Oppo unveils many camera innovations, zoom to RGBW sensors
- Oppo showcased many new camera technologies at the Future Imaging Technology event.
- It includes a new RGBW camera sensor as well as a continuous optical zoom unit.
- The company also displayed its new OIS system, and its latest underdisplay selfie camera technology.
Oppo is not afraid to showcase new features on its cameras. In years past, Oppo has highlighted under-display selfie cameras and zoom tech. The company is now showcasing its next generation of camera innovations.
The company announced a number of new camera features at its Future Imaging Technology conference, including a new generation RGBW sensor, continuous lossless optic zoom module, 5-axis optical picture stabilization solution and its next-generation under-display selfie camera.
A new RGBW sensor
The RGB color filter is used for conventional camera sensors (red, green and blue). However, Oppo and Huawei have adopted RGBW filters in the past. This adds white subpixels to the mix for better low-light capture (hence, the ‘W”). It produces color images, which is a different thing from monochrome cameras. RGBW cameras can be used to replace a secondary camera.
Oppo now has a new generation RGBW sensor. It claims it captures 60% less light and 35% more noise than the previous RGBW sensors. Oppo has not yet revealed the exact RGBW sensor it is comparing with, but we have also asked the company about how the new sensor compares with previous RGBW sensors. When we get back from Oppo, the article will be updated.
Oppo claims that the new RGBW sensor has a better color performance and better technology for removing pixel crosstalk. Oppo claims that the new RGBW sensor can produce better photo and video portraits due to its improved skin texture and contrast capture.
The first Oppo phone to feature this technology will be available in new phones as soon as possible.
Interestingly, Vivo, BBK’s stablemate, announced last year that it was also working on a new RGBW sensor. This sensor was expected to be available in 2021. A 50MP RGBW sensor could be added to a Galaxy S22 phone by Samsung next year. It seems that major players may agree that RGBW technology needs to be revived.
Continuous optical zoom
While periscope and telephoto cameras are important, they also have one problem. Manufacturers must use software or other methods to alter the zoom factor. Telephoto and periscope cameras are generally limited by a fixed zoom factor. As a result, image quality can suffer.
Sony has since offered a telephoto camera that can switch between two zoom factors. However, intermediate zoom levels will still require software smarts. Oppo has a solution in the form of its new continuous optical zoom module.
Interestingly, BBK stablemate Vivo announced last year that it was working on a new RGBW sensor too. This was expected to debut in 2021. It’s also believed that Samsung could bring a 50MP RGBW sensor to one of its Galaxy S22 phones next year. So it seems like some major players might agree that RGBW technology should see a revival.
Continuous optical zoom
Telephoto and periscope cameras are undoubtedly important, but they have one major drawback. They’re generally stuck at a fixed zoom factor, forcing manufacturers to use software and other methods when deviating from the native zoom factor. But a drop in image quality is pretty common as a result.
We have since seen the likes of Sony offer a telephoto camera capable of switching between two zoom factors, but any intermediate zoom levels again require software smarts. Fortunately, Oppo now has an answer in its new continuos optical zoom module.
The new camera module from the firm offers zooms of 85mm to 200mm, roughly equivalent to 3.3X zoom and 7.xX zoom. This system actually moves the lenses within the module in the right way (see above). Oppo claims that the system avoids “jumping”, inaccurate white balance and color bias as well as other issues associated with traditional multi-camera zoom sets.
A better OIS system
OIS (optical image stabilization) is a key feature on any smartphone camera. It allows for stable video and allows your shutter to stay open longer in low-light conditions. Oppo will also be introducing a 5-axis OIS to the Future Imaging Technology event.
The solution employs sensor-shift image stability (as seen in the iPhone 12 series), as a key technology. It offers a maximum stabilization angle of three degrees. Oppo claims this figure is three-fold higher than traditional OIS solutions. In Q1 2022, the first commercial products featuring 5-axis OIS will be launched.
Although we aren’t sure how it will compare with the micro-gimbal stabilization system seen on Vivo phones it is expected to be a significant improvement over most flagships, if it works as Oppo plans.
New generation under-display cameras
Under-display selfie cameras are hot right now, with ZTE being the first to launch a commercial device a year ago. We’ve seen devices from Samsung and Xiaomi in the meantime. What about Oppo?
The company showcased its latest generation of under-display selfie camera technology earlier this month, and this same tech was shown at the event this week. The new solution features a 400 PPI sharper display above the camera and transparent screen wiring. The screen above the camera sensor should have a less “haze” effect, blending in with the rest.
Oppo claims it has developed algorithms to improve image quality, reduce reflections, fight condensation and increase HDR and white balance.
Oppo has not yet confirmed when the phone will be equipped with this technology. Oppo didn’t confirm when the phone would be available with this tech. The company first demonstrated under-display selfie cameras in 2019! However, it is worth noting that the first attempts on the market resulted in a significant drop in quality when compared to traditional cameras. Hopefully, the latest solution addresses image quality concerns.