OPPO just unveiled their latest device, the A71 into the Kenyan market in partnership with Safaricom. The device, which retails for a little under Ksh.20,000 comes with a 5.2-inch HD display, 3GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 3000mAh battery, Android 7.1 with ColorOS 3.1 on top, an admittedly sleek unibody design that OPPO claim is dust-proof and a 5MP selfie shooter coupled with a 13MP main camera “with 6 beautify levels, 8 real-time filters, watermark, palm shutter, bokeh effect and 50MP Ultra HD Mode.”
Those last four words right there is where the confusion comes in. The correct specification is that OPPO A71 has a 13MP camera, then how can it take 50MP images? The issue sparked after a popular Kenyan media personality Kalekye Mumo tweeted that the OPPO A71 has a 50MP camera:
Well, we don’t blame her (entirely), OPPO actually does advertise that the A71 can take images of up to 50MP resolution as quoted from their press release below:
As for the camera it will enable users to capture images even in the dark with the innovative camera technology that can take up to 50MP High resolution ultra HD- pictures.
Point to note, OPPO does mention an “innovative camera technology”. As much they do not explain it in the presser, the technology they are referring to is the “Pure Image” technology that the company introduced when they launched the OPPO Find 7 back in 2014. The Pure Image technology is what enables users to take those 50MP images on the A71 as mentioned above.
How this works is when you press the shutter button, the OPPO A71 camera takes up to 6 images consecutively and combines the best parts of each image to make one Ultra HD 50MP image that OPPO says has four times the clarity of an ordinary image.
This similar technology is what is used in HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging. HDR is a technique that generates multiple photos using different metering settings, then combines these photos into one thus producing better images and higher exposure quality, especially in low-light situations.
OPPO’s Ultra HD photos have a 50MP count because the multi-shot technology used combines all the six images into one, without any of them losing the quality they had, thus the 13MP picture you took, will have the quality of a 50MP image when combined. The best way to tell the difference is when you zoom in. Zooming in on a normal 13MP image will lose a lot of details but when using the Ultra HD mode that OPPO is talking about, the details are much finer, as seen below:
So understand that the new OPPO A71 that you desire so much, doesn’t actually have a 50MP camera. It has a 13MP camera that can perform software tricks to produce 50MP images whose main purpose is to retain details when you zoom in. We saw this same technology being employed by TECNO when they launched the Phantom 6/6+ last year under the “Super Pixel” moniker. This isn’t to say that your lust should fade off, it’s actually a nifty trick that warrants some bragging rights.