OnePlus ups the stake in camera battle with Hasselblad XPan mode


This year, in March, OnePlus forged a three-year partnership, with Hasselblad, a camera manufacturer to co-develop the next generation of smartphone cameras for OnePlus’ flagship devices.

Hasselblad was founded in 1941 as a manufacturer of digital format cameras and lenses. These cameras are known for their ergonomic design, image quality, and performance. Hasselblad cameras have captured images such as the first landing on the Moon.

Moving a step ahead in this partnership, OnePlus is launching the new XPan Mode on its latest flagship smartphones, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.

The origin of XPan cameras

In the 90s era, most cameras utilised the 35mm format. But it was a time when the transition to digital imaging had just begun. With the introduction of better quality and wide-screen movies, the interest of the audience was piqued, and they were keen to find out more about the aspect ratio (for its look and feel), rather than other details.

Over time, portable cameras became increasingly popular, since they could take wide-format photos. But the biggest dampener was the image quality, which was far from superior.

Taking these insights into consideration, XPan was developed, which served as a bridge to connect the 35mm format and the medium format. It was also able to change to a full panorama, without switching the film.

As per the official Hasselblad website, the XPan utilised a dual-format, which could produce both 24x65mm format, apart from the conventional 24x36mm format.

Between 1998 and 2002, there were about 16,800 XPan cameras produced by Hasselblad.

After the original XPan was discontinued, XPan II was introduced in 2003. Hasselblad further improved upon the shutter speed and exposure data, which could be viewed on the LCD display of the camera’s viewfinder. The bulb exposure was enhanced to 540 seconds.

XPan Mode on Hasselblad Camera for Mobile

OnePlus Hasselblad image shot using XPan 

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OnePlus Hasselblad image shot using XPan 

The XPan Mode on the Hasselblad Camera for mobile has been designed to provide the experience of using the original Hasselblad XPan camera. It gets a unique field of view.

Images taken using the XPan mode has a ratio of 65:24. Through splicing and sharing, one photo can create “three stories”.

The images taken on XPan Mode are cropped from the 48MP main camera and 50MP ultra-wide camera, instead of the default 12MP mode. The result is a high-resolution image of over 20MP. XPan images feature 7552 × 2798 resolution on 30mm and 7872 × 2916 resolution on 45mm. The XPan Mode for Mobile also uses the 65:24 ratio for preview.

The XPan BW filter

OnePlus has worked in collaboration with Hasselblad on two film simulation profiles for XPan Mode – one is the colour mode, while the other is a black and white mode. When you open the XPan Mode on the OnePlus 9 series, it starts off in the black and white mode, which is reminiscent of the original Hasselblad XPan camera.

With its two focal lengths of 30mm and 45mm, users can shoot panoramic images with a preview straight from the viewfinder on the OnePlus camera app.

In XPan Mode, when a user presses the shutter, the frozen picture will first be previewed as a negative film, and then turned into a normal photo, before it is saved. This is to provide users with the original look and feel of film development.

In order to use the new XPan feature, the user can follow these steps:

  • Open the camera feature
  • Swipe up to see a host of options
  • Choose XPan and click the picture
  • You will first see a negative film that will turn into a normal photo
  • Three photos will then be saved on your phone.

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