While OnePlus phones are a great option for people who want top-notch performance and displays for under $ 700, they haven’t been the best at photography.
The company wants to change that with its new flagship model and has teamed up with the Swedish camera company. Hasselblad. The company is known for its high-end photography equipment, including its camera systems and medium format lenses.
In a 2019 interview with TNW, OnePlus’ Product manager Zack Zhang said the company’s camera system is not where it aspires to be. The Chinese manufacturer has since improved the quality of its camera, but its results are still inconsistent.
This is where Hasselblad comes in. With the announcement of the partnership, the company has already revealed what you can expect from the camera of the upcoming OnePlus 9 Pro:
- A panoramic camera with a 140 degree field of view. It sounds exciting to any lover of landscape photography.
- A free-form lens to reduce distortion. These are asymmetrical glasses with an uneven and complex surface. Plus, it makes the phone a bit lighter. Huawei has already used this type of lens in its Mate 40 Pro device.
- T lens technology for faster focusing in front cameras. Now, we don’t know a lot of details on what this means, so we’ll have to wait until the phone is released to understand what this technology does.
These are mainly hardware modifications and features. What about the software?
- OnePlus will introduce support for capturing 12-bit RAW image files for a wider dynamic range. Apple’s ProRAW format also stores 12-bit data by default. It should be noted that many Android-based photo editing apps do not yet support 10-bit images, so they will need to be rearranged before you can edit your new 12-bit files.
- The next set of OnePlus phones will also have a Hasselblad Pro mode with a new user interface and controls for ISO, exposure, and white balance. OnePlus says that this mode will set you up for editing with the most natural colors.
- Speaking of natural colors, the two companies have also developed a new calibration standard called Natural color calibration with Hasselblad. OnePlus has been talking about ‘natural looking photos’ in its marketing for a while, so we’ll have to see what really changes here.
The phone maker has said it is making a strategic investment of $ 150 million for a partnership that will last for three years. With Hasselblad’s help, OnePlus will create four major research centers around the world, including two imaging laboratories based in the United States and Japan.
It all sounds good, but other companies like Samsung, Google, and Apple have been ahead of the curve in imaging research for years. So I don’t expect direct competition from the start. However, I expect the next OnePlus cameras to become more versatile and provide better quality than their predecessors. We can’t wait to get our hands on the company’s next review units and put them to the test.
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Published March 8, 2021 – 08:08 UTC