The Reno 6 Pro 5G we reviewed recently left us pretty impressed with its still photo and videography. The Bokeh effect in the video mode works wonders while doing videos and for vloggers, it is a useful addition. Hence, when Oppo revealed its new Image Lab at its R&D Center in Hyderabad, we were curious to see what’s in pipeline for shutterbugs in India considering an Oppo phone. Also Read - OnePlus, Oppo unified OS to launch in 2022, will debut on OnePlus 10 flagship phone
Ahead of Oppo’s revelations, we got in touch with Tasleem Arif, VP and R&D Head, Oppo India to talk about this new Image Lab. From learning about some upcoming innovations in their cameras to poking him about the Find X series, you can find a whole lot of information documented below from the exchange. Also Read - Budget Oppo A16 launched in India: Check price, features, specs
Oh yes, we did raise your concern regarding the Oppo-OnePlus merger too. Don’t miss the ending. Also Read - Deal of the day: Oppo A12 4GB RAM/64GB storage model at Rs 9,490
Q: Dedicated Camera Lab for India: Why?
A: With its globally-driven mindset, OPPO understands that innovation must be sourced from around the world. India being the fastest-growing innovation highland has been a market of strategic importance for OPPO. Our R&D centre here is OPPO’s first and largest R&D center outside of China. So far, our Hyderabad centre has brought many India-centric innovations with global influence. Set-up of this dedicated camera lab will further enhance our leadership in the domain of imaging technology.
With this lab, we aim to revolutionise the way people use their phones and record their lives through our advanced camera technology. The India team will focus on developing cutting-edge technology, such as leveraging AI for image enhancement and solutions to improve videography under different lighting scenarios. The lab will fuel the development of highly competitive software features in the portrait video features.
Further, the Indian lab team will also be leading camera innovations for other countries, including Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Japan, and Europe.
Q: What will this lab bring for the Indian consumer?
A: Imaging systems are extremely complex because every user has different demands, each of which can be solved differently. Especially in a country like India with full of diversity across regions, there is a variety in everything including the scene/climate/environment scenarios, face type, skin tone – all these factors vary across different regions in India (Konkan region, Punjab region, Eastern region, Bengal, etc..). This demands a more local approach in giving the best of experience for users when it comes to camera features and technology.
Meeting such dynamic needs of users requires a comprehensive system uniting hardware and software algorithms to deliver the best imaging technology. OPPO’s strength not only lies in its ability to develop its own algorithms and processing technologies, but more so in its ability to accurately identify the different needs of its users.
OPPO’s camera lab at the Hyderabad R&D centre will be further developing AI-based solutions based on complex imaging scenarios, especially for its Indian audience. Through multiple tests based on the Indian dataset, the team will be ensuring that the camera quality of each of our devices fits on the basic and advanced parameters of Sharpness, Noise, Dynamic-Range, Color Accuracy, Distortion, Uniformity, Chromatic Aberration, Flare.
These include imaging effects that will be specifically designed and tuned for the Indian Skin tones, along with the use of AI Algorithms, the development of AI facial reconstruction technology and even enhancement of the application of beauty solutions.
Additionally, being equipped with state-of-the-art equipment simulating all the different types of lighting that OPPO users experience during their shoot from bright noon to sunset to night, the lab team will be working on improving the low-light smartphone videography.
Q: What about videography? Are we going to see more videography phones this year?
A: Videography is the future. For the longest time, people have carried bulky professional camera equipment to create videos. But with short videos taking over the world and replacing photos as the must-share content on social media, users expectations from their smartphones have increased when it comes to capturing video.
Persistently valuing technological innovation, OPPO, driven by both user needs and cutting-edge technologies, places parallel importance on researching and developing applications suited for specific user scenarios around key user demands. Our breakthroughs in smartphone imaging technology have managed to enable our users to shoot professional videos at the click of a button.
With the set-up of the camera lab at the Hyderabad R&D centre, Videography will continue to remain one of the key areas of focus for lab team. Through this lab, we are determined to push the AI capabilities further to introduce high-end videography innovation for the users. We will be testing and working on perfecting colour reproduction, capturing Indian skin tones, enhancing the night-time videography experience among many others. Industry-first innovations will always be top-of-mind for us as we continue to lead in the space of video technology.
Q: Will the Indian R&D team invest in hardware or just limited to software?
A: Over the past few years, smartphone innovation has been more hardware-driven, while software has remained an underdog. The coming era will, however, see more innovation in this department. It is the perfect integration of software and algorithms which will redefine the future of smartphone innovation. Possibilities in this arena are immense, and they hold the real power to elevate the user experience.
OPPO has long believed that when it comes to smartphone imaging systems: Hardware can guarantee the lower limits of image quality, but the upper limits can only be reached through the innovation of advanced Algorithms, and this belief rings truer and truer each day. Hence with the set-up of a specialised Camera Innovation lab at our Hyderabad R&D centre, we will be on software optimisation with an amalgamation of AI algorithms.
In addition, we will also be focusing on the best utilisation of the hardware resources and enhancing the night-time videography solutions. The team will also be conducting different tests to enhance the portrait mode feature and the accuracy of the blur effect.
Q: Will we see a Find X flagship in India soon?
A: Each OPPO smartphone product launch plan takes into account the company’s current market strategy, and the Find X series is no exception. The market strategy for each generation of the Find X series has been different and is designed to reflect worldwide market development and user preferences at the time of launch. OPPO will continue to create products and services with user experience at their core, so please stay tuned with us for more new products and cutting-edge technology from OPPO in the near future.
Additionally, OPPO Reno Series has been the epitome of customer-centric innovation and the benchmark for the premium OPPO camera experience that customers will continue to enjoy for years to come. The recently launched OPPO Reno6 Series is the perfect example of the meaningful innovation OPPO is driving in camera. With innovations like the industry-first Bokeh Flare Portrait Video Feature, we are actively pushing portrait videography and influencing the importance of video in smartphone technology. With the new lab set-up, we will be optimizing imaging technology for better, brighter, clearer shots. The team will be optimising software algorithm for the future of video content creation through smartphones.
Q: OnePlus and Oppo: What can we expect from Oppo? Something similar to the Hasselblad-OnePlus partnership?
In order to further enhance synergy and better combine the strengths and resources, OPPO and OnePlus are taking further steps to complete their integration with one another, with OnePlus to become an independent brand within OPPO. Following the integration, OPPO and OnePlus will be better positioned to work together to bring more innovative and differentiated products to consumers, as well as delivering more convenient and improved services.