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OnePlus 9 camera hardware and software leaks point to one big omission

OnePlus 8T back and camera array
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

We are still likely a month or two away from the OnePlus 9 launch, but that is close enough for the rumor mill to be churning at full speed. And after kicking off the week with some display leaks we have some potential new revelations regarding the OnePlus 9 cameras.

This includes both the software, which XDA Developers uncovered in the OnePlus Camera app, and some potentially disappointing hardware news from leaker Max Jambor regarding the zoom capabilities of the OnePlus 9 (via PhoneArena)

OnePlus 9 zoom lens?

While there is healthy debate regarding whether the zoom capabilities found on something like the new Galaxy S21 Ultra are really necessary, it has been highly featured by Samsung itself and in early reviews. Regardless of how you feel about the feature, it has apparently garnered the attention of plenty of leaker Max Jambor's followers as he is being peppered with questions regarding the OnePlus 9 offering a similar periscope lens. 

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His response was a flat no, neither of the OnePlus 9 models will feature a periscope camera. Now this doesn't preclude a zoom lens of any kind, up to about 3x optical zoom is within reach without resorting to a periscope zoom, but you won't be getting an outlandish 5-10x optical zoom. While it may be a disappointment to some, this isn't a crushing blow for the OnePlus 9 by any means, I'm far more interested in seeing them deliver solid day one results with whatever lenses are on board.

OnePlus 9 Camera software features

The ever-vigilant team at XDA-Developers uncovered the software side of today's leak in a recent update to the OnePlus Camera app. This outed a number of new features that could be coming with the OnePlus 9 including Tilt-Shift, Starburst, Moon mode, Hyperlapse and Focus Peaking.

A few of these are well-known features in the smartphone and traditional camera realm at this point. Tilt-shift gives the objects in the photo a kind of miniature appearance, it works particularly well on cityscapes or any shots from an elevated position. Hyperlapse has been around for some time now and delivers a timelapse while you are moving with the smartphone. Finally, focus peaking gives you an enhanced view of a specific area of your image to ensure it is in focus.

In addition to these more familiar features are Starburst and Moon Mode. The former gives you a radiating star effect when pointed at a bright light source and the latter will offer specific filters for the night sky. Both sound like interesting creative options, but not terribly useful day-to-day.

With Samsung making some tradeoffs to drop the Galaxy S21 prices this year this is a golden opportunity for OnePlus to win over some flagship fans, we'll have to see if it can manage to capitalize on it.