OnePlus marked a new chapter in mobile photography when it tied up with legendary camera manufacturer Hasselblad for its OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro devices earlier this year. These were the first phones to ever come with cameras developed in collaboration with Hasselblad. The result was some of the best photography by a phone, with images rich in detail and natural colours, courtesy Hasselblad’s famous colour calibration.
And now OnePlus has added another dimension to phone photography by bringing the experience of using Hasselblad’s famous XPan camera to the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. The XPan camera was released by Hasselblad in 1998 and literally changed everyone’s idea of photography. It not only lets users switch to a full panorama mode without having to change the film, but also provided them with a very different perspective of the world. That is because, in addition to the normal 24 x 36 mm format that users got on film cameras, it also added a 24 x 65 mm full panorama format, allowing people to get a unique wide-angled view of the world.
It is this unique format that is coming to the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro.
The latest OTA updates to the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro bring the legendary Hasselblad XPan mode to the phones, allowing us to see the world and photograph in that 65:24 mm view. Not just that, users of these phones will be able to take pictures using two famous lenses that were available for the XPan camera – the 30 mm and 45 mm lens.
OnePlus and Hasselblad have collaborated to recreate details from the Hasselblad XPan camera to give users a true Hasselblad XPan experience. The view on the phones is free of distortion, unlike what one gets in many panoramic shots, where the sides and corners tend to “bend” a little. In a neat touch, users will also have the option to shoot in glorious colour or go with classic black and white.
What’s more, the images shot in this mode come in glorious detail, as they are shot not in the default 12-megapixel mode for the phone, but are actually cropped from the 48-megapixel main camera and 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera. The result: glorious print-quality images of more than 20 megapixels – 7552 × 2798 resolution on 30mm and 7872 × 2916 resolution on 45mm.
Users of the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro will be therefore seeing the world from a classic perspective that is found in no other phone camera. A simple regular snap can be converted into a beautiful panoramic one. And not only will landscapes get a fresh look, but even pictures taken in portrait orientation will present a very different, “taller” perspective. And thanks to their high resolution, all the snaps taken in this mode will be so rich in detail that you will be able to edit them without compromising on quality at all.
The best part is that all this requires nothing special. All one needs to do is update one’s OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro to the latest software, and then go to the default camera app. Yes, there is no need to get a new app or anything. Just go to the camera app and from the lower portion of the app, swipe upwards. From the options that appear, just choose XPan. You will see your camera’s viewfinder transform into that of the famous Hasselblad XPan camera. You can switch between 45 mm and 30 mm lens views and also between colour and black and white, if you wish.
There is also a bit of magic in the photo-taking process. When you hit the shutter (that button in Hasselblad orange) in the XPan mode, you will see the picture first appear in the form of a film negative and then slowly transform into a proper photograph. A photograph that cannot be matched by any other phone’s camera. A photograph from a classic camera that redefined photography in 1998. And whose latest avatar could well redefine phone photography as we know it today.
OnePlus and Hasselblad just (e)XPand-ed the horizon of phone photography. Literally.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines