Turn yourself into a storyteller, check out the Hasselblad XPan Mode for mobile
Xiaomi, Samsung, Apple to Oppo are all known for their cameras. Now, here is another company that is looking to give them a run for their money.
One of the most important parts of any smartphone these days is the camera. Whether it is for private or professional purposes, the better the camera, the more it is appreciated. And this quest for sharp images and bright colours is making smartphone manufacturers push the boundaries of photography to ever-higher levels. Whether it is Xiaomi, Samsung, Apple, Oppo or even Google, great effort is being put in to roll out improvements.
The same quest has led OnePlus to forge a partnership with none other than camera-manufacturer Hasselblad in March, 2021. The intention was to co-develop the next generation of smartphone cameras for its flagship devices. Now, the OnePlus-Hasselblad partnership has led to the development of the XPan Mode, which is meant for its latest flagship smartphones, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro.
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Hasselblad cameras are known for their ergonomic design and image quality and this stature the company has been able to achieve with its work for over half a century. In fact, it has captured some of the world's most iconic images, including the first landing on the Moon.
Format holds the key
A bit of history first. In the 90s, most cameras utilised the 35mm format, but the transition to digital imaging had begun during that period itself. With the introduction of wide-screen movies, the interest of the audience was piqued and portable cameras with these features became increasingly popular. Due to this very feature, users could take wide-format photos. However, the biggest dampener was image quality. To fix this shortcoming, Hasselblad developed the XPan Mode.
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The XPan Mode utilised a dual-format feature that could produce the 24x65mm format, apart from the more conventional 24x36mm format. This then became the first dual-format 35mm camera. Improvements continued to be made over the years and, after the original XPan was discontinued (it was manufactured from 1998 and 2002), the XPan II was introduced in the year 2003. Improvements were rolled out to this mode too, including the shutter speed and exposure data so that the image could be viewed on the LCD display of the camera's viewfinder.
Now, the tech has been brought to mobiles. It provides the same experience as the original Hasselblad XPan camera. Images taken using the XPan Mode have a ratio of 65:24, which is a step above the traditional 3:2 or 4:3 ratios. The effect provided to the imagery is straight out of an ultra-wide movie. Adding to the effect are the splicing and sharing features in which one photo can create “three stories”.
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The images taken on XPan Mode are cropped from the 48MP main camera and 50MP ultra-wide camera, instead of the default 12MP mode. The result is a high-resolution image of over 20MP. XPan images feature 7552 × 2798 resolution on 30mm and 7872 × 2916 resolution on 45mm.
The XPan BW filter
Another special aspect in the XPan mode is the ability to render 2-film simulation profiles - one is the colour mode and the other is the black-and-white mode. The XPan Mode on the OnePlus 9 series starts off in the black and white mode and this is very much reminiscent of the original Hasselblad XPan camera. The black and white mode enables storytellers to offer varied perspectives through portraits, street photography, or architecture.
Two focal lengths
With its two focal lengths of 30mm and 45mm, just like the two classic lenses on the original Hasselblad XPan cameras, users can shoot panoramic images with a preview straight from the viewfinder on the OnePlus camera app.
Moreover, in XPan Mode, when a user presses the shutter, the frozen picture will first be previewed as a negative film, and then turned into a normal photo, before it is saved. This is to provide users with the original look and feel too.
Now that you know all about it, here's how to use the XPan Mode:
* Open the camera feature;
* Swipe up to see a host of options;
* Choose XPan and click the picture;
* You will first see a negative film that will turn into a normal photo;
* Three photos will then be saved on your phone.
In short, the XPan mode on mobile will turn you into a storyteller.
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