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Oppo shows off new RGBW sensor, 85–200mm OIS zoom camera module, 5-axis OIS module and more for future smartphones

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Today, at its ‘Future Imaging Technology Launch Event,’ Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo revealed a collection of new and improved technologies it plans to bring to its devices in the future. Amongst the new technologies is a new RGBW sensor, a continuous 85–200mm optical zoom camera module, a five-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) camera module and a ‘next generation’ under-screen camera solution.

New RGBW sensor

The first new technology is its next-generation RGBW sensor, which Oppo claims can capture 60% more light than previous-generation sensors while offering a 35% reduction in noise. The new RGBW sensor is an improvement on the original Sony IMX278 RGBW sensor it used in its R7 Plus smartphone released in 2015.

Amongst other improvements, Oppo says it’s added deep-trench isolation between the pixels to reduce cross-talk and developed a new ‘Quadra pixel binning algorithm’ designed to reduce moiré, which was a problem with early generations of its RGBW sensors. Oppo claims this is the first time ‘a self-developed algorithm from a smartphone company has been embedded in a CMOS sensor.

A screenshot from Oppo’s presentation that claims to showcase the difference between a conventional RGB sensor and Oppo’s ‘Next Generation RGBW Sensor.’

The first products to use this new sensor are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Oppo.

85–200mm continuous optical zoom lens

The next feature Oppo showed off its its 85–200mm continuous optical zoom lens. Oppo says this long-range zoom lens is designed to reduce the ‘pain points’ of multi-camera ‘zoom’ systems in smartphones, including the jumping effect you see when switching between models, inconsistent white balance performance due to manufacturers using different sensors and the digital cropping that’s done between the focal lengths to simulate a smoother ‘zoom’ effect.

To achieve such a long range of focal lengths, Oppo says it’s replaced the conventional ball-type motor solution with a long-stroke guiding shaft motor, which allows the optical components to move more precisely within the camera module. As visible in the above graphic, the module has two independent optical groups that can move back and forth as well as ‘Prismatic OIS’ that uses the prism as a method of minimizing vibrations and improving stability while shooting.

Five-axis optical image stabilization

Assuming it gets to market before a competitor, Oppo’s new OIS technology would mark the first time a five-axis optical image stabilization camera module is used in a smartphone. Oppo claims its new system offers a maximum stabilization angle of ±3° and can shift in increments as small as 2μm.

Aside from hardware, Oppo says its proprietary correction algorithm works to increase vibration compensation by up to 65%, compared to previous-generation OIS technologies. Oppo’s new five-axis stabilization technology is expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2022.

Next-generation under-display camera

Lastly, Oppo reiterated the technology behind its new under-display selfie camera module, which it first announced earlier this month.

A screenshot from Oppo’s presentation that claims to show the difference in image quality between current under-display camera modules and Oppo’s new version.

This third-generation technology uses transparent wiring and new algorithms to better control the display in front of the camera in an effort to improve the resulting images. We’re yet to see precisely what its capable of compared to current under-display camera modules, but from the sample images so far, it does appear to offer clearer images.

Camera technology inside smartphones is becoming a differentiating factor more than ever and it’s clear Oppo is hoping to become a leader in the industry. Oppo currently has five research and development facilities, six research institutes and 10 imaging labs across the globe.

You can view Oppo’s 15-minute Future Imaging Technology Launch Event below:


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