OnePlus is looking to further strengthen its current partnership with Hasselblad by releasing a new update that adds the latter’s traditional XPan camera as a shooting mode in the camera for the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.
The cinematic XPan mode marks a shift in the collaboration between the two, which had proved underwhelming on the OnePlus 9 Pro. Up to now, Hasselblad’s contribution focused more on color reproduction, but this takes things up a notch. The XPan mode is available when you swipe up from the main Photo mode in the camera app. It recreates the classic XPan film camera of the past using an interface that tries to capture the look and feel.
That means an aspect ratio of 65:21 (8:3), with two “very wide” focal lengths of 30mm and 45mm. The 30mm shots come from the ultra-wide lens, with a crop factor to stay true to the stated focal length. The 45mm shots come from the main camera. Photographers still get images at 20-megapixels or higher, despite the crop factor making the frame smaller. This means it’s not using the standard binned 12MP mode, but rather the full pixel density of the sensor.
Swipe up and down to adjust exposure, along with the option to switch between color and black and white, as another homage to what XPan used to be like in the film days. They are simulations, of course, but to add some flair to it all, the software emulates what it would look like to develop the film negative as it creates the digital preview after a shot has been snapped.
For whatever reason, OnePlus doesn’t allow users to add XPan to the preferred mode menu on the camera app. It’s treated as a special one that can only be accessed by swiping up. Either way, this marks a new method to capture images for OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro users that harkens back to how old Hasselblad XPan 35mm film cameras allowed photographers to shoot in either one frame or over two frames. Photographers can take panoramic-style shots or take advantage of the vintage color palettes applied to this mode.
Below are a few more examples provided by OnePlus:
In addition to the new XPan mode, OnePlus did update some other elements for the camera, including better HDR and less noise, as well as dialing back the incessant sharpness in the auto mode. That also helps reduce the over-brightening that could blight photos in Nightscape, though OnePlus says it did improve the dynamic range in low-light shots. Overall, the camera app should also load and function faster than it did before.
The latest update rolls out to all OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro devices starting September 17, 2021.