Oppo execs speak on cameras, OnePlus, and releasing phones outside China
An interview with Peter Lee and Arne Herkelmann
After Oppo’s Find N3 event in Singapore last week, I and a few other journalists met with two executives to discuss the new products and the company’s global strategy.
Peter Lee is in charge of Oppo’s Find product line, meaning its highest-end flagship mobile devices. Arne Herkelmann is the head of product management at Oppo’s European arm.
I thought they gave pretty confident answers to everything that was asked of them, so I’m reproducing the most Multicore-relevant ones right here.
On Oppo’s approach to computational photography:
Herkelmann: We didn't talk too much about that [on stage], that's right. However, computational photography, as you're likely aware, is today at the core and centre of any smartphone camera experience. So even on Oppo's phones, we do have the biggest sensors — just to brag a little bit, which we did on stage — but we continuously push computational imaging on the device as well. Whether it comes to dynamic range, whether it comes to stacking, segmentation of the pictures, all these algorithms are continuously working in the background and we develop those further.
With the Find series or with the Find N3 series launch today, our focus is on picture quality. So we didn't focus too much on bringing, let's say, gimmicks or effects, because we think there are apps out there like Lightroom, for example, or Photoshop that can do those if you like. Our mission is to bring the basic camera quality to a new height and a new level because that is what everyone will experience. So computational photography, in all the lenses, in all the scenarios you will have that running in the background making sure you get the best pictures and output from our sensors.
On how Oppo is handling the move away from MariSilicon X:
(Sam: For context, I asked this question because Oppo closed Zeku, its in-house chip design unit, earlier this year. The MariSilicon X chip was a custom image signal processor that Oppo used for its photo and video pipeline on phones like the Find X6 Pro and Find N2 Flip.)
Lee: Actually we have the same algorithm system and pipeline. We use the AP power to run it. Previously we ran this on the dedicated MariSilicon chipset, but now we cooperate with Qualcomm and try to reinvent our pipeline to run very smoothly on MediaTek and Qualcomm chipsets. They also have some modules to support our pipeline, to boost our imaging and computational photography.
If we use a dedicated chipset, maybe in some areas we can have some benefits like power consumption and efficiency, but actually quality-wise there's no loss. So don't worry about it.
On the physical limits of camera hardware in foldable devices:
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