Oppo officially announces its 5x optical zoom technology
Just as we suspected, Oppo’s mysterious camera technology turned out to be an optical zooming one. Dubbed 5x, the company’s new tech manages to cram a telephoto lens inside a mobile phone, allowing for 5x "lossless" zooming.
Smartphones have had other optical zooming options in the past, the most popular solution being the one employed by the iPhone 7 Plus: having two sensors, one of which is permanently zoomed in, and using software to seamlessly combine the two. Oppo’s 5x, however, does things a bit differently, since the second sensor is hidden inside the phone’s chassis at a 90-degree angle.
Apple's iPhone 7 Plus only has 2x optical zoomThe tech works with a telephoto lens, which is rotated perpendicularly inside the device, and the light from which is then reflected through a rotating prism. The mechanism can rotate by increments of 0.0025 degrees, allowing for precise control of zooming, and also includes picture stabilization. Oppo claims the result is “lossless” 5x zooming, though we still have to see it in action before we believe it.
The mechanism was reportedly co-developed together with camera technology vendor Corephotonics, and development took about a year. We'll hopefully be seeing how the new tech works in person soon, though it's worth noting Oppo hasn't yet announced a phone which will include it.