After redefining the power, display and battery charging abilities of a smartphone, OnePlus has now moved on to add a new dimension to mobile photography. While the world is running after numbers and adding megapixels to the cameras, OnePlus is unsettling the world of mobile photography by adding features to its cameras, showing the world what professional-level photography on a smartphone looks like.
While OnePlus has left no stone unturned to make the OnePlus 9 Pro a flagship in every sense of the word (processor, display, design, battery), what is truly remarkable about it is its camera set up that not beats other smartphones hands down, but also lets it replace your professional camera.
The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a quad-camera setup on the back which is led by a 48MP main sensor. This main camera is a massive 1/1.43 inch custom-built IMX789 sensor co-engineered by Sony and comes with a 2×2 on-chip lens (OLC). Having such a huge sensor onboard allows the camera to absorb more light, resulting in more detail and better quality images. This large sensor is paired with a number of pro-grade features. It also supports 12-bit RAW, dual native ISO and DOL_HDR that allows the lens to hold much more colour information when compared to other lenses. The OnePlus 9 Pro also brings one of the fastest focusing speeds that one can get on a smartphone camera. Just one quick tap and the phone will instantly shift focus.
It is not just about stills. The sensor brings the same level of photography expertise to the video front as well. It features 16x the pixel count of standard 1080p for greater detail and clarity. While most of the world is stuck on 4K, this sensor allows you to shoot 8K videos at 30fps. 4K video recording also gets a boost, allowing users to capture 4K videos at a stunning 120fps. And the lights will not affect it much.
Thanks to DOL-HDR, the phone will deliver clear footage and the subject will stand out clearly even in backlit conditions. Nightscape 2.0 takes low light photography to another level, delivering surprisingly clear and detailed low light videos. The presence of optical image stabilisation (OIS) eliminate the chances of ending up with a blurry shot because of shaky hands, making capturing a moving subject (think people, pets, anything that moves) more fun and stress-free. Got a pet? Your gallery will be full of beautiful images of them because the OnePlus 9 Pro also comes with Cat and Dog Face Focus mode.
Accompanying the main sensor is a 50MP ultrawide sensor. A Sony IMX766 sensor, it is 3.2 times bigger than the one on the iPhone 12 Pro Max at 1/1.56 inches. What’s more, it comes with a Freeform Lens which is specifically designed to minimise the distortions at the edges of photos. The feature will ensure that when you are taking a picture of a beautiful landscape, the edges of it come out almost totally straight, giving you those pro-camera vibes. That’s not all. To call this lens versatile would be such an understatement. The ultrawide camera can also be used to take close up shots. So you can use the same sensor to take in a scenery and then switch to taking macro shots of subjects from as close as 4cm. So you get the bigger picture AND the smaller picture, using the same lens. How cool is that?
Incidentally, the camera delivers a massive 12 megapixel close up shot unlike most other smartphones that come with low-resolution sensors (2MP or 5MP) for macro photography. The same extraordinary performance extends to video as well. The 50MP ultrawide sensor can capture time lapse video, portrait videos, and comes with focus tracking which ensures the focus gets locked on your subject, no matter where it goes, as long as it stays in the frame.
To add to the already powerful camera set up, OnePlus has also added an 8MP telephoto lens. This sensor offers 3.3x optical zoom, allowing you to zoom in without losing detail. If you want to dive deeper and move even closer, it also offers a 30x digital zoom. Unlike many telephoto lenses on smartphones, this one comes with OIS which means a little shake will not result in blurry pictures. Finally, OnePlus has also not ignored our love for classic black and white. The brand has added a dedicated monochrome sensor that pairs up with the main sensor to deliver stunningly detailed monochrome images.
We saved the best for last. All this comes with expertise from one of the biggest names in the camera business. OnePlus has partnered with Hasselblad, the brand behind the first camera to have ever been on the moon, and the partnership aims to deliver photographs with colours as close to what is seen by the human eye as possible. OnePlus has used Hasselblad’s Natural Colour Calibration system which delivers images with extremely realistic colours in both stills and videos.
The 12-bit RAW format on the phone captures 64 times as much colour as compared to the 10-bit RAW format that is present on most smartphone cameras. The Hasselblad effect is there in the camera interface as well. OnePlus is known for its clean, clutter-free UI and the brand has taken this one step further by using an interface based on Hasselblad’s image processing software called Hasselblad Pro Mode. it is incredibly easy to use for casual users and for those who want to push their photography boundaries, the interface offers professional-level controls like the ability to customise ISO, exposure time, white balance and much more.
The OnePlus 9 Pro might be phone but its sensors put it right into the camera category – you get 8k video, telephoto zoom, an ultra-wide sensor with no curving on the edges, a macro sensor, a main sensor capable of taking 12-bit RAW images, and all the controls you would expect in a professional camera. And much more. All with the assurance of Hasselblad. Other phone cameras should feel unsettled. The OnePlus 9 pro delivers the pro photography experience that we have been so far missing from our smartphones. And that makes it a pro in the truest sense.