Oppo introduces true continuous zoom lens for smartphones


Oppo has organized a “Future Imaging Technology Launch Event” online today to make some announcements related to the camera after its release Next generation selfie camera under the screen earlier this month.

Oppo is known for showcasing camera technology in prototype form long before it hits the market. The company was the first to introduce Periscope Cameras and cameras below the screenFor example, both are more common in high-end devices.

The first new announcement is a telephoto lens with continuous optical zoom. Unlike periscopic telephoto lenses used today, the lens elements move throughout the 85-200mm zoom range, which means images must be sharp at all focal lengths without digital zoom, cropping or artificial sharpening.

Vivo announced a similar product Apex 2020 concept phone, but the range was much more limited — approximately 130–195 mm equivalent. This Oppo module starts at 85 mm. Oppo points out that using a single camera at multiple focal lengths ensures smoother performance in terms of color and white balance as well.

Unfortunately, Oppo does not say when it might send this camera to a commercial device.

The next announcement is a five-axis optical image stabilization system that utilizes both lens transfer and cell transfer technologies as well as phone gyroscope motion data. Lens shift is used for gradual stabilization, while sensor shift is used in more dramatic situations and includes the ability to roll along the cell and the X and Y axes.

Oppo says this allows for three times better stability than standard OIS camera modules, which is also what Vivo says gimbal-type systems it has been supplying since last year. Unlike the zoom lens, however, Oppo confirms the release schedule for the OIS system – it will begin to appear on Oppo phones in the first quarter of 2022.

Oppo’s latest major announcement is a new image sensor that uses an RGBW pixel layout that adds extra white sub-pixels, according to the company, with a 60 percent increase in light sensitivity.

Oppo acknowledges that previous companies with RGBW sensors had their limitations, but believes that the new effort should have a big impact due to more advanced manufacturing processes and improved demosailing algorithms. It will also be available fairly soon – the company says it will be featured on phones shipped in Q4 2021.

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