OnePlus 9 update brings the Hasselblad XPan camera aesthetic to mobile

OnePlus is finally making good use of its camera partnership with Hasselblad – bringing the look of Hasselblad’s cinematic XPan camera to the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro via a software update.

This is a happy surprise, as the 9-series cameras initially fell short of the hype surrounding OnePlus’ multi-year partnership with the historic camera brand. While Hasselblad’s contribution to these phones was limited to helping OnePlus match the camera colors and provide input to the interface earlier this year, as Allison Johnson noted in her OnePlus 9 review, “the Hasselblad color matching is fine, but nothing remarkable.”

This update adds an XPan mode for the OnePlus 9 series camera, in addition to some much-needed practical patches. XPan mode replicates the focal lengths, colors and processing of the original XPan phone camera, allowing you to capture wide aspect ratio images from your phone.

OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 are teaming up with Hasselblad to refine their cameras.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

The Hasselblad XPan was the industry’s first dual-frame 35mm camera that allowed photographers to capture wide, panoramic shots at the point of capture. It has a physical switch that allows photographers to seamlessly switch between shooting single frames and (wide) photos over two frames, so they don’t have to risk losing all their photos by switching film between different formats.

Like the camera, XPan mode takes photos with an aspect ratio of 65:24 (8:3). “The photos taken in XPan mode were cropped from the [OnePlus 9 Series] 48MP main camera and 50MP ultra-wide camera instead of the standard 12MP mode,” the press release said. That should result in files over 20 megapixels once the crop is applied.

There is also the option to take panoramic photos with a focal length of 30mm or 45mm, mimicking the classic lenses of the Hasselblad camera. You can, of course, compose and view their photos by switching between the two views in the OnePlus camera app. These images also have a high resolution: a resolution of 7552 × 2798 at 30 mm and a resolution of 7872 × 2916 at 45 mm.

XPan mode uses the OnePlus 9 series’ 2-megapixel black and white camera and takes black and white photos by default, but you can switch to full color to capture images. Hasselblad also created custom black and white and color profiles for XPan mode. These sample Xpan images from OnePlus certainly look promising: cinematic black and white with plenty of drama and expansive panoramas with a more natural color palette that OnePlus is known for.

In case these film camera touches aren’t enough for your photo enthusiasts, OnePlus has even added an animation to mimic the negative film developed into an image when you press the shutter button.

If this is just the first glimpse of OnePlus’ collaboration with Hasselblad, then I’m excited to see what else these companies can come up with in the future.

Other solutions included in this OTA:

  • Optimize the wireless charging experience
  • Update Android security patch to September 2021
  • Fix known issues and improved stability
  • Optimize HDR frame retrieval algorithms and reduce noise in multiple scenes
  • Solve the oversharpening issues in auto mode scenarios
  • Improve the stability of auto white balance in auto mode
  • Optimize the automatic white balance when switching between the main camera and the ultra wide angle camera
  • Reduce image overexposure in Night Landscape mode
  • Improve dynamic range in low light
  • Improve success rate when shooting moving objects
  • Update the memory optimization solution and reduce the startup time of the native camera app by up to 50 percent
  • Reduce lag in camera preview and optimize shutter lag in some scenarios

This update will be rolled out to OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro starting today, September 17, 2021.