Ground-breaking partnership between smartphone maker OPPO and the legendary Hasselblad is big news for photographers seeking the best possible results from their phone – particularly when it comes to colour performance.

In partnership with OPPO / Article Liz Reid

Looking for better photo performance from your smartphone, and to capture colours as you see them in all their glory? OPPO, one of the biggest and most innovative smartphone companies in the world, has announced a three-year partnership with Hasselblad. For over 80 years Hasselblad has been producing iconic cameras and lenses, including the one used during the first moon landing in 1969.

Key goals of the partnership are to develop the best possible colour technology for mobile photography. Colour performance has always been a very important area for OPPO – last year’s Find X3 Pro was the first smartphone to capture and display 1 billion colours, using the Full-path Colour Management System – and the partnership has now yielded the OPPO Find X5 Pro camera system. Released in February, it is one of the most advanced smartphones available, and a great choice for keen photographers.

Every image taken by the phone is enhanced by colour-tuning technology, recognised as HNCS for mobile and co-developed by engineers from both OPPO and Hasselblad. The two companies will focus on breakthroughs in colour science to create an improved mobile photography experience on Hasselblad Camera for Mobile.

Flying colours
So why the particular emphasis on colour-tuning technology? “When a photographer actually takes a photo, they capture the scene with their own eyes,” explained OPPO product manager, Travis Zhao. “We want to respect this whole process and restore these scenes as much as possible with our device. I think we share the same philosophy with Hasselblad in this respect: to really restore colours as they are seen by the photographer.”

As Hasselblad adds, colour is one of the key pillars of a lot of great photography, alongside dynamic range and detail reproduction. “It is also arguably the one where we can make the most appreciable difference, as subtle changes in colour balancing can have a big impact on the perceived fidelity of the final image,” added Hasselblad marketing manager, Bronius Rudnickas.

Smarter algorithms
Developing smarter algorithms for a better smartphone experience with OPPO phones is another important part of the alliance between the two companies.

“We spent a lot of time discussing the different algorithms we could use, and how we were going to deploy them in our phones for a better photography experience,” explains Travis Zhao. “When we deploy these algorithms, we don’t use them for their own sake. We’re factoring in the environment, the whole shooting atmosphere, and trying to restore that ambience as much as possible — based on our philosophy for colour calibration.”

Become a master of colour
So how will OPPO Find X5 Pro users see the benefits of this technology partnership in terms of colour performance? Out of the box you will see rich yet lifelike colours, but that is only the start. Switch to Pro Mode, and you can access Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad, which provides more natural and accurate colours.

If you are after more of a retro vibe, try the XPan Mode (below). Named after Hasselblad’s legendary XPan film camera, it enables you to take cinematic panoramas and vintage-style photos in the XPan format. The Find X5 Pro replicates the XPan’s key essence, so it’s a great way to get as close as possible to the original experience on your phone. Besides, Hasselblad’s iconic leaf shutter sound is replicated too.

OPPO and Hasselblad Masters have also worked together to develop three new Master Filters, created with input from Hasselblad ambassador photographers.

The first filter is called Radiance, based on the signature style of Australian photographer and Hasselblad Master, Ben Thomas. It’s a perfect match for sunny days, as it delivers dynamic and saturated colours which almost have a fairytale effect. OPPO reports this filter is already very popular with users.

Then there is Serenity, based on the style of a top Chinese fashion photographer and Hasselblad ambassador called Yin Chao. This filter is a perfect match for portraits, particularly on sunny days in indoor environments, and beautifully enhances colour.

Third up is Emerald, designed for nature photos – particularly those with lots of green, so it’s great for landscapes. This filter has been calibrated with Hasselblad Master David Peskens, who is notable for his wildlife photography.

In the Instagram post below you can also see how leading US photographer Billy Dinh is getting great results with the Find X5 Pro.

It’s an exciting time for smartphone photography, and this partnership between OPPO and Hasselblad looks set to boost the creative possibilities even further. OPPO will continue to develop flagship smartphones with camera systems tailored to the needs of different types of users, bringing the latest technology breakthroughs to global users. Keep reading AP for further news of the fruits of this major partnership.

Article: Liz Reid