We went hands-on with the OnePlus 9’s new Hasselblad XPan Mode
OnePlus has just released OxygenOS 22.214.171.124 to the OnePlus 9 series, and the update is packed with new camera features. In the spirit of OnePlus’ collaboration with Hasselblad, the two companies have recreated a ton of features known from the classic Hasselblad XPan film camera for a vintage shooting experience, including an interface based on the camera’s viewfinder.
OnePlus promo image.
The 1998 XPan, in case you’re not familiar, is a very unique piece of photography history. It’s capable of shooting regular 35mm images on 35mm film, but it also allows photographers to switch to 24x65mm panorama images on the fly without changing the film or sacrificing quality. OnePlus wants to emulate this unique experience by introducing a 65:21 ratio shooting mode that offers the exact same panoramic view enabled by the XPan. OnePlus is also dubbing this the “very wide mode.” It essentially emulates two of the classic focal lengths from the XPan’s lenses, 30mm (a cropped image from the OnePlus’ ultra-wide camera) and 45mm (using the OnePlus’ main camera). Both of these formats are cropped to 20MP (down from the sensors’ 48/50MP), which is more than what the regular 12MP shooting mode enables. There are also two film effects, an ordinary-looking colored look and a black and white simulation, co-worked with Hasselblad.
We had the chance to go hands-on with the update and were able to produce some examples. Here’s a small gallery showing off the unique aspect ratio and the filters available in the XPan Mode, straight out of the OnePlus 9 camera app:
Some of our own shots.
The mode’s shooting interface itself is based on the XPan’s viewfinder, with an exposure compensation meter on the left, a black and white toggle on the bottom right, and the 30 vs 45mm switch at the very bottom. Unfortunately, the interface makes XPan Mode seem super slow to capture, as it emulates a negative film being developed after hitting the shutter button. The animation might be nice to look at once and somewhat true to the XPan example, but it isn’t how modern smartphone photography works.
When compared to regular shots, as we’ve done below, you’ll notice that the Hasselblad mode doesn’t change too much about the way the OnePlus 9 processes (colored) images. Instead, it’s more about the shooting experience, the unique aspect ratio, and the film emulations, which are certainly fun to play with, but probably not the killer argument for the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.
On top of the XPan Mode, OnePlus has added some further camera processing enhancements, showing off some before/after comparisons in a gallery. The company has additionally improved the wireless charging experience and updated the OnePlus 9 series to the September 2021 security patch.
- Optimized the wireless charging experience
- Updated Android security patch to September 2021
- Fixed known issues and improved stability
- Optimized HDR frame retrieving algorithms and reduced noise in multiple scenes
- Fix the over-sharpening issues in auto mode scenarios
- Improved stability of auto white balance in auto mode
- Optimized auto white balance when shifting between the main and ultra-wide camera
- Reduced over-brightening of images on Nightscape Mode
- Improved the dynamic range in low-light conditions
- Improved success rate when shooting moving objects
- Updated the memory optimization solution and reduced the launch time of the native camera app by up to 50%
- Reduced lag in camera preview and optimized the shutter lag in some scenarios
Hasselblad XPan Mode
- Aspect ratio of 65:21 – offering the same cinematic look as the actual Hasselblad XPan camera
- Very wide mode – 2 focal lengths
- Two of the classic focal lengths seen on the XPan, 30mm (cropped by UW) and 45 MM (main camera)
- With over 20 megapixels, the camera is able to maintain a high-resolution photo, even after cropping in their images
- Preview Box – In phone preview, users will see the same frame lines seen through the lens of an actual XPan camera
- Animation of developing negative film after taking a shot
- Two film simulation effects
- Color and black & white – co-worked with Hasselblad to bring a unique B&W film
The update is now rolling out to phones, but if you’re particularly impatient, you can get the OTA using the Oxygen Updater app.
Ryne Hager contributed to this article.