from the zoom-zoom! dept.
Oppo has confirmed that it's developing a smartphone camera system with a 10x zoom lens, as rumored. The tech is similar to the 5x zoom prototype the company showed off a couple of years ago, making use of the phone's lateral width to enable the necessary physical depth through the use of a periscope-style prism.
This time around the camera is 15.9-159mm-equivalent, meaning it'll start with an ultrawide perspective and zoom into medium telephoto. It's essentially three prime lenses in one, so Oppo's claim of "lossless" zoom might not quite be accurate throughout the entire zoom range, but it should be considerably [more] flexible nonetheless.
The system has optical image stabilization, but so far Oppo isn't saying anything about aperture, which has been the drawback of previous experiments with zoom lenses on phones. The Asus Zenfone Zoom, for example, had a 3x f/2.7-4.8 lens, and the results weren't great. Even the 2x f/2.4 "telephoto" lens on the iPhone XS turns in worse results than simply cropping the wider, faster primary camera except in the very best of lighting conditions.
The camera will be shown off at Mobile World Congress 2019 in February.
Also at Engadget.
HMD Global and Zeiss on Thursday announced that they had signed an agreement under which upcoming Nokia-branded smartphones will use Zeiss-branded optics exclusively. The companies said that they would co-develop imaging capabilities of future handsets, but did not elaborate when to expect actual devices on the market.
The collaboration announcement between HMD and Zeiss has a number of layers, all of which seem to be significant. First off, Nokia's future phones will use optics co-developed with a renowned designer of lenses. The important upshot here is that HMD is actually investing in the development of custom capabilities for its Nokia phones. Second, the two companies are talking about "advancing the quality of the total imaging experience", involving optics, display quality, software, and services, but do not elaborate. From the announcement, it looks like HMD will put R&D efforts not only into optics but will design its own software enhancements to improve imaging capabilities beyond those offered by vanilla Android. A good news here is that certain future phones carrying the Nokia brand are not going to rely completely on off-the-shelf hardware, software, and reference designs. Third, HMD announced that imaging is one of the areas that it considers important for its future smartphones. Finally, Zeiss will be used on Nokia-branded devices exclusively, which means that future halo smartphones from Microsoft (if the company decides to launch them) will have to rely on other optics.
It's tough to stand out in the premium smartphone world, but LG may have a solution for its upcoming V40 flagship. There's a rumor from Android Police that says the company is throwing caution to the wind and putting five cameras on its new phone, a device that will surely succeed where last year's V30's (and its V35 variant's) paltry three cameras did not.
According to Android Police's source, the V40 will feature three cameras on the back of the device. It's similar to the Huawei P20 Pro, which was the first major smartphone to offer a triple-camera system. The V40 will also feature dual cameras on the front of the device (like the HTC U12 Plus), in what's rumored be a stereo system to follow for 3D face mapping and unlocking. While both the dual-front camera and triple-rear camera configurations aren't new, the five-camera system would the first time we've seen both on a single device. If the rumor is correct, this would be the most cameras on a smartphone.
HMD appears to be working on an impressive camera array for a future Android-powered Nokia handset. Leaked design sketches and images hint that we could be about to see a Nokia-branded phone with five cameras on the rear. The penta-lens setup first appeared in rumors about a Nokia 10 device earlier this year, and now an alleged photo has leaked of the handset.
The camera module includes five lenses arranged in what looks like a circle, with prominent Zeiss branding. HMD Global, the Finnish company that licensed the rights to produce Nokia phones, teamed up with Zeiss last year to reunite the Nokia and Zeiss brands for the Android era. HMD has started to use Zeiss optics in its latest Android handsets, and the lens maker has even patented a miniaturized zoom camera system that looks very similar to this leak.
F*** Everything, We're Doing Five Rear Cameras.
But you still have a long way to go.
Also at Engadget.
Oppo has come to Mobile World Congress this year not with a phone, but with a promise. That promise is a lossless 10x optical zoom that you'll be able to obtain from a new triple-lens cameraphone system the company just unveiled. I tried it out from myself, and while I wouldn't say that the results are quite as pristine as having a dedicated camera with a true optical zooming system, this is definitely the closest we've yet come to conquering the seemingly insurmountable challenge of injecting real zoom into the tight confines of a smartphone.
The key component to Oppo's system is a periscope setup inside the phone: light comes in through one lens, gets reflected by a mirror into an array of additional lenses, and then arrives at the image sensor, which sits perpendicular to the body of the phone. That's responsible for the telephoto lens in Oppo's array, which has a 35mm equivalence of 160mm. Between that lens, a regular wide-angle lens, and a superwide-angle that's 16mm-equivalent, you get the full 10x range that Oppo promises.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has had an eventful time at the Mobile World Congress, Shanghai. The company became the world's first to introduce a new camera technology that will become mainstream in due course of time. Additionally, it also surprised everyone by launching an inter-device communication framework dubbed 'Meshtalk'.
[...] Oppo's MeshTalk is a first of its kind technology that's introduced by a smartphone manufacturer. Prior to MeshTalk, apps like FireChat allowed users to send each other messages and photos in the absence of traditional mediums of data exchange such as Cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth networks. MeshTalk, according to Oppo, will also allow users to make calls and send voice messages within a 3km radius in open fields. This radius can also be achieved in urban environments through a phone's relay claims the company.
Our early look at the technology suggests that it's nothing more than an application of the principles of wireless mesh modes to Oppo's smartphones. A Mesh network works by configuring a device to send and receive data packets from another device. For a smartphone, this means that a gadget's WiFi and Bluetooth radios can be configured to send and receive information from other similarly configured smartphones. The aforementioned FireChat app, for example, works according to these principles. However, Oppo claims that a 'custom chip' is behind MeshTalk, so maybe we're looking at a novel approach with the new technology.
Related: Oppo Likely to Release the First Smartphone With 10 GB of RAM
Oppo Smartphone Camera System Includes 10x "Hybrid Zoom"
Oppo Demonstrates 10x Optical Zoom for Smartphone Cameras
A Bunch of Mobile World Congress 2019 Stories