At MWC in February 2017, Oppo showed off phone camera technology that allowed for a 5x optical zoom, and while it never saw the light of day in any smartphone currently on the market, we could soon see that impressive spec double.
According to Chinese tech site My Drivers, Oppo has sent out invites to a January 16 launch event with the tantalising (and roughly translated) tagline of “ten times the view” (十所为见).
The design of the invitation itself is another strong indicator that the announcement being made at the special event will be related to optics, with the graphic resembling light focusing through what could well be a lens.
While there are plenty of smartphone cameras capable of high levels of digital zoom, getting artificially close to the action in this way means having to sacrifice image resolution the more you zoom in. This results in not only pixelation of the image but also the addition of noise and loss of detail.
Optical zoom, on the other hand, relies on the lightplay of a system of lenses to zoom in on the camera’s subject without any loss in quality, but given the inherently thin design of smartphones, the limited space for lenses typically results in a maximum optical zoom of 2x.
Although it’s been almost two years since Oppo announced its potentially game-changing 5x optical zoom compact lens system, we are yet to see a consumer handset that features the technology, so here’s hoping the rumored 10x zoom will find more focus on the market.