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Oppo Takes On Apple With 5x Dual Camera Zoom

While Oppo chose not to reveal a new smartphone at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the Chinese manufacturer has unveiled new camera technology that goes beyond the zoom lens offered by the iPhone 7 Plus.

Oppo claims to have achieved a “lossless” zoom system for a smartphone camera by combining 3x optical zoom with “proprietary image fusion technology” through digital zoom. It remains to be seen how Oppo’s system can effectively upscale 3x optical zoom to 5x without a loss in quality, and how its combination of optical and digital zoom is different from Apple and other manufacturers.

“The ‘5x Dual Camera Zoom’ has opened up yet another realm of possibility in terms of smartphone photography, and is a reflection of our dedication to delivering on what our customers want and need – to take beautiful and clear pictures,” said Sky Li, Oppo’s VP and MD of International Mobile Business

The technology involves a periscope-type system with a telephoto lens mounted at a 90-degree angle inside the camera module. Light enters the wide-angle lens normally, but through the secondary system it enters and is then bounced off a prism to be sent through the telephoto lens.

Asus also offered a 3x optical zoom in its ZenFone Zoom in early 2016, but that system featured a bulkier design and did not include the additional “lossless” 5x zoom claimed by Oppo. The company also said its system is 10% thinner than typical 2x zoom modules found in smartphones like the iPhone 7 Plus.

At Mobile World Congress, Oppo is inviting attendees to take part in a blind test between its system and the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus. Engadget reported that Oppo’s camera “produced much clearer results” but the iPhone’s camera produced better colours.

No details have been announced as to when Oppo will include the technology in its smartphone range.

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