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OnePlus teams up with Hasselblad to launch OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro smartphones

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OnePlus teams up with Hasselblad to launch OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro smartphones

OnePlus has announced a pair of new smartphones co-developed with Hasselblad. The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones incorporate Hasselblad Camera for Mobile, promising significantly improved photographic capabilities.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is the company’s new flagship smartphone, and its new camera specs are accordingly impressive. Thanks to Natural Color Calibration, the exclusive Hasselblad Camera for Mobile promises strong performance, especially when considering color, thanks to Natural Color Calibration. OnePlus writes, ‘The ultra-flagship camera blends the technological excellence of OnePlus and the legacy of Hasselblad. With the OnePlus 9 Pro, taking your best shot is now effortless.”

Hasselblad, its ambassadors, and OnePlus worked together to create what OnePlus promises is industry-leading color performance in the smartphone category. OnePlus states that users can expect true-to-life color and natural skin tones. It’s an ambitious promise, to be sure.

Hasselblad’s involvement includes more than significantly improved color rendering. The included pro photo mode includes a new user interface based on Hasselblad’s Phocus software. There are accompanying editing tools included in the new camera mode.

In terms of camera specs, the OnePlus 9 Pro has a 48MP primary camera. The camera uses a Sony IMX789 image sensor, which is 1/1.43″”. The F1.8 lens, which includes optical image stabilization, delivers a field of view equivalent to a 23mm lens on a full-frame camera. The main camera is joined by a 50MP Ultra-wide camera and an 8MP telephoto camera. The Ultra-wide camera uses a 1/1.56″ Sony IMX766 image sensor. The 14mm lens has a maximum aperture of F2.2. The telephoto camera has a 77mm equivalent focal length, F2.4 aperture and optical image stabilization.

The OnePlus 9 Pro has four cameras, including a 48MP main camera and 50MP ultra-wide camera.

The ultra-wide camera uses what OnePlus calls a ‘Freeform’ lens. The lens uses precise curves to reduce distortion, allowing OnePlus to refer to the ultra-wide lens is rectilinear. The lens can focus as close as 4cm, allowing for macro capabilities.

There’s a fourth (or third, in the case of the OnePlus 9) camera, too, a 2MP monochrome camera. This camera adds additional detail to black and white images captured with other cameras on the phone.

The OnePlus 9 Pro can capture 12-bit RAW images, shoot with dual native ISO, record HDR images, and the camera system promises fast and accurate autofocus. In terms of video features, the OnePlus 9 Pro can shoot 8K video, plus 4K video at up to 120 frames per second.

While OnePlus itself is placing significant focus on the OnePlus 9 Pro’s photographic capabilities, there’s more to discuss. The 5G-capable OnePlus 9 Pro has a 6.7″ display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The display, unlike the OnePlus 9’s display, has a variable refresh rate. The smartphone also supports wireless charging, something the OnePlus 9 doesn’t do, and unlike the OnePlus 9, the OnePlus 9 Pro has an IP68 water resistance rating.

However, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro share some features as well. The 5G smartphones use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Each device also includes the same storage and RAM specs, with 128GB or 256GB storage and 8GB or 12GB of RAM. Each device also includes the same 16MP Sony IMX471 front-facing camera.

In terms of camera specs, the OnePlus 9 lacks the rear telephoto camera of its larger sibling. The OnePlus 9’s primary rear camera, while offering the same 23mm equivalent focal length and F1.8 aperture, uses an older 48MP IMX689 image sensor. In terms of its ultra-wide camera, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro use the same sensor and lens.

The OnePlus 9 has three cameras, including a slightly different 48MP main camera than the OnePlus 9 Pro and the same 50MP ultra-wide camera.

The One Plus 9 is slightly smaller as well, given its 6.55″ display. The resulting difference in weight between the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro is a mere 5 grams. And in terms of overall size, there’s very little separating the devices. The OnePlus 9 is 160mm tall and 74.2mm wide. The OnePlus 9 Pro is slightly taller at 163.2mm but slightly narrower at 73.6mm. Each phone, built using an aluminum frame, is only 8.7mm thick.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is available in two colors, Morning Mist and Pine Green. The OnePlus 9 comes in Astral Black and Winter Mist. The OnePlus 9 Pro with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage costs $969 USD. The 256GB model comes with 12GB RAM and costs $1,069. The OnePlus 9 comes in the same configurations for $729 and $829, respectively. For additional information and to see the full specifications for each device, head to OnePlus.

