Oppo, never one to shy away from showcasing its latest innovations, is now teasing even more upcoming mobile camera technology. The most intriguing feature, according to Oppo, is the 5-axis optical image stabilization, which uses both lens shifting and sensor shifting for maximum effect.
Apparently three times the angle of conventional optical stabilization. If this is true, it would compensate for increased shakiness, allowing for faster capture and better low-light performance even when shooting handheld.
This kind of implementation is nothing new in the professional camera world, but the challenge here is to miniaturize the solution and fit everything into the little remaining space on a phone. The lens, driven by ball-bearing motors, serves as the primary stabilization tool for light vibrations. For bigger movements, both the lens and sensor kick in to achieve 5-axis stabilization, with the latter’s shifting and rotation controlled by shape memory alloys.
Oppo acknowledges that adding more moving parts increases the number of potential failure points, so it will continue to conduct various drop tests and reliability tests before beginning mass production. The company plans to launch its first phone with this feature in Q1 2022.
In addition to its 5-axis optical stabilization technology, Oppo teased its next-generation RGBW sensor, which the company claims can capture 60% more light while reducing noise by 35%.
This will be available in an unspecified Oppo phone sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. To increase flexibility, the company is also developing an 85-200mm continuous optical zoom module. It’s unclear when that will be commercially available.
Oppo isn’t the only phone manufacturer attempting to differentiate itself with obscure camera technology. Vivo, for example, has been using its impressive micro gimbal camera on its X50 Pro since last year, while ASUS is well into its third-generation flip camera on its aptly named Zenfone 8 Flip.
Xiaomi even experimented with a shape-shifting “liquid lens” camera on the Mi Mix Fold before settling on the latest-generation under-screen camera for the Mi Mix 4. And it appears that there will be even more attempts in this area in the coming months.