A pandemic may still be rolling on but that hasn’t stopped OPPO from continuing their research and development into the device that is so often in our hands — a smartphone. Today at their 2021 OPPO Future Imaging Technology Launch Event OPPO unveiled not just their new under screen camera technology (USC) but also new camera developments designed to make one of the world’s best smartphone cameras even better.

Under-screen camera technology

We saw OPPO unveil their new USC just a couple of weeks ago and thanks to some new computational photography algorithms, a new pixel geometry and transparent wiring they were able to achieve some impressive results with their selfie camera under the display. Although it is OPPO’s third generation of the technology there is still no word just when it will make it into a consumer-facing phone. Hopefully early next year so keep an eye out for that.

A new camera sensor

OPPO’s new camera technologies include a “next generation RGBW sensor” which improves light sensitivity to allow for 60% more light to be captured by the camera sensor compared to previous sensors. At the same time, it delivers an up to 35% reduction in noise resulting in clearer, brighter low-light images.

Previous generation vs Next generation

The new RGBW sensor and their 4-in-1 pixel algorithm helps to boost the sensor’s colour performance in both colour accuracy and artefact categories. This results in not just photography but also videography enhancements to skin, texture and contrast of subjects. Expect to see this new sensor arrive in new OPPO phones in Q4 this year.

Continuous optical zoom and Optical image stabilisation

OPPO has also developed a new camera module that uses both glass and plastic lens technology to “significantly boost optical effects” without any of the “jumping” or “flicking” when switching between focal lengths. The newly designed hardware includes a tunnel magnetoresistance sensor (TMR sensor) to allow camera module movement to be more stable and precise resulting in a module that can provide continuous optical zoom from focal lengths of 85mm up to 200mm. This means sharp images at every magnification level including close-up portraits and landscapes without any need for cropping.

Also included in their camera development is a new five-axis OIS which allows the system to receive movement data from its gyroscope, analyse it and break it down into its respective components using algorithms. This allows movements small and large to be corrected for in all directions resulting in sharper pictures with small movements stabilised through lens-shift OIS and larger movements by both lens-shift and sensor-shift OIS.

For longer exposures such as night-time pictures the improved stability, clarity and colour are even more pronounced, improving performance by up to 65%. Expect to see the new OIS from OPPO to appear in their smartphones from Q1 next year, 2022.

Although you can be sure that all smartphone manufacturers are hard at work on these types of technologies it is rare that we see them announced with such a focus and in such detail. OPPO love showing off what they are working on and given their ability to implement new technologies into their smartphones we can’t wait until next year to see these begin to arrive in our smartphones Downunder.