Optical zoom inside a smartphone camera is nothing new. Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus features a 2x zoom sensor and LG and Samsung have had similar technology inside their phone cameras for a while now.
But what OPPO just announced completely wipes the floor with them. The company’s new optical zoom sensor offers 5x zoom with zero loss of quality – a frankly insane leap forwards.
This new technology has not yet been implemented inside a handset but that will change in the coming months.
In order to reduce bulk, OPPO has mounted the new sensor sideways.
Think of it as a periscope-style setup, whereby the actual sensor is loaded sideways and uses a mechanism to divert the light from the prism onto the lens itself.
This means its inclusion does not effect the thickness of a handset, which is a huge boon for handset makers that are always chasing thinner designs.
OPPO will almost certainly feature this technology inside its upcoming 2017 flagship. However, given the nature of this technology – and the difference it will make – I’d expect plenty of other brands to implement it as well.
5X optical zoom without any loss of detail is a huge step forwards from current standards.