Although it’s hard to tell for sure, but it looks like Oppo has licensed Almalence Super Zoom technology. There is a comparison of Almalence Superresolution Zoom with Sony Clear Image Zoom and an article on its implementation in Huawei phones.
Almalence, the developer of world’s first super resolution technology commercially available on desktop computers, announces that its solution becomes available in the most advanced smartphones in 2013.
Super resolution is now used to provide high quality pictures at high zoom levels in Huawei’s flagship models Ascend P2 and Ascend P6, SHARP’s new devices and emerging devices of several Korean and Taiwanese mobile phone makers.
Nowadays, the resolution of modern mobile phones is quite enough for amateur photography, unless it comes to zooming. With no optical zoom lens, the zoomed images are nothing more than upsized and sharpened low resolution crops. For example, 4x zoom on a 8 Megapixel mobile phone has 0.5 Megapixel effective resolution at best, not taking lens blur into account.
That’s where Almalence’s super resolution can be effectively used to enhance the quality of the images. While further improvement of sensor and lens seems either impossible or very expensive, software solutions allow going beyond the camera’s physical limits.
“Almalence’s Super Resolution Zoom is a pure software solution that does not require change of sensor or lens. This allows an extremely quick and cost-effective integration” – says Eugene Panich, CEO Almalence, Inc., – “in the beginning of 2013 we have integrated Super Resolution Zoom in quite different devices developed by several OEMs in very short timeframes and with almost no efforts required from OEMs.”
Unlike edge enhancement and noise filtering techniques, super resolution provides real increase of effective resolution, making visible the details that are indistinguishable in normal shots. It virtually doubles the megapixel count of the camera. Capturing more details in zoomed area, it replaces optical zoom lens, for a trifling fraction of cost of such lens, and adding no single atom of weight and size to the device.
Almalence’s Super Resolution Zoom is a multi-frame technology, which adds benefit of drastic noise reduction in low light conditions.
Super resolution zoom by Almalence can be used in quite different modes of operation. In some devices it is a background processing while in others it works real time in viewfinder.
Comparing to the technologies that imply physical improvement of the camera, such as using BSI sensors or 41 Megapixel sensors, Super Resolution Zoom is not just a competitor, but also a good addition that is compatible with almost any kind of sensor and lens and improves the image quality no matter how good the camera is.
Almalence’s nearest plan is to implement a hardware super resolution zoom using Tensilica IVP32 image processor, which will result in a solution capable of real time video processing and processing of high resolution still images in tens of milliseconds.
More information: http://almalence.com/embedded-imaging#superzoom
From time to time we are being asked to compare Almalence Super Resolution with other super resolution technologies available on the market, most of them single-frame super resolution. Our previous test was Panasonic Intelligent Zoom.
Today we will test SONY Clear Zoom Image technology, which is used in some SONY cameras for better quality of digital zoom.
We use SONY RX100 camera with Clear Zoom function.
First of all, let’s compare zoomed images taken with Clear Zoom disabled and enabled:
We see that Clear Image Zoom produces somewhat sharper image, and somewhere it adds a bit more details (for example, see the second hieroglyph in the center).
Now let’s compare to Almalence Super Resolution. We’ve taken a series of RAW images at the same zoom level and processed with PhotoAcute:
It’s easy to see that Almalence Super Resolution adds more details and is far superior to Clear Image Zoom. This is an expected result when comparing a single-frame resolution enhancement technology to a multi-frame super resolution.
Original images and a copy of the application used for processing are available upon request.
Panasonic features so-called Intelligent Zoom mode in Panasonic Lumix LX7 camera, claiming that with their “Intelligent Resolution” technology 3.8x optical zoom virtually extends to a 7.5x equivalent.
It sounds as single-frame super resolution, so we decided to take some test images to see how good is it.
Below: 3.8x versus 7.5x zoom
100% Crops. Top: 3.8x zoom, bottom: 7.5x zoom (with Intelligent Resolution)
As we can see, Intelligent Resolution does not add more details (so the resolution is not increased). The same result can be achieved with extra sharpening. See below a comparison between “Intelligent” zoom and bicubic upsize + unsharp mask filter in Photoshop:
Conclusion: Panasonic Intelligent Zoom (or Intelligent Resolution) delivers sharper images but does not provide higher resolution and in no way can compete with optical zoom.
Full original images available upon request
Camera became one of the things (if not the only one) that really make the difference in modern smartphones. Among the leading OEMs such as HTC, Sony and Intel who emphasize their new advanced camera features, Huawei offers something really unique – SuperZoom feature, allowing to take high quality images when zooming in with a mobile phone camera.
We had a chance to test SuperZoom feature with Huawei Ascend P2 phone at Huawei’s stand at Mobile World Congress. In brief, it works incredibly, see the pictures below.
Conclusion: SuperZoom is a revolutionary technology providing zoom quality comparable to optical zoom, on mobile devices!
Feb 25, 2013, Barcelona.
We’ve implemented a real-time SuperZoom demo on Samsung Galaxy Nexus. As far as we know, that is the only real-time implementation of super resolution technology in the world
Features: user interface
Real-time viewfinder with comparison of standard zoom and SuperZoom
Taking and saving of photos – standard and SuperZoom simultaneously.