Oppo introduces 5X zoom for smartphone cameras


As expected, Oppo didn’t have a phone to show off at Mobile World Congress, but instead opted to show off some smartphone technology that we’ll eventually be able to enjoy.

This time around, the company is introducing 5X zoom. This sounds pretty “OK” when you first hear it, but Oppo isn’t using some mechanical zoom lens or even the trick of a seamless swap between two lenses with different zoom angles.

Instead, Oppo is using a camera setup that has over 50 parts working in concert. At its core it’s a camera, but Oppo is able to manage true “lossless” quality at its max zoom level by using a technique which shifts light from the wide-angle lens through a prism into another telephoto lens.

There are a couple of reasons why this is better than 2 independent lenses working in concert. For starters, Oppo can maintain a consistent level of quality between the entirety of the zoom range.

This also enables a unique optical image stabilization technique which works consistently no matter which zoom level you’re at. As you know, the further you zoom in the shakier things can get, so being able to offer the same level of OIS throughout the entire zoom range is also a big deal.

The cost of all this innovation is a pretty meaty camera module that tops out at a height of 5.7mm. We’re sure it won’t add 5.7mm of overall girth to whichever phone it’s in with much of that being hidden beneath the surface, but we imagine it’ll add a decent camera hump for all but the thickest of phones.

Regardless, a small hump is a small price to pay for big time camera innovation. The only thing now is to wait for a smartphone that utilizes it so we can put it to the test.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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