Camera and imaging technology have long been vital focuses for OPPO, where substantial investments in research and development on imaging technology have led to breakthroughs subsequently. In 2023, OPPO positioned imaging technology at the center of its development strategy. It solidified the company's commitment with a dedicated imaging team of over 1,000 professionals working with an annual R&D budget of over US$140 million.
But even with such large investments, OPPO’s aim has never been to develop fringe camera features like night vision or hyper zoom lenses. Instead, OPPO is devoted to enhancing photography performance at the focal lengths most commonly used by smartphone users. OPPO strives to empower individuals to effortlessly capture the magic of each moment with a simple tap of a button.
As part of these efforts, OPPO has established the Photography Insights Team composed primarily of professional photographers whose mission is to critically analyze the shortcomings or limitations of current smartphone photography from a professional perspective and reconsider the imaging technologies that should be employed at various phases of the photographic process.
In March this year, OPPO implemented the first set of recommendations from the Photography Insights Team on the newest flagship smartphone, the Find X6 Pro.
To demonstrate the exceptional imaging capabilities applied to the device, OPPO invited professional photographers and media representatives to the OPPO Imaging Tour in Bali, where participants can leverage the exceptional imaging capabilities of the Find X6 Pro to capture the beauty of the Pacific Island.
OPPO’s revolutionary telephoto lens unveiling new perspectives in smartphone photography
Flick through your mobile photo album and count the number of photos taken at 10x zoom or more. Chances are the number is very small, or even zero. Despite many smartphones now having the capability to shoot at such high magnifications, the feature is rarely used in practice. Why are telephoto lenses utilized so infrequently?
After delving into this matter with professional photographers, the OPPO imaging team discovered smartphone imaging technology is currently being developed that pursues focal length multiples indiscriminately while losing sight of image quality. A super telephoto lens's periscope module is frequently quite large, which constricts the sensor's space and causes it to receive insufficient light. This introduces distortion, overexposure, and large levels of noise to images in low-light environments, which is not the user's desire.
A superior, user-desired telephoto lens needs to deliver the finest image quality at the most frequently used focal lengths. Extremely large zoom factors are rarely required. However, it is extremely challenging for smartphone manufacturers to fit a telephoto lens module with a larger sensor into a slim and lightweight body. Conversely, it is simpler to incorporate a periscopic telephoto module with a higher magnification into a smartphone.
The good news is that OPPO has a long history in mobile telephoto lens development, including continuous optical zoom and retractable cameras. Based on this catalog of innovations, OPPO has developed a breakthrough structure that reduces the size of the periscope lens to create more room for a large sensor and a large periscope prism.
Because of the large sensor, even in low light, the phone no longer forces the camera to switch to a digital zoom on the wide lens. And the large prism can cancel mirror shacks for a more stable image. So now, you can enjoy full image quality from the optical zoom on the telephoto lens to capture stunning, professionally composed images in low light or high-contrast environments.
For the first time on a smartphone, the periscope telephoto camera not only spans distance but spans light and dark. To make it easier to capture professional-looking photos using the telephoto lens, OPPO has also incorporated 3x and 6x zoom presets—focal lengths that are most frequently used by professional photographers. Armed with this lens and the easy-to-use presets, users will find it much simpler to explore and capture the beauty from a novel perspective.
OPPO Portrait Mode brings DSLR-level depth-of-field capabilities to smartphone
Professional portrait photographers now choose DSLR cameras over smartphone cameras because the latter currently can only capture good-looking images and are far from professional. The depth of field has the most impact here because the smartphone portrait mode often suffers from a lack of accuracy in recognizing people, and the unrealistic bokeh background.
This is due to the fact that current depth-of-field algorithms for smartphones do not accurately identify the edges of people, such as hair, and a uniformly indiscriminate level of bokeh to all things in the background, ultimately creating a highly unrealistic appearance to the image.
The Find X6 Series realized the bokeh effect of a professional camera to create more realistic portrait images. OPPO's bokeh algorithm generates a progressive level of bokeh for everything except people, determined by their distance from the lens, which is closer to the level of a DSLR camera. The light spots on the background are also covered by the bokeh algorithm, as we have calculated a natural luminance distribution that gives the correct spatial relationship and brightness levels to the scattered flare.
