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Oppo confirms 10x zoom camera for smartphones

Oppo has confirmed that it’s developing a smartphone camera system with a 10x zoom lens, as rumored. The tech is similar to the 5x zoom prototype the company showed off a couple of years ago, making use of the phone’s lateral width to enable the necessary physical depth through the use of a periscope-style prism.

This time around the camera is 15.9-159mm-equivalent, meaning it’ll start with an ultrawide perspective and zoom into medium telephoto. It’s essentially three prime lenses in one, so Oppo’s claim of “lossless” zoom might not quite be accurate throughout the entire zoom range, but it should be considerably flexible nonetheless.

The system has optical image stabilization, but so far Oppo isn’t saying anything about aperture, which has been the drawback of previous experiments with zoom lenses on phones. The Asus Zenfone Zoom, for example, had a 3x f/2.7-4.8 lens, and the results weren’t great. Even the 2x f/2.4 “telephoto” lens on the iPhone XS turns in worse results than simply cropping the wider, faster primary camera except in the very best of lighting conditions.

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