At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona this year, OPPO took to the stage, not only to announce a new smartphone, but also a new smartphone camera technology. OPPO calls this new tech ‘5x Dual Camera Zoom’, and it has the potential to bring smartphone camera technology a bit closer to interchangeable lens cameras.
Dual sensors with a smart twist: As the name would suggest, the new technology uses two camera sensors. One sensor is a standard wide-angle lens, while the other offers 5x optical zoom capabilities. However, what sets OPPO’s tech apart from the rest is that there is that the entire 5-element moving lens setup is contained within the body of the device itself. So there is no protrusion like you would find on standard optical zooming setups.
OPPO has managed to achieve this feat by placing the setup perpendicularly to the wide-angle sensor. This means that it faces the side of the phone instead of the front. However, you don’t have to hold the phone sideways in order to take a picture. In order to receive light, OPPO has taken taken inspiration of a piece of technology that has been around for hundreds of years, a periscope. OPPO’s setup uses a small prism to diffract light from an external lens element to the image sensor at an angle of 90 degrees.
5x optical zoom in most compact body: The biggest benefit of placing the setup such a way is that it doesn’t add to the thickness of the device. The entire setup takes just 5.7mm of space, which is 10 percent thinner than the 2x optical zoom setup found on other smartphones. This means that a smartphone with OPPO’s setup will still be thin and compact. The two features which are extremely important to any smartphone.
Further, unlike other devices that offer 2x or 3x lossless optical zoom without any protruding lenses. OPPO’s take is the only one that can offer5x lossless optical zoom. Most other smartphones resort to digital zoom, which should be called digital cropping. While, it does ‘zoom in’, it does so at the cost of image quality. With optical zoom, you get none of these problems.
Optical Image Stabilization for blur free photos at 5x zoom: Of course, offering 5x zoom creates its own set of problems. As you zoom in, even the smallest hand movements will become amplified. Unless you use a tripod, photographs taken by the phone with the maximum zoom will end up being blurred. Since most of us do not carry a tripod with us wherever we go, OPPO has used Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to mitigate hand movements. However, instead of applying stabilization to a single element, OPPO applies the technology to the prism as well as the telephoto lens. The new system can dynamically adjust the angle of the prism mechanism at precise increments of 0.0025 degrees. This allows for images to be stable, even at the maximum 5x zoom.
With all these features, OPPO’s 5x Dual Camera Zoom camera zoom technology is shaping up to be a very interesting prospect. Hopefully, we’ll get to see this technology in OPPO’s smartphones by the end of the year.
How the OPPO achieves 5x optical zoom: As the lens is placed perpendicularly inside the module and is not exposed outside, the setup uses a prism to defract light through an external lens element. This lends it a periscope-like mechanism, seeing that it too works in principle of defracted light. Bending the incident light through the telephoto lens by 90 degrees open up comparatively more space for moving lens elements, hence allowing OPPO to extend up to 5x optical zoom.
Sample shots taken with OPPO 5x camera: As you can see from the sample images below, apart from offering quality shots at 5x optical zoom, the optically stabilized camera assembly also impacts the sharpness at the long-end of the zoom. The images are sharp and don’t suffer from any blur or shake, a common issue when you capture stills and videos with optical zoom
What the OPPO 5x can do to the smartphone industry: While point and shoot cameras are long forgotten, thanks to smartphone cameras that have replaced them with almost the same quality without the need of a dedicated camera, zoom cameras are still in demand. With 5x optical zoom in a slim smartphone design, OPPO has widened the appeal of smartphone cameras to include a whole new segment of photography enthusiasts who crave for optical zoom in their smartphones.
Source : DIGIT