OnePlus has just announced a three-year partnership with the esteemed camera manufacturer, Hasselblad, to “co-develop the next generation of smartphone camera systems for future OnePlus flagship devices.” Most excitingly, we can expect to see the first OnePlus x Hasselblad camera system, called ‘Hasselblad Camera for Mobile,’ in the upcoming OnePlus 9 Series!
In addition to this new partnership, OnePlus has also announced its plans to invest $150million+ over the next three years, as they look to continue expanding their mobile device camera’s capabilities.
Who wins here? We do!
Allow me to digress for a moment.
Have you heard of Hasselblad cameras before? For those who know of them, Hasselblad is one of those iconic camera brands that are a bit out of reach for the average budget. Their least expensive consumer camera is the Hasselblad X1D II 50c, which sells for $5750 without a lens. That’s out of reach for most hobbyist photographers, unfortunately.
What makes Hasselblad so special? Founded in 1941, the Swedish company has made a name for itself by hand-building some of the best cameras photographers’ hard-earned money can buy. You can read an excellent 2018 piece that The Verge did on a tour of the Hasselblad factory here.
NASA trusts Hasselblad, and their cameras have been in space!
Maybe you recognize this photo?
Or perhaps you’ve seen this one?
Those and many more iconic photographs have been taken over the years with a Hasselblad camera. In fact, this statement on the Hasselblad in Space page blew my mind:
The journeys home from the Moon made very special demands on what could return regarding weight; from Apollo 11 to the final Apollo 17 mission, a total of twelve camera bodies were left behind on the lunar surface. Only the film magazines containing the momentous images were brought back. The resulting photographs captured the history of humanity in the making.
Arranging a quick trip to the moon to pick up one of these discarded (and likely damaged, even if historic) Hasselblad cameras (and its lens) is obviously out of the question, and purchasing one without actually being a professional photographer is a bit out of reach for many of us. But with the OnePlus x Hasselblad partnership, OnePlus smartphone owners will get the next best thing!
You might recall the previous Hasselblad collaboration with Motorola for the Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod in 2016; that was a snap-on module for the Moto Z that cost $250 on top of the price of the smartphone. The OnePlus x Hasselblad partnership will put Hasselblad technology inside OnePlus smartphones, with no need for cumbersome or pricy add-ons.
OnePlus has always prioritized a premium user experience over everything else. Beginning in 2021, we are making a concerted effort to significantly improve the smartphone camera experience for our users, with the expertise of a truly legendary partner in Hasselblad. With OnePlus’ top-of-the-line hardware and computational photography and Hasselblad’s rich aesthetic knowledge in traditional photography, I am confident that the OnePlus 9 Series will be a major leap forward in our ability to deliver a premium, flagship camera. – Pete Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus
Hasselblad believes in the power of images and our mission is to continue pushing the boundaries on imaging technology. With this in mind, Hasselblad is determined to work together with OnePlus, an innovative company that shares the same vision and passion for technology. By partnering with OnePlus, we hope to put Hasselblad’s iconic design and outstanding image quality in the hands of more people and share our passion for incredible photography. – Jon Diele, Vice President of Hasselblad
The upcoming OnePlus 9 Series will use a custom Sony IMX789 sensor, which will make it the “largest and most advanced main camera sensor ever on a OnePlus device. With 12-bit RAW, it will be up to 64-times more colorful than before, delivering more dynamic and vibrant colors in pictures and giving professional photographers more room for additional post-editing.” Further, Hasselblad Camera for Mobile will also offer “improved HDR video recording, as well as support for capturing 4K 120FPS and 8K 30FPS video.”
I can’t wait to hear what other features the OnePlus 9 Series will bring to the table, but this OnePlus x Hasselblad partnership is an exciting development!