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C


Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

Photo: Richard Butler

“All camera and lens manufacturers have to be innovative,” says Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, but “technology competition among manufacturers may not always be beneficial to customers… Easier to use interfaces, compact and lightweight bodies for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview conducted at the CP+ show in Yokohama in late February, Yamaki talked about current state of the market, the need for innovation and the challenges of delivering that innovation.

State of the market

“Last year was not so bad,” he says, when asked about the state of the market: “It looks like the trend of the shrinking market has hit the bottom.” But he suggests this may not continue: “For the time being, many photographers are now switching from DSLR to mirrorless, which will sustain the market. However, after they switch to mirrorless cameras, I worry that the market could shrink in the coming years.”

“One reason for my concern is the increasing average price of cameras and lenses. I truly appreciate the passion of the customers who are still spending so much money on cameras and lenses. However, I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses, so we’re still trying hard to keep the retail price reasonable.”

“I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses”

“Especially these days, the younger generation takes huge amounts of photos with smartphones. While we can expect some of them to switch from a smartphone to a camera, many may find the price gap too wide, and challenging to make the switch.”

Yamaki also expresses concern about some of the tech trends he’s seeing: “Investing in the development of more advanced technology is crucial. However, it’s equally important to focus on our customers.”

“We’ve seen some cameras with very technically impressive specifications, but I worry that they’re not always capabilities that many photographers really need. Moving forward, I speculate that more user-friendly specifications might mean more to customers. Easier to use interfaces, a compact and lightweight body for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

The challenges of innovation

Sigma has launched some ambitious and unusual lenses in recent years, including the 14mm F1.4 DG DN. Yamaki describes astrophotography, for which it’s designed, as the most challenging subject.

Image: Sigma

He uses the recently announced 500mm F5.6 as an example of customer-focused innovation. “Canon and Nikon had similar lenses for DSLRs. They achieved it by using diffractive lens elements,” he explains: “Instead of using one powerful diffractive element, we used multiple special low-dispersion [SLD] glass. We used one SLD and three FLD elements. By using multiple special lenses, we could achieve a similar effect. That’s how we can make it so compact and lightweight.”

But this approach isn’t simple, he says: “It requires lots of very high manufacturing technology and skill, but because we have a very good factory and our optical designers trust the capability of our factory, we were able to go for this design.”

“In most cases, we are the first to use new types of glass, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it.”

“This trust is really, really important,” he explains: “Lens polishing is still a unique process that has a lower yield. Normally, in something like electronics, the yield ratio is something like 99.99996 percent, or something like that. But when it comes to lenses, for example, in our case, because our yield is so high, our yield ratio from the start of the process to the end is close to 90%. So if we plan to build 1,000 units of a specific lens, we have to start polishing 1,100 pieces, and during the process, about 10% of the lens elements will fail and have to be scrapped.”

A question of trust

“That’s the reason why other companies hesitate to use new glass elements. They are uncertain about the yield ratio. In most cases, we are the first to use a new type of element, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it. I’m very happy to play such a role. Sigma is kind of the guinea pig in the lens industry: they use Sigma as an experiment, and if we prove it, they use it.”

This commitment to pushing the use of new glass types reflects Yamaki’s wider vision of the company’s role. This can be seen in the ambitious lenses it’s recently introduced aimed at astrophotography, he says.

“First of all, I believe it’s one of Sigma’s missions to create niche products. If we only concentrate on standard products and release lower-priced versions, it’s not good: we would not be able to contribute to the development of the photography culture. As a lens manufacturer it’s our mission to develop such niche lenses that satisfy a specific target group.”

“Secondly, most lenses are so good, maybe much better than people’s expectations. But only astrophotographers are never satisfied: they’re so keen for quality! They’re looking at the shape of stars in the corners. Star images are the toughest, most challenging subject, or let’s say, the most nasty lens chart. You can see all kinds of aberrations in star images. That’s why we want to show what we can do with our capability. So lenses for astrophotography is my personal strong passion to show the capability of Sigma’s technology.”

