Introducing the camera OTA update and new XPan mode

  1. Jimmy Z.
    Camera Product Manager Staff Member Sep 17, 2021

    Jimmy Z. , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Hi everyone,

    We're are so excited to finally bring this update to OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro users. With this upcoming OTA update, in addition to multiple regular system optimizations, we also greatly improved the camera performance for its Hasselblad Camera for Mobile – including the brand new XPan Mode and multiple image quality optimizations.

    XPan mode is co-developed by OnePlus and Hasselblad. With this mode, we want to recreate the classic experience of Hasselblad XPan in a smartphone. This includes the unique 65:27 aspect ratio, two different focal lengths (30mm and 45mm) just like the original XPan, a special animation of developing negative film, and two color profiles – an updated color mode and a unique B&W simulation of the classic ILFORD Delta 400 film.


    The origin of Hasselblad Xpan
    In the mid-1990s, cameras using the 135 film system were mainstream, but the entire camera industry had begun the transition to a new era of digital imaging. On the other hand, with the popularity of wide-screen movies, people became increasingly interested in this aspect ratio for its look and feel, not unlike one's wide field of vision.

    Therefore, portable cameras that could take "wide-format" photos became more and more popular. However, in a strict sense, these cameras were based on the premise of sacrificing image quality: By covering the upper and lower parts of an image, and by using cropping, you'd get a "wide" photo.

    Hasselblad, who had insight into market changes and user needs in advance, quietly began an action to "subvert the industry", and surprised everyone.

    It is known as the bridge connecting the 135 film and the medium format – Hasselblad XPan.


    For more XPpan story, please refer to: "Legend Hasselblad, Witness of Human History" or Hasselblad's official website.
    OnePlus x Hasselblad x Xpan
    • The default color based on black and white
      When the OnePlus 9 series starts the XPan mode, it is presented in black and white by default, restoring the tone and style of the classic black and white film "Ilford Delta 400". Suitable for photo shooting of different subjects, whether it is portraits, street photography, or architecture, with comfortable, high-quality performance.

      For the color profile of XPan, we also optimized the color performance, giving it more accurate and rich color.
    • Two focal lengths, restoring two classic Hasselblad XPan lenses
      In addition, XPan mode also provides shooting with color, and users can choose two focal lengths: 30 mm and 45 mm, corresponding to the classic 30 mm and 45 mm lenses of Hasselblad XPan cameras.
    • With an ultra-wide movie-level aspect ratio, your photos can tell a better story
      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. Therefore, photos taken in XPan mode will have a unique look and feel, just like an ultra-wide movie, with more story-telling and more emotion. Besides, through the way of splicing and sharing, it creates new photo forms such as "three stories in one photo" and "cutting the main picture into three parts".




    • The preview of XPan mode also uses a 65:24 ratio, so users can get a very broad field of view and brand new composition ideas, to use XPan mode to record new vision stories, to make every bit of life more immersive.

      In order to create this unique 65:24 photo ratio, we and the Hasselblad Imaging team have spent several months continuously optimizing and adjusting. In the end, we jointly defined a set of technical standards. When users shoot in XPan mode, they can still get a picture of about over 20MP, with a 30 mm focal length of 7552 × 2798 resolution and a 45 mm focal length of 7872 × 2916 resolution.

      (Note: the photos taken with XPan are cropped from the 48MP of the main camera and 50MP of the ultra-wide camera instead of the default 12MP mode, thus providing photos over 20MP even after cropping)

    • Reproduce the ritual sense of film developing
      In XPAN mode, when the user presses the shutter, the frozen picture will firstly be presented as a negative film, and then it will turn into a normal photo and be saved on the phone. We hope that through this unique way, users will always feel the ritual of film developing. Whenever they press the shutter, they can always be expectant, and even have a serious attitude toward creations.
    Also, thanks to the feedback from our global users, we continue to improve the image quality of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.

    Image Quality Optimization in the OTA

    The Hasselblad Camera for Mobile inside the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro is the first camera system that OnePlus co-developed with Hasselblad and is also the most powerful camera system in any OnePlus phone.

