Mobile World Congress, which is currently underway in Barcelona, has become the backdrop for many major smartphone-related announcements in recent years. Samsung, Lenovo / Moto, LG and a handful of others have already made a splash at this year’s show. And now it’s OPPO’s turn. The scrappy smartphone manufacturer has just unveiled what it is calling the world’s first “5x Dual-Camera Zoom” for smartphones.
OPPO’s new camera setup reportedly offers 5x lossless zoom capability in addition to more effective optical image stabilization, to help prevent loss of focus and blurry photos when using longer zoom ranges. According to the company, it worked for almost a year to develop the technology, which features a periscope-like, dual-camera setup, and that it has filed for more than 50 patents on the technology.
The dual camera setup is outfitted with both wide-angle and telephoto lenses. The telephoto lens is housed in a periscope-style mechanism that is mounted at a 90 degree angle to the smartphone’s internal electronics. By positioning the telephoto lens this way, so that it essentially moves up and down parallel to the internal PCB, versus protruding out from the back like traditional setups, affords the lens the space it needs for a longer zoom. A prism at the top of the mechanism alters the path of the light entering the camera by 90 degrees as well, and directs photons to the camera’s sensor.
Sky Li, OPPO Vice President and Managing Director of International Mobile Business, said, “The ‘5x Dual Camera Zoom’ has opened up yet another realm of possibility in terms of smartphone photography, and is a reflection of our dedication to delivering on what our customers want and need – to take beautiful and clear pictures”.
With a relatively long zoom (for a smartphone), maintaining focus can be problem. To help alleviate blurriness in photos – which results from slight movements of the photographer when snapping photos with long zooms — OPPO developed a new OIS system that’s part of the telephoto lens. Both the prism and lens itself sense vibrations and compensate in real time. According to OPPO, the new OIS solution improved up its previous generation offerings by up to 40 percent.
Announcements regarding the availability of OPPO’s dual-camera technology or a device featuring it weren’t made.