The future of APS-C

Yamaki says the audience for its I-series of full-frame lenses, such as the 17mm F4 DG DN pictured, is similar to that for the DC DN range of APS-C primes. However, it doesn’t sound like there are plans for I-series-style versions of the DC lenses.

Image: Sigma

With all this talk of niches, we steered the conversation towards the DC DN primes. We wanted to know whether he sees the users of these lenses as distinct from those of the mid-priced i-Series full-frame primes, which feature metal bodies and aperture rings.

“I see they are very similar customers: those who value compactness and image quality. These customers often live in big cities and use public transportation a lot. So they cannot carry around big, heavy equipment in the car. They have to carry it around in their bags.”

Despite this, it doesn’t sound like there are any plans to refresh the DC DNs with more i-Series-like designs: “Those who want full-frame can use the I series lenses, while those who are happy with APS-C cameras can use the many lightweight DC DN lenses,” he says.

But, while we won’t expect APS-C primes with aperture rings for X-mount or the Nikon Z fc any time soon, Yamaki’s comments about his commitment to APS-C bode well, given the announcement that it’ll make lenses for both Nikon’s Z mount and Canon’s RF system:

“Our plan is to have a relatively complete range of lenses for APS-C sized sensors.”


This article was based on an interview conducted by Dale Baskin and Richard Butler at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.



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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C


Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

Photo: Richard Butler

“All camera and lens manufacturers have to be innovative,” says Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, but “technology competition among manufacturers may not always be beneficial to customers… Easier to use interfaces, compact and lightweight bodies for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview conducted at the CP+ show in Yokohama in late February, Yamaki talked about current state of the market, the need for innovation and the challenges of delivering that innovation.

State of the market

“Last year was not so bad,” he says, when asked about the state of the market: “It looks like the trend of the shrinking market has hit the bottom.” But he suggests this may not continue: “For the time being, many photographers are now switching from DSLR to mirrorless, which will sustain the market. However, after they switch to mirrorless cameras, I worry that the market could shrink in the coming years.”

“One reason for my concern is the increasing average price of cameras and lenses. I truly appreciate the passion of the customers who are still spending so much money on cameras and lenses. However, I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses, so we’re still trying hard to keep the retail price reasonable.”

“I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses”

“Especially these days, the younger generation takes huge amounts of photos with smartphones. While we can expect some of them to switch from a smartphone to a camera, many may find the price gap too wide, and challenging to make the switch.”

Yamaki also expresses concern about some of the tech trends he’s seeing: “Investing in the development of more advanced technology is crucial. However, it’s equally important to focus on our customers.”

“We’ve seen some cameras with very technically impressive specifications, but I worry that they’re not always capabilities that many photographers really need. Moving forward, I speculate that more user-friendly specifications might mean more to customers. Easier to use interfaces, a compact and lightweight body for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

The challenges of innovation

Sigma has launched some ambitious and unusual lenses in recent years, including the 14mm F1.4 DG DN. Yamaki describes astrophotography, for which it’s designed, as the most challenging subject.

Image: Sigma

He uses the recently announced 500mm F5.6 as an example of customer-focused innovation. “Canon and Nikon had similar lenses for DSLRs. They achieved it by using diffractive lens elements,” he explains: “Instead of using one powerful diffractive element, we used multiple special low-dispersion [SLD] glass. We used one SLD and three FLD elements. By using multiple special lenses, we could achieve a similar effect. That’s how we can make it so compact and lightweight.”

But this approach isn’t simple, he says: “It requires lots of very high manufacturing technology and skill, but because we have a very good factory and our optical designers trust the capability of our factory, we were able to go for this design.”

“In most cases, we are the first to use new types of glass, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it.”

“This trust is really, really important,” he explains: “Lens polishing is still a unique process that has a lower yield. Normally, in something like electronics, the yield ratio is something like 99.99996 percent, or something like that. But when it comes to lenses, for example, in our case, because our yield is so high, our yield ratio from the start of the process to the end is close to 90%. So if we plan to build 1,000 units of a specific lens, we have to start polishing 1,100 pieces, and during the process, about 10% of the lens elements will fail and have to be scrapped.”

