Every year smartphone camera technology seems to be getting better, and this year is evidently no different. Mobile World Congress 2016 was the place where Sony revealed its new Xperia X series boasting improved camera capabilities, and where Samsung’s Dual Pixel autofocus technology was brought under the spotlight along with the new Galaxy S7. Now it looks like it’s time for another smartphone maker to try and leave its mark on the smartphone camera market in 2016. This time around, the company hails from China and as the title already gave it away, we’re referring to none other than Oppo and its latest SmartSensor image stabilizer.
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A couple of days ago Oppo took the veil off a new upper-mid-range smartphone called the Oppo A30, and needless to say, the aforementioned terminal seemed to be a “carbon copy” of the OnePlus X Champagne Edition. In other words, the company doesn’t seem to have put a lot of effort into giving the A30 a unique personality, but there might be a reason for this after all. Apparently Oppo has been rather busy with creating a new sensor-based optical image stabilizer, which was announced earlier today at MWC 2016 in Barcelona under the name of “Oppo SmartSensor”. The company claims that the SmartSensor is “the first sensor-based image stabilizer in the industry”, and also the smallest image stabilizer the mobile world has to offer.
The Oppo SmartSensor differentiates itself from lens-based image stabilizers by correcting motion on three axes, including the roll axis which usually isn’t accounted for by lens-based units. Oppo’s system uses a comb-like microelectromechanical system (MEMS) able to correct vibrations and compensate for unwanted camera shaking within only 15 milliseconds. The unit also uses a voltage-driven sensor drive, said to reduce power requirements to as low as 10 milliwatts, or roughly 2% of the energy required by lens-based image stabilizers. The Chinese company adds that the SmartSensor stabilizer can maintain its precisions to vibrations of just 0.3 microns, which technically makes it 10x more precise than lens-based solutions.
Oppo didn’t reveal any details as to when the SmartSensor will be ready for a consumer release, but it’s quite obvious that the new technology is primarily aimed at the premium smartphone market.