What a great photo Oppo-tunity.
BARCELONA—While Oppo didn’t have any new handsets to show off here at Mobile World Congress, it did unveil its 5x lossless digital zoom camera system, which could be coming soon to an Oppo phone near you.
This complex system uses two sensors, a wide angle and telephoto lenses with optical image stabilization (OIS) applied to each.
Oppo’s Dr. King (that’s actually his name) said the inspiration came from a periscope on a submarine. A prism housed in the camera unit means the second telephoto sensor is set at 90 degrees to the rest of the phone, so any physical zooming takes place inside the phone’s body and doesn’t protrude from the surface.
The image above gives you some idea of how light reaches that second sensor, but beyond that, Oppo’s representatives weren’t really able to explain in much more detail how this works in terms of producing that 5x lossless zoom.
Luckily, some concept phone models, built solely for the purpose of showing off the camera, were on hand for us to play with. The centerpiece of the Oppo stand at Mobile World Congress was a cute Hagia Sophia-looking model festooned with Playmobil-like figurines, where we could take shots at the standard 1x distance, 2x, and 5x.
As you can see below from the two sample shots we were able to obtain—one at the standard distance and the other fully zoomed in—Oppo’s claims of being able to produce lossless images at five times the distance aren’t without merit. Naturally, being cat lovers, we focused on the cat model.
It was able to take pictures pretty quickly and jump between photo modes with no problem at all, and it was quick to focus on the desired portions of the frame.
From the settings, it wasn’t clear what processor the demo phones were using, so it remains to be seen how the camera rig will perform with something like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 running the show, next to all the other things a fully fledged phone would do in the background.
Oppo seems to be on to something here; let’s hope it can build this concept into a device that’s equally impressive.