To make optical zoom it seems obvious that you have to play with lenses, and that occupies a physical space that mobiles do not have. There are already manufacturers that have tried to offer extensions, others that bet to use two cameras to do a 2x zoom, but now the great manufacturer Oppo shows his proposal and promises to reach 5x.
They have presented, at the MWC of Barcelona, what they call 5x Dual Camera Zoom, a structure that allows to bring up to five times an image thanks to a system similar to that of a periscope. They use two cameras so that one is the wide angle, while the other offers an optical stabilization system, working both at the same time with an optical prism that will reflect the light towards the sensor.
This new dual camera has more than 50 pieces that fit into a module only 5.7 mm thick. Using a glass prism that deflects light, similar to how a periscope works, it captures the image and passes through different lenses, to obtain a 5X optical zoom without loss of detail.
It is this optical prism that allows to guarantee the 5x, a technology that according to Oppo has been in development for several months with more than 100 engineers dedicated to the subject, always with the aim of offering a system that offers more zoom without increasing the thickness of each part, processing the image obtained with own algorithms.
Oppo has been working on a new Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) that uses the prism to adjust the camera angle with an accuracy of up to 0.0025 degrees. This achieves near perfect stability even in the video recordings recorded by pulse.
In this brief video they show a little of the idea (a trailer of the same):
The developed module is 5.7 mm thick, but at the moment there are no details related to what device will use it, so everything is on paper, without being able to test it to verify the final solution for Optical zoom on mobile phones.