Deep Dive | New camera technologies to help you capture your best shot via OnePlus 9 Pro co-developed with Hasselblad

  1. Jimmy Z. , via OnePlus 9 Pro co-developed with Hasselblad , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Hi everyone,

    For the past week, we’ve been talking a lot about mobile photography – our new partnership with Hasselblad, highlights of the OnePlus 9 Series camera, and other upcoming camera technologies. There is a lot to unpack so I’d like to take the time to tell you about the four new technologies that we recently introduced here in the Community.

    We’re really excited that two of these technologies will make their debut on the OnePlus 9 Series – the Sony IMX789 sensor, which is the largest and most advanced main camera sensor ever on a OnePlus device, and freeform lens technology for improved ultra-wide photography. And looking further down the road, we’ll also share some details about two new technologies that we are already working on for future flagships, as a testament to our long-term commitment to mobile photography innovation – a panoramic camera with a 140-degree field of view, and a “bionic lens” for fast focusing.

    First, let’s talk about the two new technologies in the upcoming 9 Series:

    Sony IMX789 – Our largest custom main sensor ever
    This new sensor is the culmination of our work with Sony for the last two years. We leveraged the insights we gathered from OnePlus 8 Pro’s IMX689, keeping the same technologies that made it our best sensor to date – like dual native ISO, omnidirectional focusing (2x2 OCL), and real-time HDR video – but also included considerable improvements that put the IMX789 sensor in a league of its own.

    Take a look at these sample shots that really highlight the powers of the IMX789 sensor.

    Main Camera Sample 3.jpg Main Camera Sample 2.jpg Main Camera Sample 1.jpg

    Compared to the IMX689, the IMX789 has a denser circuit design, allowing higher data throughput. But let’s talk real-life benefits. This increased data throughput allows you to capture 4K video at a whopping 120 fps. And with DOL-HDR, short for digital overlap HDR, the sensor can capture short exposure and long exposure images near-simultaneously and merge them into a high-quality frame with details in both highlights and shadows. Real-life benefits? HDR video with reduced blur, delivering improved video shooting in a backlit environment.

    Freeform lens – near-zero distortion on ultra-wide
    Sensors are obviously a very important part of the equation, but often neglected in spec sheets, lenses also play a significant role in a camera’s output. With ultra-wide photography, that’s even truer. The wide field of view easily introduces distortion in the edges of the image. One such common side effect is warping lines in architectural photography.


    With the OnePlus 9 Series and Sony’s IMX766 sensor, we added a freeform lens, not unlike those used in progressive eyewear. Compared to the 10-20% distortion found in the traditional ultra-wide lenses, freeform lenses have only around 1% distortion, almost eliminating it in ultra-wide shots. These side-by-side sample shots @Pete shared in this tweet are a perfect example.

    Comparison Shot 1.jpg Comparison Shot 2.jpg

    You can also find a couple of shots below that show the type of photos you can accomplish with the OnePlus 9 Series IMX766 and ultra-wide angle lens:

    UW Camera Sample 2.jpg UW Camera Sample 1.jpg

    And looking ahead, here's the camera technology that we’re already working on for future OnePlus devices:

    T-lens or Bionic Lens – lightning-fast focus in the front-facing camera
    Also in development, the T-lens was inspired by the human eye, leading to our current name for it: Bionic Lens. This lens sees the traditional coil motor replaced for near-instant autofocus, under a millisecond, 5 to 10 times faster than with the coil motor. This technology can also reduce energy consumption during the focusing process, while also shrinking the front-camera sensor.


    The incredibly fast auto-focus allows creative uses of this technology like taking two photos in rapid succession – portrait and background – and combining them for next-level selfies.

    Additionally, this lens enables a focal length of 15 cm. Even if in a shaky environment, it will still be able to autofocus quickly on nearby things, with outstanding stability.

    We are now pushing this technology into production and hope to have it in commercially available products soon.

    We can’t wait for you to have a chance to try the IMX789 sensor and freeform lens on the OnePlus 9 Series, and the 140-degree Super Panoramic Lens and Bionic Lens in our future products as well. We’re sure these technologies will power your best shot.

    Note: all images were compressed to fit the forums' 5MB limit

  2. dsmonteiro
    OnePlus Community Team Staff Member Mar 12, 2021

    Stickied Post

  3. ARC0300
    Eclair Mar 12, 2021

  4. Liehjan
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Community Expert Mar 12, 2021

  5. McJader
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9RT 5G Writers' Club Mar 12, 2021

    McJader , Mar 12, 2021 :
    This is quite interesting...

  6. Tokolozi
    The Lab Reviewer - OPPO Find N Mar 12, 2021

    Tokolozi , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Great post @Jimmy Z. !

    Question on the freeform lens though, in classical lens terms is this similar to aspherical lenses used on bigger lens designs?

  7. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Community Expert Mar 12, 2021

    Dresa91 , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Thanks, great thread @Jimmy Z.! :)
    I ask again: are these the real and unedited shots?
    Or can you provide some real sample shots?

  8. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Community Expert Writers' Club Mar 12, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Love the pictures you've shared! Hopefully average users too can take such stunning shots wit ease :)

  9. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Community Expert Mar 12, 2021

    Dresa91 , Mar 12, 2021 :
    “Applying Hasselblad’s color expertise to our smartphones was actually quite challenging, since their color science is created for traditional cameras, which is very different from how smartphone cameras work with color” said Lau.

    “While this has been a significant challenge to overcome, our R&D teams have been working very closely for months to co-develop our new color solution.

    “Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad, which aims to bring more perceptually accurate and natural-looking colors to photos taken with OnePlus flagship cameras. It also will serve as OnePlus’ new standard for color calibration for its future smartphone cameras.”

    I hope ALL pics are real and honest results... and not edited or adjusted results,.. as in benchmarks....

    Source, linked interview, thanks David:)

  10. McJader
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9RT 5G Writers' Club Mar 12, 2021

    McJader , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Exactly why I'm eagerly waiting for the LAB camera reviews..

  11. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Community Expert Writers' Club Mar 12, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 12, 2021 :
    All I'm waiting for is Mr. Mobile’s review. ;)

  12. the_o2
    OnePlus 9 Series Expert Community Expert Mar 12, 2021

    the_o2 , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Hope these super fascinating terms makes difference in real world usage as well :)

  13. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Community Expert Mar 12, 2021

    Dresa91 , Mar 12, 2021 :
    If then the update process has been improved:

  14. Does!Compute
    KitKat Mar 12, 2021

    Does!Compute , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Release the 9 series already!!! Sharing all these features, and we have to wait to see them in action? That's pure evil @Jimmy Z. :)

  15. Shailender Sharma
    Nougat Mar 12, 2021

    Shailender Sharma , Mar 12, 2021 :
    Is OnePlus really serious to improve camera performances in 2021?

    Working directly with Sony on a number of custom features for the IMX789.
    Hasselblad’s color expertise.
    Bionic’ selfie camera in working.

    I hope so! 👍

  16. Lumrf
    Gingerbread Mar 12, 2021

    Feddie1 and Adesh.sanmukh like this.
  17. Katrick
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 12, 2021

    Katrick , via OnePlus 7T , Mar 12, 2021 :
    I guess that why 7t didn't receive any upgrade from the launch version -10
    What a joke 🤣😂

  18. sumitMZ007
    Jelly Bean Mar 12, 2021

  19. TibiTibi
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 12, 2021

    TibiTibi , Mar 12, 2021 :
    So super to see this thread. Thank you.

  20. EbyPrasad7
    Gingerbread Mar 12, 2021

    Adesh.sanmukh likes this.