Furthermore, recognizing the challenges faced by smartphones in accurately detecting handheld objects, gestures, and circular items, OPPO engineers have engineered a remarkable solution to these difficulties with special and meticulous algorithms training. OPPO’s updated technology ensures a natural and seamless bokeh effect in the Portrait Mode of the Find X6 Series, making professional portraits possible with smartphones.
All three of Find X6 Pro’s cameras feature best-in-class sensors to ensure sufficient light intake at the usual focal lengths. Whether exploring nature, taking snaps at the beach, or capturing memories of a friend’s birthday party, users can capture faces and light flares that are precise and natural, while the landscape is beautifully blurred as if in a studio. As if captured with an optical lens, the image matting is precise and perfectly blended with the backdrop.
Thanks to the Find X6 Pro's Periscope Telephoto Camera and its large IMX890 sensor, Portrait Mode now also covers the best focal length for professional portraits, bringing it a closer experience to using a DSLR camera. Not only does shooting at 3x zoom offer more options for photo composition, but the slight compression of perspective also provided by a telephoto lens is usually flattering.
OPPO's accurate reproduction of light and shadow redefines the concept of a good photo
Among the many elements that contribute to creating an outstanding photograph, none is more vital than light. In the realm of photography, light serves as the cornerstone that shapes every aspect of an image. From its overall character to the level of separation between different objects, its colors, textures, atmosphere, and the narrative it conveys. Professional photographers emphasize the significance of capturing the right light, recognizing its transformative impact on the final composition.
In the search to improve nighttime photography or high natural contrast photography, such as those with strong backlight, many smartphone models have adopted solutions that amplify image brightness by superimposing information from multiple image frames on top of each other. While this often achieves its desired outcomes, the crude approach also leads to a loss of detail and beauty in the natural light and shadow present in the original scene.
To better capture and reproduce the authentic essence of light and shadow on the Find X6 Pro, OPPO has adopted a two-pronged approach. The first step is to make full use of the phone’s Three Main Camera System to capture an extensive range of light information. The second step is to use a series of advanced algorithms — the result of over-investment of over US$5.6 million in R&D — to accurately process light information at every stage along the image chain, from image capture to image display.
The Find X6 Pro is equipped with the Next-Generation Image Processing Architecture, which utilizes 10 times more computing power than its predecessor, delivering new breakthroughs in image clarity, light, shadow, and color. The high computing power of the new image processing architecture brings RAW Domain Multi-frame Synthesis to more scenarios on Find X6 Pro, achieving a 30% improvement in image clarity and a 60% reduction in image noise.
Take any picture using the Find X6 Pro and its natural layers and contrasts of light and shadow are restored to produce images that approach reality. In the left-side image below, the human face, the horse, and the sky have all been adjusted to the same level of brightness, rendering the scene flat and devoid of depth. Conversely, in the right-side image, the opposite is true: as if transporting us to the scene itself, faithfully recreating each element with its own distinct lighting, mirroring the authenticity we experience in real life.
In addition, OPPO uses Photon Matrix Technology to display natural light and shadows more accurately. Find X6 Pro can record twelve million photons of luminance information, expanding the maximum dynamic range to eight times that of conventional SDR technology.
The immersive play of light and shadow in Find X6 Pro photographs has redefined smartphone users’ standards of excellence and ignited their creativity, prompting them to explore the artistry of different lighting techniques. In April this year, OPPO launched the 2023 OPPO Imagine IF Photography Awards. Despite its open invitation to the public, the outstanding quality of the entries received so far would have many people mistakenly believing that this was a competition for professional photographers with years of experience and thousands of dollars in equipment.
With OPPO smartphones, taking high-quality photographs has never been easier. After the launch of the Find X6 Pro, OPPO received a lot of feedback from users. They remarked the Find X6 Pro rekindled their passion to become better photographers. Experiences like these are exactly why OPPO has invested so much in imaging technology: to make it easy for everyone to discover and pursue their love of photography.
Alongside the resounding acclaim from those who have tried the phone, the Find X6 Pro has also been setting new records within the industry, including an all-time high score of 153 on the DXOMARK camera test. This level of recognition from both the public and industry further solidifies OPPO's beliefs that the company needs to keep striving the best to develop imaging technology. OPPO's next stride is to bring the proven technological prowess of the Find X6 Pro to the OPPO Reno series, ensuring that users worldwide can relish the superior camera experience and capture images like seasoned professionals.