Smart device brand OPPO unveiled its latest innovations in smartphone imaging technology at the recently concluded 2021 OPPO Future Imaging Technology. The new developments are focused on upgrades to sensors, modules, and algorithms.
OPPO is developing a next-generation RGBW sensor, the 85-200mm Continuous Optical Zoom, Five-axis OIS technology, and next-generation under-screen camera with a series of proprietary AI algorithms. The company unveiled what it calls the “world’s first-ever” under-screen camera technology back in 2019 at the Mobile World Congress event in Shanghai.
OPPO’s next-generation RGBW sensor is made using advanced manufacturing and processing technology, increasing the level of computing power needed to execute complex algorithms and maximizing the amount of data extracted via the sensor’s white pixels. The company’s proprietary 4-in-1 pixel algorithm helps to substantially boost the sensor’s color performance, preventing issues such as color inaccuracy and moiré patterns.
The new sensor allows for 60% more light to be captured than previous sensors while achieving an up to 35% reduction in noise to deliver much clearer and brighter images in low-light conditions. It also makes portraits more expressive in both photo and video with enhancements to skin, texture, and contrast. The new sensor will be commercially released in OPPO products from Q4 2021.
The new-released module is the 85-200mm Continuous Optical Zoom, which redesigns the underlying structural module at the hardware level:
- It adopts G+P (glass + plastic) lens technology for the first time, introducing two ultra-thin, high-precision aspheric glass lenses to significantly boost optical effects, such as minimizing stray light.
- The innovative application of a tunnel magnetoresistance sensor (TMR sensor) allows the lenses within the camera module to move with more stability and precision.
- The newly upgraded guiding shaft motor increases the dynamic tilt at which the lens system can be moved, easily supporting Continuous Optical Zoom at higher magnifications.
These innovations support Continuous Optical Zoom at equivalent focal lengths between 85mm and 200mm, capturing sharp images from up-close portraits to far-away landscapes without cropping. It also avoids common conventional multi-camera zoom systems problems like jumping, white balance inaccuracy, or color bias.
Also new from OPPO, the Five-axis OIS allows the system processor to receive movement data from the gyroscope, analyze it and break it down into its respective components through algorithms. The data is then passed to the two moveable components: the lens and the image sensor, which are driven by ball-bearing motors and shape memory alloys, respectively.
For relatively small movements, images are stabilized mainly through lens-shift OIS — covering horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) shifting. While for relatively large movements, sensor-shift OIS will also be utilized — including horizontal shifting (x), vertical shifting (y), and rolling – together with algorithm compensation, to achieve stabilization in five-axis of space.
This allows a stabilization angle of ±3°, three times more than traditional OIS technology on mobile devices, while the sensor can also shift with a precision of 2μm. For night-time or motion shots, OPPO’s proprietary algorithm technology can help significantly improve stability, clarity, and color performance; increasing the vibration compensation performance by up to 65%. The OPPO Five-axis OIS will be commercially released in OPPO products from Q1 2022.
OPPO self-developed algorithms support the next-generation under-screen camera to deliver the perfect balance between screen and camera quality.
OPPO also showcased its next-generation under-screen camera solution for future smartphones, ensuring a 400-PPI high-quality display. Using transparent wiring and a new design, the result is much finer display quality with a smoother visual experience. With each pixel circuit driving only 1 pixel (“1-to-1”) in the screen and OPPO’s precise algorithmic compensation technology, the chromaticity and brightness of the entire screen are more precisely controlled, with a deviation of only about 2% and an improved screen lifespan of up to 50%.
OPPO’s US Research Institute has developed a series of imaging AI algorithms, including diffraction reduction, anti-condensation, HDR, and AWB, to better optimize the imaging quality of the under-screen camera. OPPO’s AI diffraction reduction model has been trained to control problems caused by diffraction at the light source for clearer, more natural-looking images.
OPPO is strengthening its global R&D capacities to meet the ever-changing imaging demands of users worldwide. Among those is the Imaging Lab in Yokohama, Japan, which is responsible for creating a number of OPPO’s self-developed imaging technologies found in the Reno series, including the Reno6 Series which was recently launched in the Philippines.