OPPO promises 5x digital zoom without an ugly camera bump

The mechanism was reportedly co-developed together with camera technology vendor Corephotonics, and development took about a year.

OPPO isn't launching a new phone at Mobile World Congress, but the Chinese manufacturer is showing off its latest camera tech at the conference.

The optically stabilized telephoto lens is offset by 90 degrees, focusing light onto an image sensor after it travels through a prism. To counter that, OPPO has applied the OIS solution to the telephoto lens, so the slight hand vibrations would not spoil your ideal shot.

The new camera is a product of a joint partnership with Corephotonics, an Israeli startup that showed off a similar camera module called Hawkeye Camera past year at MWC.

Just keep this in mind: the telephoto lens itself is capable of 3x optical zoom, and Oppo gets to 5x zoom with some proprietary "image fusion" with a more typical digital zoom setup. Since the whole module only comes in at 5.7mm thick, it could do something to solve the issue of camera bumps, which has become much more prevalent in recent years. Unfortunately, the company has not announced when the new camera tech can be expected to debut on its phones. The 5x optical zoom by OPPO uses the similar physics used in a periscope in a submarine. Oppo claims that this technology provides even more stability than a traditional, lens-only OIS system.

In order to develop the technology, OPPO had 106 engineers, who worked on eight different versions of prism element for the camera for over 2 months to achieve the "precision, reliability and performance that the 5x smartphone camera technology now offers". "Our 5x Dual-Camera Zoom will again set yet another technological standard that others will emulate", said Sky Li, VP, Oppo, MD of International Mobile Business & President of Oppo India. Not yet anyway, but if it lives up to Oppo's claims we'd expect to see it start filtering into new handsets over the coming year.

  • Carolyn Briggs