As expected, OPPO has just unveiled a very interesting dual camera technology at Mobile World Congress 2017 that should end up making its way into future smartphones from the company. Known as 5X Precision Optical Zoom, the name gives away what OPPO is looking to achieve after its year long research and development effort.
5x optical zoom in a smartphone form factor is no small feat, and OPPO has had to come up with a rather interesting take on dual camera technology to get it to work as intended. The solution makes use of a telephoto and wide-angle lens setup that we’ve seen from other companies. However, OPPO’s engineers also divert light through a prism using a periscope-style structure placed at a 90-degree angle to the rear-facing wide-angle lens. So there aren’t two sensors visible to the user in this design, instead the second telescopic sensor appears to be hidden away inside the module.
By refracting light in this manner, OPPO is able to zoom in on distant objects without relying on bulky lenses. Presumably there’s then some clever software trickery performed to help stitch together image data from both of the camera for mid-way zoom levels. In total there are 50 components inside the module, which still manages to measure just 5.7mm high.
One of the seldom mentioned important issues with zoom technologies is image stabilization. Even the smallest shake shows up much more noticeably when zooming in. As such, OPPO has paired its 5x zoom module with an all-new optical image stabilization solution, which the company says improved performance over its last generation technology by 40 percent, by offering precise rotation increments of 0.0025 degrees. This means that pictures should stay sharp and free of blur even when zoomed in by a factor of 5x.
This all sounds rather promising, but OPPO hasn’t announced the first smartphone to launch sporting the technology yet. Perhaps this dual camera setup is destined for the next entry in the company’s photography focused F-series?