III, known to be one of the best DSLRs for video). This is mostly true, but what can we say when we witness this seemingly impossible task being realized?

Italian film director, screenwriter and producer Giacomo Mantovani put the OnePlus One up against the legendary Canon 5D Mark III. The results were stunning – intricate 4K video testing proved the Chinese smartphone can, in fact, beat the Canon 5D Mark III.

Is a OnePlus One really better than a DSLR?

Does this make the phone a better option for videographers? Definitely not, and for many reasons. This video test was done under perfect lighting conditions, a set-up that puts no strain on the smartphones minuscule sensor.

While the OnePlus One’s camera details and video clarity did beat the 5D Mark III in plain daylight, there is no way any smartphone camera sensor can beat Canon’s acclaimed full-frame sensor. Larger sensors make for better low-light quality (less grain, noise, etc.). Get both devices in darker environments and the differences will quickly become apparent.

Now that we have that technical difference out of the way, we can start talking about the very nature of both contenders. A DSLR offers video versatility and flexibility that can’t be beat by a mobile device. Availability of lenses, accessories, modes and upgrades is what made DSLRs the go-to tool for many professionals.

Canon Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR

Smartphone modes and manual controls has been improving, but in many ways you are kind of stuck with what you get. You can’t purchase a new lens and increase the aperture, for example.

In short, the OnePlus One may be a great option for video enthusiasts who may not feel like carrying a full DSLR and everything it comes with. Sometimes having convenient quality is better than having the best quality. Giacomo Mantovani does say the OnePlus One is better in ideal lighting, so it might be perfect for certain shots. He also says there are reasons why DSLRs are where they are in the industry.

What this test does prove is that OnePlus did an amazing job putting this smartphone together. 4K video is no insignificant feature; being able to handle it like a champ is even more impressive. After all, beating a full frame DSLR in ANYTHING is an astounding success, in and of itself. Sadly, the OnePlus’ invite system continues to make the $300 gem a hard device to purchase.