OPPO is working on a peripheral optical zoom with moving parts for smartphones. The zoom lens has a range equivalent to 85-200mm on a full-frame camera. OPPO also offers 5-axis image stabilization for smartphones.
OPPO talks about “continuous optical zoom” and refers to the fact that the 85-200mm lens is actually a zoom lens with different focal lengths. The Chinese manufacturer uses a periscope structure for this, where the lens is flat in the phone and the sensor is at an angle. The light enters the phone through a prism.
The current “zoom lenses” on smartphones are almost always telephoto lenses with a fixed focal length. For example, in marketing terms, manufacturers refer to it as a 5x “optical zoom,” if the focal length of the telephoto lens is 5x longer than that of the primary camera.
In comparison, a magnification of 85-200mm will provide a maximum optical zoom of 8x. The primary camera for phones usually has the equivalent of a 24mm to 28mm lens. The zoom range of 85-200 mm is actually 2.3x, because this is determined by the ratio between the longest and shortest focal lengths.
OPPO says it uses a lens structure made of glass and plastic, with “ultra-thin aspherical lenses”, which should ensure good image quality. It is not yet known when the zoom lens will reach smartphones. VIVO already showed last year Smartphone with optical zoom. With the Xperia 1 III, Sony already has a camera with a telephoto lens that can switch between two focus points, 75 and 105 mm.
5-axis image stabilization
OPPO also showcases 5-axis OIS technology. 5-axis image stabilization uses the gyroscope to detect motion. Both the lens and the image sensor can move in five axes to compensate for those movements. Optical lens stabilization is used for small movements, and a switch sensor is used for larger movements.
OPPO claims that this allows a maximum stabilization angle of 3 degrees, which is three times more than other image stabilization technologies in smartphones. From the beginning of next year, OPPO will use the technology in smartphones.
New RGBW sensor and back camera
OPPO is also showing a new version of the RGBW sensor, a sensor with an extra white sub-pixel, which is supposed to benefit light sensitivity. OPPO claims that the new sensor generates up to 35 percent less noise. The manufacturer does not say anything about the dimensions of the sensor. The new sensor will arrive on OPPO phones at the end of this year. Some phone cameras have previously modified the pixel layout to enhance light sensitivity. For example, Sony’s sensors in Huawei phones have replaced green sub-pixels with yellow ones. Huawei has been using these sensors for several years. Prior to that, Huawei had already used rgbw sensors, including in its P8 smartphone.
OPPO also displays a file Improved technology for behind-the-screen camerasannounced earlier this month. The manufacturer says it can now make displays with a pixel density of 400ppi where the camera is located. This is similar to what Xiaomi and ZTE claim with their latest generation of cameras behind the front screen. Due to the higher pixel density, the place where the camera is located is less clear, because the pixel density is the same as that of the rest of the screen. OPPO showcased new technologies at a futuristic photography event.