OPPO has been teasing its periscope-design smartphone tele lens for two years now, but those who expected a product launch at MWC 2019 were disappointed once again. That said, we now at least know when a production device with the company’s 10x zoom system will be commercially available.
OPPO announced it has started mass production of the system and will launch a device with the 10x zoom camera in the second quarter of this year. There’s a slight caveat though: unlike most manufacturers, OPPO bases the zoom factor on the 16mm equivalent super-wide-angle. The tele lens comes with a 160mm equivalent focal length, hence a 10x zoom.
|A rendered illustration from the above video showing the construction of the optical elements and sensor inside the periscope-style zoom lens.|
Most other manufacturers don’t include the super-wide-angle in the zoom factor and instead use the primary camera, which on the OPPO model comes with a 48MP sensor and likely a 28mm focal length, as a reference.
The periscope design features a prism that reflects incoming light by 90 degrees and makes it possible to include such a ‘long’ lens in a thin smartphone body. The prism is also used for image stabilization. The primary comes with OIS as well and OPPO says the system is 73 percent more efficient than the previous iteration.
In addition the engineers have been able to maintain the dimensions of the older 5x prototype system, despite adding a super-wide-angle and using larger sensors.