Periscopic cameras are quickly getting mainstream on smartphones but still have a long way to go in terms of performance and consistency. Oppo’s new hybrid optical zoom module aims to fix that.
Oppo was one of the early adopters of periscopic cameras on its smartphones. The Reno 10x Zoom Edition made it mainstream while the Find X2 Pro took it further. Achieving long zoom on smartphones is difficult due to the limited space inside. Periscopic modules help in accommodating more lenses without increasing the Z-axis thickness by folding the optics to the side. The movement of the glass within creates real optical zoom as well as helps with the focusing.
The new generation of the hybrid optical zoom technology has an effective focal length of 85mm to 125mm, resulting in approximately 3.4x to 5.4x optical zoom. The aperture goes from f/3.3 to f/4.4, which is relatively large for these focal lengths. It implements multifocal image fusion technology, multi-shot field of view angle alignment technology and super-division algorithm, etc., to achieve up to 11x lossless hybrid zoom (280mm).
Oppo also developed a custom 32MP image sensor to go along with the zoom module. While the size wasn’t mentioned, it has a 16:11 aspect ratio which makes it ideal for photos (4:3) as well as videos (16:9). More interestingly, it can also employ 4-in-1 pixel-binning for 8MP resultant images with better definition and low-light sensitivity via larger pixels.
Oppo says that the module was developed from the ground up. To offer smoother and swifter zooming and focusing, a custom 16-bit IC was designed to control the movement of the two sets of lenses. Optical image stabilization will help in keeping the images stable in clear.
There will also be other optimizations to ensure edge sharpness, control the noise and retain the colour fidelity. It will be making it to a commercial product in the near future, but no specifics were shared.