- The OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 will come with the Hasselblad branding.
- Hasselblad is a camera company well-known for its medium-format cameras and colour science.
- OnePlus says it has worked with Hasselblad to fine-tune OnePlus 9 cameras.
There is something straight-forward about OnePlus. For example, its acknowledgement of where its phones stand when it comes to camera performance. Ahead of the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro launch on March 23, the company is talking about the cameras in its upcoming phones. On this occasion, the company has worked with Hasselblad, an iconic camera company to fine-tune camera performance of OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro.
Hasselblad is such a big name in the camera industry that declaration of the partnership has immediately raised stakes for the upcoming OnePlus phones. But why? Some of you not familiar with the camera industry may have this question. It is understandable. So let us explain why the OnePlus working with Hasselblad for OnePlus 9 and the 9 Pro cameras can be a big deal. Or why when OnePlus says that its next cameras are going to be using colour science from Hasselblad along with some of its RAW tricks, it sounds extremely exciting.
Hasselblad is one of the major manufacturers of cameras and lenses since 1941, although after the Japanese companies like Nikon and Canon burst on the global scene, Hasselblad mainly focussed on extremely high-end medium format cameras. In 1948, the company introduced the world's first single-lens reflex camera in 1948 called the Hasselblad 1600F.
Over the years, it has been part of many iconic moments. For example, when the first man stepped on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 Moon Mission, it was the Hasselblad camera that captured the historic moment. On July 20, 1969, the Hasselblad camera was used to click the first human steps on the Moon. Before the Moon landing, a Hasselblad camera clicked the first spacewalk in 1965.
Apart from the Moon Mission, Hasselblad has been used extensively to capture important space events, including the launch of Discovery Mission 51A in 1984, where John A Chakeres documented the NASA space shuttle fleet launch using a remote camera trigger to activate the motor-driven Hasselblad cameras.
The company's expertise in camera hardware has seen it getting attention from top photographers. Douglas Kirkland, famous as "Hollywood's favourite photographer" in 1961, clicked some stunning images of Marilyn Monroe with his Hasselblad 500C that are still praised. In 2018, freediver and Hasselblad Master Karim Iliya clicked some unreal images of whales with the Hasselblad X1D II 50C.
What it means for OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro
The history of Hasselblad is fine. But what does it mean in the present or, to be specific, how is it going to help the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro users? Good question. We will know for sure and in more detail once the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro arrive and reach users, but for now, there are a few bits that we know.
OnePlus has announced that it has used the expertise of Hasselblad to fine-tune several aspects of the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro cameras. To be specific, there are two core areas where OnePlus is using Hasselblad technology.
One is in colour science. Colour science, to put it in regular terms, is the process by which a camera converts all the data that a lens and image sensor capture, into an image. Different companies have different colour science. This is why photos clicked with Hasselblad have colours that seem richer, like uniquely deep red, or why skin tones in photos clicked with Canon are sublimely more pleasing.
OnePlus says that its upcoming phones will process images using colour science called "Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad". This will result in photos that have a unique character with excellent and rich colours.
Apart from being known for its medium-format cameras, Hasselblad is also known for its RAW processors. This technology, too, OnePlus is likely bringing to OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro, both of which will have a new app called Hasselblad Pro Mode that will effectively allow advanced users to click RAW photos in 12-bit. As a result, these images are likely to have sharper details, richer colours and a more dynamic range.
Apart from these two specifics, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has revealed that almost every bit of OnePlus 9 camera software and hardware has been optimised with the help of Hasselblad. And to prove his point, he is tweeting some impressive photos that are distortion-free, full of details and vibrant. We will know for sure how good are OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro cameras once people start using these phones, but for now, it looks like that OnePlus has indeed made its cameras better.