    But we also know that, as the first-gen product, there are lots of areas where we can improve OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro’s camera system.

    After launching the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in March, we have been gathering global user feedback across all the channels including our Community, social media, after-sales, and e-commerce platforms. By the end of August, we had gathered more than 4000 pieces of valuable feedback and suggestions on the camera system alone.

    With your help, we have been continuously optimizing the camera experience, and here are some of the major optimizations and improvements you can expect:

    (Please note that some of the optimizations have already been applied via previous OTAs and some will be included in this OTA.)

    Image quality optimizations:
    • Optimize HDR frame retrieving algorithms and reduce noise in multiple scenes
    • Fix the over-sharpening issues in some scenarios in auto-mode
    • Improve the stability of auto white balance.
    • Optimize auto white balance shift between the main and ultra-wide cameras
    • Reduced the over-brightening of photos taken in Nightscape mode in some scenarios, for more natural night photos.
    • Improve the dynamic range in low-light conditions.
    Camera experience optimization
    1. Improve the success rate when shooting moving objects.
    2. Improve the fluency of the camera preview and optimize the shutter lag in some scenarios.
    3. Update the memory optimization solution and reduce the launch time of the native camera app by up to 50%.
    At the same time, we are continuing to gather your input and improve our camera system in OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. Please stay tuned for future OTAs, and do share your thoughts about these improvements and the new XPan mode in the comments below.

  2. script
    Moderator Moderator Sep 17, 2021

    Stickied Post
    script , Sep 17, 2021 :
    After you've installed the update, open the camera app and slide up.


    On the right you'll find the button

  3. DarshanMeniya
    OnePlus TV Product Ninja 2021 Sep 17, 2021

    Stickied Post
    DarshanMeniya , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Many congratulations @Jammy Z. , Your efforts have started showing it's results.
    Want to share a coffee with you, XPAN mode used!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021

  4. script
    Moderator Moderator Sep 18, 2021

    Stickied Post
    script , Sep 18, 2021 :
    The Update is also hardware dependent and limited to the OnePlus 9 series.

  5. MacLiam
    Donut Sep 19, 2021

    Stickied Post
    MacLiam , Sep 19, 2021 :
    The first few Xpan images in this thread were so eye-catching that I had to force myself not to respond before I could try out the new feature for myself. Fortunately the update was available to me immediately, so I had the new Xpan camera feature in time to start experimenting Friday evening. While it is possible to take striking photos with no effort at all, upon study I realized that a lot was going to depend on the skill of the photographer to take a photo that others would want to stare at a long time. Consider this one, a cluttered interior with evening light coming through windows at the left:
    Using the in-app adjuster, I can bring out the detail on the right side of the frame, but only at the expense of burning out some of the left. I haven't yet tried a stand-alone editor to adjust the balance with a histogram tool, but I think that may be the best way to handle illumination gradients like this one. (I also think that this can be considered an acceptable image in its own right if one is looking for overall mood rather than detail in every square inch.)

    On the other hand, an exterior shot the next day shows what the Xpan tool can do in good light. This is looking southeast toward Mexico from a Southern California hillside. But for the haze, you would see mountains in Baja California on the horizon,

    While I think of the Xpan feature as primarily a B&W tool, it takes decent color images as well.

    I have always liked the idea of superwide group portraits or wide images of geometrical regularity in nearby visual fields. What better test for the Xpan tool than an old panoramic photograph mounted over a mantel between bookcases?
    To no one's surprise, this is the kind of photo that really needs a tripod and level to avoid tilted horizons and convergent distortion. And the closer you get to a nearby array of objects, the more difficult it will be to get everything in focus. I will probably make a serious effort to get a straight image of this scene some day. "Serious" means I will also manage the annoying reflections from the glass surfaces in the frame.

