OPPO 5x dual camera zoom_MWC 2017_Philippines

Your next OPPO phone could achieve up to 5x ‘lossless’ zoom

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

THE dust has settled on OPPO’s Mobile World Congress [MWC] 2017 presentation, and we now know for sure what the company has kept under wraps for weeks. Surprisingly, we’re not getting a new phone, but rather a new camera technology that we might see down the road. Sooner rather than later, we hope.

OPPO has announced a new dual-lens camera system that allows 5x “lossless” zoom — while only being 5.7mm thick. If it works as promised, your next OPPO smartphone would be able to zoom in — and we mean really, really zoom in — on an object without getting close to it. And granted the phone isn’t insanely thin like 2014’s 4.85mm-thick OPPO R5, it’s unlikely that it’s going to have a camera bump.

To be clear, the forthcoming camera module isn’t capable of optical zoom up to 5x (it’s only up to 3x), but it should result in crisper, higher-quality photos than those produced by existing technologies.

OPPO 5x dual camera zoom sample_MWC 2017_Philippines

Image taken with OPPO’s 5x ‘lossless’ zoom camera

Not OPPO phone's 2x dual camera zoom sample_MWC 2017_Philippines

Image taken with a competitor’s 2x optical zoom camera

The secret sauce, according to OPPO, is the system’s special dual-lens arrangement matched with the company’s own image-fusion tech. The design consists of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, with the latter having a periscope-style structure that shifts the angle of the lens by 90 degrees, which then allows for greater zoom capabilities and a longer path for the light entering the camera.

The telephoto lens is also optically stabilized to keep the mechanical parts in place while shooting, which should result in blur-free shots at higher focal lengths. OPPO reckons its OIS [optical image stabilization] solution is better than previous applications, able to compensate for movement to a thousandth degree.

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With this unique approach to image magnification, the camera is able to shoot brighter, sharper-looking photos from afar within a relatively small footprint. Other technical details, such as the focal length of each lens, are thin on the ground at the moment.

OPPO says it worked for almost a year to develop its camera technology, and more than 50 patents have been filed for it.

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Again, OPPO has not revealed the phone, or any phone, for that matter, that will introduce the feature. But we’re hoping things go a little differently than OPPO’s previous MWC announcement. Last year, the company showed off a proprietary charging technology that can juice up a 2,500mAh battery in under 15 minutes. It also announced the world’s first SmartSensor image-stabilization tech. We have yet to see an OPPO phone that has those features.

OPPO’s SuperVOOC technology, showcased at MWC 2016, can charge a phone with 2,500mAh battery in 15 minutes

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 12 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between. His latest addiction is the comments section of viral Facebook posts.