OPPO’s new smartphone camera technology will add 5x optical zoom to dual-camera setup

OPPO is setting new benchmarks for the smartphone photography.


At the ongoing MWC 2017 expo in Barcelona, OPPO has finally taken the wraps off its new ‘5x Project’, which the company promises will ‘take the most popular smartphone feature to a whole new level’. The project is basically a new smartphone camera technology that has been developed by the Chinese company, which steps up the mobile photography by including 5x optical zoom. Taking on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus’ 2x optical zoom technology, the new smartphone technology offers 5x magnification for “clear distance view images.” Asus’ Zenfone 3 Zoom also features 2x zoom technology, whereas the Zenfone Zoom features a 3x optical zoom technology.

Presenting the technology, OPPO’s Dr King says, “the 5x optical zoom has real practical value.” OPPO did not unveil a reference smartphone but revealed that the 5x camera technology will be featured within a dual-camera setup. Additionally, the 5x project again takes on iPhone 7 Plus’ dual camera in terms of the dimension of the unit. As opposed to the protruding camera setup on the iPhone, which many have deemed “uncomfortable” and “ugly”, OPPO’s new smartphone camera technology comes with a sleek and thin design. Dimensionally, the camera setup will snugly fit in a 5.7mm thick device, which OPPO claims is 10 percent less than the original 2x optical zoom unit.

Along with offering the maximum lossless zoom capability among the available smartphone camera technology, the company claims to it is offering its users the best image stabilization in the camera with the new technology. The 5x optical zoom by OPPO uses the similar physics used in a periscope in a submarine. It uses the same periscope principle, with the use of optical prism and perpendicularly positioned sensors, which further lead to the creation of what the company calls, a “5x lossless zoom.” ALSO READ: Nokia 3310 hands-on and first impressions

OPPO also talked about how they managed to achieve the minimum blur in the images with the new camera technology. Basically, any dual camera setup is a combination of two units, which is a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. And for stabilization, most companies add optical image stabilization (OIS) to the wide angle lens. However, as opposed to that, OPPO’s new technology applies the OIS to the telephoto lens, contributing to its “lossless zoom.” 

To make this work, the telephoto lens is rotated perpendicularly inside the device and the light from which is then reflected through a rotating prism. The mechanism can achieve increments of 0.0025 degrees rotation, which is said to deliver finer details on zooming, and also enables picture stabilization. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 7 Plus ‘Portrait Mode’ review: Adding a new dimension to your photos

In order to develop the technology, OPPO had 106 engineers, who worked on eight different versions of prism element for the camera for over 2 months to achieve the “precision, reliability and performance that the 5x smartphone camera technology now offers.” OPPO registered over 50 new patent for this technology and dedicated 318 days to develop this dual camera system.

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  • Published Date: February 27, 2017 8:05 PM IST