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Oppo Lands Exclusive on MEMS Camera, Nexus 5 Rumor “Inaccurate”


Last week, the mems|cam camera module for smartphones made by DigitalOptics became extra famous as it was linked to a rumor surrounding Google’s upcoming next Nexus phone, potentially dubbed Nexus 5. We were quick to shoot the report down, as the story seemed like nothing more than media jumping to a wild conclusion or assumption. As it turns out, we were right. DigitalOptics announced this morning that their mems|cam module will first be featured exclusively in upcoming phones made by Oppo. In fact, Oppo is the first OEM partner to place a volume purchase order for the mems|cam. In other words, LG and Google have not joined forces with DigitalOptics.

Also, the press release for this news mentions in its closing remarks that “several technology news blogs reported that mems|cam was first being brought to market in another smartphone platform. Those reports were inaccurate.” Sorry, folks, no mems|cam in the next Nexus. 

For those not familiar, the mems|cam is actually quite the interesting camera module that we hope more OEMs decide to pick up for their future phones. A  mems|cam captures 6 consecutive images in a matter of seconds from different focus zones and then stores them as a single file. This allows you to later refocus the photo as you see fit, similar to what you can do with a Lytro camera. Granted, the technology used is completely different, but the end result produces a similar experience. All you have to do is tap around on objects in the finished photo, and the picture will refocus on the fly. Outside of refocusing after the fact, the mems|cam also features an insanely fast autofocus.

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 08, 2013–

DigitalOptics Corporation (DOC(TM)), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA) announced today that Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd (OPPO), a leading Chinese smartphone OEM, has placed the first mems|cam(TM) volume production purchase order.

The mems|cam module provides speed, power, and precision advantages compared to VCM (voice coil motor) camera modules and enables highly differentiated features when coupled with DOC’s world-class software.

“We are proud to announce that OPPO and DOC are exclusive launch partners. OPPO will be the first smartphone OEM to incorporate mems|cam products in volume,” stated John Thode, president of DigitalOptics Corporation. “OPPO has an excellent premium brand in China as demonstrated by the September 23 launch of the innovative N1 Smartphone platform. Integrating mems|cam modules into OPPO’s best-in-class smartphones will bring an exciting computational imaging user experience that further delivers on OPPO’s brand promise.”

There has been speculation on who would be the first to bring the significant benefits of mems|cam to the mobile imaging market. Last week, several technology news blogs reported that mems|cam was first being brought to market in another smartphone platform. Those reports were inaccurate.

Via:  Engadget

Cheers Jon!

  • Larizard

    mems|cam is like Photospheres.

    Cool tech with no intrinsic purpose. And will be forgotten soon after it’s out. We don’t need it in the next Nexus. What we need is a better camera, not a different kind of camera. Even more so, we need better software image processing. Stock Android is just terrible at that.

  • Rob Delaney

    That crash I hear in the back of my head are my dreams of a nexus device with an awesome camera being destroyed. I wish Android OEM’s spent as much time on the camera as they do on their skins, extra features, and “creative yet useless ways” to make a phone stand out. A smartphone should be a midrange point and shoot, not a kodak disposable from the late 90’s

  • J Dub

    What kind of dev support does Oppo have? Do they use stock Android? Their handsets look quality.

  • I don’t see the point of taking a paragraph in your old article and writing it verbatim in this one if you already linked to your other article. Just sayin’.

  • Augustin

    I thought Nikon was contracted to develop camera in Nexus 5.

  • j

    Doubtful Oppo phones will come to the states anytime soon. Little known brands like Huawei, ZTE, Pantech do not sell here and major carriers aren’t going to bother.

  • What software does Oppo run on their phone? Do they have their own skin or stock? Any info appreciated.

    • CasperTFG

      It doesn’t have 64 bit.

      • JoshGroff

        I see what you did there.

      • Has mems | cam, bro. This is a company that is pushing boundaries.

        Meanwhile, HTC is about to ditch Android and go straight up Windows phone hoping MSFT will save them because their products are trash.

    • They have a skin.

      • JoshGroff

        Don’t they do like weekly/nightly updates or something awesome like that? I kind of read up on them on a whim and that interested me.

    • Now that they partnered with Cyanogen they offer a Cyanogen install right out of the box.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    COME ON GUYS…. What’s a new nexus without a terrible camera? I’m fully looking forward to another terrible camera.

    • mattdm

      It’s going to have optical image stabilization. It’s going to be an awesome camera.

