13 October 2021
At the time of announcing its top-tier flagship phone this year, OnePlus spoke highly of what it has managed to achieve with the help of legendary professional camera manufacturer Hasselblad. OnePlus touted that it is bringing Hasselblad’s iconic color performance to a smartphone for the first time. And, this was enough to intimidate a potential buyer.
But, a true and tangible feature is making its way to the OnePlus 9-series only now. This is called XPan mode and it aims to replicate the anamorphic look that Hasselblad’s XPan film cameras used to produce.
To the uninitiated ones, the XPan camera was introduced in the ’90s in partnership with Fuji and it became a cult favorite among the photographers at the time. It’s a genuine panoramic camera that lets photographers capture cinematic shots. This means instead of stitching photos side by side, the camera lets you capture a true panoramic shot, thanks to a wider frame.
This is what the XPan mode on the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro mimics as well and will let the mobile photography enthusiasts create some great shots full of drama. The mode offers two focal lengths – 30mm of 7552x2798 pixels resolution and 45mm of 7872x2916 pixels resolution.
OnePlus explains that photos taken with XPan are cropped from the 48MP of the main camera and 50MP of the ultra-wide camera. This means the full-res 48MP shots are binned to 20MP, instead of the regular 12MP. Every photo taken by XPan mode has a photo ratio of 65:24 (about 2.7:1), which is completely different from the traditional 3:2 or 4:3 photo ratio. This is the reason, these photos will offer a unique look and feel, just like an ultra-wide movie. The image preview has the frame lines that you'd see through the lens of an XPan camera, OnePlus says. Once capturing the shot, you can see an animation of negative film developing.
Note that the Hasselblad XPan camera comes at an expensive tag in case you plan to buy one today, but having this enabled on the phones speaks a lot about OnePlus’ dedication and seriousness at adding more value to its flagships.
Well, it is understandable that XPan mode is a super niche feature, which means it will be used by a limited group of users. However, looking at the people's growing interest in mobile photography and sharing pictures on social media, more and more OnePlus 9 users are expected to make use of it and add drama to their shots.
Apart from the XPan mode, the new OxygenOS 220.127.116.11.LE15AA also brings optimizations. The update also brings September’s Android security patch.