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OPPO’s new dual camera system will give you 5x optical zoom in a compact 5.7mm module

Mobile World Congress is a place where OPPO loves to showcase their technological breakthroughs. Last year, we saw a new fast-charging standard that topped up a smartphone’s battery in just 15 minutes. We also saw the SmartSensor three axis sensor stabilisation.

This year, OPPO is focusing on smartphone camera zoom and this is what they’ve come up with. It utilises two sensors and a periscope-style lens structure.

OPPO’s new camera technology has been in development for over 12 months. Finally, they’re revealing it to the public. So, how does it work?

Well, the new camera sensor utilises two separate sensors — one paired to a telephoto lens mounted at 90 degrees, the other paired to a wide-angle camera nestled next to it. Refracting the light from the telephoto lens is a tiny prism that gives this lens its periscope nature. The prism will bend the light into the lens element before it hits the sensor.

This periscope design isn’t exactly new on a smartphone. We’ve seen something similar on ASUS’ ZenFone Zoom a few years back, but OPPO has taken that technology a step further. The ZenFone Zoom gave you 3x optical zoom — OPPO’s new camera can do 5x optical zoom and is made up of over 50 fine-tuned components. The best part? OPPO has managed to do all of this in a camera module that’s just 5.7mm thick.

When you have a bunch of moving elements in a camera module, there’s bound to be vibration that can affect image quality. OPPO’s combating this by incorporating an intelligent module into the camera that can sense vibrations and make corresponding changes in real time. It’s also got a new optical image stabilisation that is supposed to keep everything shake free even at 5x optical zoom and is 40% better than its predecessor.

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While all this is really cool, if or when this technology starts hitting consumer devices remains to be seen. And based on OPPO’s track record, we wouldn’t hold our breath for it. Both the technological showcases last year have not made it to commercial devices yet, so what’s to say this will anytime soon?

Still, it’s interesting, to say the least. What do you guys think of OPPO’s new camera tech? Let us know in the comments below.