      • The galaxy nexus was supposed to have an awesome camera too.

        • JoshGroff

          It snapped fast pictures, that has to count for something. 😉

          • I love fast crappy pictures!

            Actually, I found the GNex camera acceptable in optimal lighting. In less than optimal lighting, it sucked big time.

          • JoshGroff

            I’d say it was on par with the Motorola’s cameras at the time. In a perfect setting, pictures were decent if not good.

          • MikeCiggy

            What about Motorola?

          • JoshGroff

            Comparing G-Nex camera quality to Motorola’s in the same generation.

          • michael arazan

            The best picture I took with my GNex at night was in the winter with snow on the ground, all the snow reflected the flash to look almost daylight.

        • jose

          Impossible with Android’s stock software. It’s one of the main reasons people around here still like Touchjizz and Sense. I won’t touch another Nexus device until they address their camera software.

          • I don’t know… the GNex camera hardware itself was pretty crappy. I have an S3 running CM, and I don’t see a huge difference (if any at all) between Touchwhizz and CM.

          • Turb0wned

            HA Touchjizz, never thought of that one.. Anyways, the Nexus 4 was suppose to have a good camera to….

    • Pierito


    • j

      This would have been a terrible camera.

    • The LG G2 has an awesome camera. HOPEFULLY the only difference is the megapixels. The focusing system will probably be different too, unfortunately. The LG G2 seems to have the best camera I have used in a smart phone.

    • starnovsky

      Nexus 4 camera is not terrible. It may not be top notch, but it’s good enough. Especially after Google+ auto enhancements.

      • akhnaten

        This brings up a good point. Will I be able to use all of the features of the new Nexus phone (excluding the google+ app) if I do not have a google+ account? Since I can no longer access PicasaWeb, I doubt I will be able to access these enhancements.

        • Cole Mickens

          Maybe I don’t understand what you’re asking, but how would you be able to use Google+ Photo’s auto enhancement… if you don’t use Google+?

        • starnovsky

          Google+ auto enhancements are happening on the server after photo is uploaded. So I guess the answer is no.

  • jbdan

    I’m down with it not being in the N5. As long as the N5 takes comparable shots as my S4 I’m good.

    • Turb0wned

      Keep dreaming…

      • jbdan

        I shall….

  • StuckOnVerizonForever

    Oppo is awesome. This is good news.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Oppo is gunna make my side phone. They are doing big things and i like their name.

    • Ian Smith

      you have a trap phone?

      • Droidzilla

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        you got me

        • Daeshaun Griffiths

          58 frames and 10 tries resizing it to fit the 2mb cap and the damn thing loads as a jpg.

  • Guy Pierce

    A rumor inaccurate? No way!

  • Erlack88

    Since it takes photos in a matter of “seconds” how would that affect action shots? Also does that mean this camera can only take one photo every couple seconds as opposed to a few a second like most cameras now?

    • NexusPhan

      It’s 10ms focus time. Crazy fast.

      • Erlack88

        Yes that’s the focus time before you take a picture. I’m asking about the time from when you hit the button to when the picture is saved so you could then take another picture.

        • JBartcaps

          Turn off that feature? it’s gotta be a possibility, hopefully.

  • Droidzilla

    Am I the only one who sees this OEM name and thinks, “Oppo camera style!” and then does a little horsey dance in my head? No one? . . . I’ll be in the corner crying if anyone needs me.

    But seriously, this is a cool tech. I’d love to see this on smartphones, but only if one could pick the initial focus point (or better yet an AF) as a default. Having to set the focus in a proprietary program for every shot you ever take might be a bit tedious.

    • DanPatrickFlores

      Well, I’m doing it now …so, thanks for that?

      • Droidzilla

        I’m just glad someone else now shares my pain.

  • Jeff

    That’s fine with me, all I need my camera to do in my phone is take OKAY pictures of stuff, since I have my Olympus Stylus 500 I bought 7 years ago that takes better pictures than any phone I’ve seen to this point.

    • jose

      I have a real camera too. But in 2013 my smart phone should be able to take GOOD pictures, not just okay. That’s why I don’t buy Nexus phones.

      • Jeff

        Why? It’s a phone, not a camera.

        • jose

          No it’s not. Smart phones stopped being ‘just phones’ many years ago.

    • staticx57

      And you carry your P&S everywhere you take your phone? You know the old saying, the best camera is the one you have with you.

  • Shamu


    • Ian Smith