    In general, I like the 2.7:1 aspect ratio of the Xpan images. Most photographers appear willing to consider an image panoramic if it has an aspect ratio greater than 2:1. (The familiar 16:9 format boils down to 1.8:1, which is certainly wide but not what most people mean when they talk about panoramas.) That terminology is fine with me, but I start to worry if the aspect ratio goes much above 3:1. The AR of the old panorama in the preceding image is 5:1 or even a little more; I don't particularly like it as an image, but I love it as a historical document of a time when only 30,000 people lived within 25 miles of this spot rather than three million.

    As an earlier poster mentioned, I would like the ability to move the Xpan mode to the initial camera screen. I would also like to see manual settings for shutter speed, ISO and focus. Maybe the Xpan feature should just become a frame option inside Pro Mode.

    I'm really looking forward to getting as much out of this new feature as I can. I am also looking forward to an anticipated series of photo competitions here for Xpan portraits, landscapes, architectural interiors, plants and animals, and even vertically oriented images of tall subjects. This is a great new tool for letting people look at the world in different ways.

    [Edited a couple of hours after posting to fix typos and bad phrasing.]
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021

  6. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Sep 17, 2021

    Dresa91 , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Oh wow:) thanks @Jimmy Z. :) just being curious about it:)

    @TibiTibi , @otto2 , @Bouncer71 , @cdnfarmer , @script, @hennes and @woSch :)

  7. KimX123
    Cupcake Sep 17, 2021

  8. Koumkouat
    Eclair Sep 17, 2021

  9. Ichbinharsh
    Honeycomb Sep 17, 2021

  10. ItsNexor
    Honeycomb Sep 17, 2021

    ItsNexor , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Damn...now the hint of the puzzle contest makes so much more sense. Did't expect that. Amazing, can't wait to test the new mode!!!

    mallu.achayan, Gor., Overzee and 2 others like this.
  11. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Sep 17, 2021

    dom_k , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Perfect timing @Jimmy Z. cool to see the continuity of the other threads! Also thanks for this, it's going to be great to discover this function.

  12. Boki95
    Gingerbread Sep 17, 2021

    Boki95 , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Wow these are not small improvements. I would love to see this aspect ratio on OP8 too :D

  13. anunayC
    The Lab² Reviewer - Insta360 GO 2 Sep 17, 2021

  14. Overzee
    The Showcase Reviewer Sep 17, 2021

    Overzee , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Really cool @Jimmy Z. looking forward what the community can do with this feature. Now it all makes sense why XPan was the hidden word in @Crystal Z. 's crossword puzzle:p.

  15. Liehjan
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Sep 17, 2021

  16. Dhruv Kashyap
    Jelly Bean Sep 17, 2021

    Dhruv Kashyap , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Those cool terms and the Before-After Pics are showing some major revamp with this OTA. Kudos to the team for such efforts

    Gor., RacerZ, Venky61 and 6 others like this.
  17. Helder_DAlmeida
    Marshmallow Sep 17, 2021

    Helder_DAlmeida , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Sep 17, 2021 :
    Wow @Jimmy Z.! Thanks for sharing this information. I'm glad to see that the partnership with Hasselblad continues and bring some new and exciting things for users explore and of course, the continue to pursuit the best image quality.

    jlasensiofi, pillow35, Gor. and 4 others like this.
  18. Helder_DAlmeida
    Marshmallow Sep 17, 2021

    jlasensiofi, Gor., RacerZ and 4 others like this.
  19. obakesan
    The Lab² Reviewer - Insta360 GO 2 Sep 17, 2021

  20. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Sep 17, 2021

    Dresa91 , Sep 17, 2021 :
    With the next update:

    jlasensiofi, hbk1402, dom_k and 11 others like this.
  21. TibiTibi
    Photography Expert Sep 17, 2021

    jlasensiofi, Gor., dom_k and 5 others like this.
  22. obakesan
    The Lab² Reviewer - Insta360 GO 2 Sep 17, 2021

  23. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Sep 17, 2021

    Dresa91 , Sep 17, 2021 :
    You are welcome:)
    Same in Germany. The screenshot was posted in the thread :)