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OPPO on AI: how software is changing the face of smartphone photography


Every year, consumers expect more power and better performance from their phones, not least in the realm of photography. We live in a time where high-resolution smartphone photos appear on the webpages of official news media, grace giant signs on city streets, or sometimes, adorn the walls of art galleries.

Picture: OPPO Reno 10x Zoom recognizes and adjusts for a dark group photo automatically. 


And every year, camera-connected features continue to improve in leaps and bounds. As space constraints–our Reno smartphone, for instance, is only nine millimeters wide–have limited development on the hardware side, phone makers including OPPO have increasingly turned to software and in particular, artificial intelligence. 

Picture: Zhangye National Geopark, shot on OPPO Reno 10x Zoom on the OPPO Creators Awards 2019 Winner's Journey. The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom has the ability to differentiate and optimize for landscapes such as these automatically.

Just a few years ago, being able to categorize and search for photos in your phone by subjects such as “dog,” for instance, was considered revolutionary. Now, tech giants offer apps with machine learning capabilities to do just that. That’s only one example; the same could be said of AR filter effects like virtual haloes, or photo-editing software that optimizes with a single tap. 

Picture: OPPO Reno in Jet Black.


On the OPPO Reno Series, various algorithms have been deployed to make users’ photography experience feel effortless. Rather than deal with the hassle of choosing between modes before snapping a shot, for example, Reno users can enjoy automatic scene recognition, which adjusts photo specs according to subject–from portraits and group photos to landscapes and sunsets. Similarly easy-to-use Dazzle Color Mode 2.0, which can be turned on and off, detects and reconstructs the colors and balance of photos taken in low or tinted light to their original appearance. Finally, Reno phones come equipped with software that optimizes for backlighting in photography, adding clarity back to poorly-lit photos. 

Picture: Artistic Portrait mode on the OPPO Reno Z. 


Recognizing the need for powerful portrait software, developers also added a range of features on top of the Reno’s 16MP selfie camera and soft-focus, front-facing light in order to make selfie-taking smoother. That includes HSL technology that restores natural color to washed-out skin tones. There’s also the option to touch up the appearance of subjects based on their skin type and shade, gender, and even age. 


Finally, for tricky nighttime photography, OPPO’s Reno Series combines AI algorithms, HDR, and multi-frame noise reduction to deliver quick, crisp shots that pick up more detail than the naked eye. The camera also recognizes faces amid dark backgrounds, and automatically edit them separately to insure optimal balance and visual appeal. 


Thanks to advancements in machine learning, smartphone series like the Reno are smarter and more capable than ever. Naturally, though, it doesn’t stop there. Startups and established companies around the world are pushing the bounds of how AI shapes photos from start to finish. That could result anything from creative imagery that increasingly mixes input from man and machine to completely computer-generated “shots”–changing the face of photography as we know it.