A question of trust

“That’s the reason why other companies hesitate to use new glass elements. They are uncertain about the yield ratio. In most cases, we are the first to use a new type of element, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it. I’m very happy to play such a role. Sigma is kind of the guinea pig in the lens industry: they use Sigma as an experiment, and if we prove it, they use it.”

This commitment to pushing the use of new glass types reflects Yamaki’s wider vision of the company’s role. This can be seen in the ambitious lenses it’s recently introduced aimed at astrophotography, he says.

“First of all, I believe it’s one of Sigma’s missions to create niche products. If we only concentrate on standard products and release lower-priced versions, it’s not good: we would not be able to contribute to the development of the photography culture. As a lens manufacturer it’s our mission to develop such niche lenses that satisfy a specific target group.”

“Secondly, most lenses are so good, maybe much better than people’s expectations. But only astrophotographers are never satisfied: they’re so keen for quality! They’re looking at the shape of stars in the corners. Star images are the toughest, most challenging subject, or let’s say, the most nasty lens chart. You can see all kinds of aberrations in star images. That’s why we want to show what we can do with our capability. So lenses for astrophotography is my personal strong passion to show the capability of Sigma’s technology.”

The future of APS-C

Yamaki says the audience for its I-series of full-frame lenses, such as the 17mm F4 DG DN pictured, is similar to that for the DC DN range of APS-C primes. However, it doesn’t sound like there are plans for I-series-style versions of the DC lenses.

Image: Sigma

With all this talk of niches, we steered the conversation towards the DC DN primes. We wanted to know whether he sees the users of these lenses as distinct from those of the mid-priced i-Series full-frame primes, which feature metal bodies and aperture rings.

“I see they are very similar customers: those who value compactness and image quality. These customers often live in big cities and use public transportation a lot. So they cannot carry around big, heavy equipment in the car. They have to carry it around in their bags.”

Despite this, it doesn’t sound like there are any plans to refresh the DC DNs with more i-Series-like designs: “Those who want full-frame can use the I series lenses, while those who are happy with APS-C cameras can use the many lightweight DC DN lenses,” he says.

But, while we won’t expect APS-C primes with aperture rings for X-mount or the Nikon Z fc any time soon, Yamaki’s comments about his commitment to APS-C bode well, given the announcement that it’ll make lenses for both Nikon’s Z mount and Canon’s RF system:

“Our plan is to have a relatively complete range of lenses for APS-C sized sensors.”


This article was based on an interview conducted by Dale Baskin and Richard Butler at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.



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Question of the week: What’s your advice to your younger self?

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Question of the week: What’s your advice to your younger self?


Every week, we ask newsletter subscribers a question about gear, creativity or life. We recently asked readers: If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what camera-related advice would you give yourself?

Subsequently, the DPReview editors also got in on the act:

1. Shaminder Dulai

Start organizing your photo and video archive and making it searchable. Make sure to save local versions of client work; websites will disappear and take your work with them. A good archival system makes it possible to earn a passive income from these photos and videos in the future and curate your work for grant applications and shows.

Don’t get caught up in the gear; there will always be something better that comes along. Make things. Whatever you can get your hands on, just use it and make stuff. The more you practice and embrace the failures, the more you’ll learn and improve.

There will be people who will try to discourage you; they’ll tell you you don’t have the right gear, the right skills, or the right name, and some will even steal your ideas and pass them off as their own. These will be hard lessons, and you’ll need to learn to put yourself before others. It won’t be easy.

Also, buy as much Apple stock as you can afford and spend more time with your parents. Ask them the questions you always were too afraid to ask.


2. Dale Baskin

I’d probably give the same advice I would give a 20-year-old today: Don’t obsess about having fancy gear or the newest camera. Buy something used in good condition and save some money, then spend the money you save on fun experiences that allow you to focus on learning the art of photography.


3. Richard Butler

Focus on the lenses you’ll actually use. Look at the photos you’ve taken to see what you’re trying to capture. Consider whether the discipline (and compactness) of a prime would be better than the seemingly obvious F2.8 zoom.


What’s your take? Let us know in the comments.

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