There was a time when a camera was a special feature on a phone. Today pretty much every smartphone has a camera, but not all smartphone cameras are equal. Some take photos that rival what you’d expect from an expensive point-and-shoot camera, while others are just a bit above what you’d expect from a pinhole camera.
This year we’ve seen a number of companies start offering smartphones with better-than-average cameras, including the Samsung Galaxy Zoom and Nokia Lumia 1020. Even phones that don’t have zoom lenses or crazy high-resolution image sensors put an emphasis on the camera: the HTC One and Motorola Moto X both feature cameras designed to take decent shots in low-light settings.
Now it looks like Chinese device maker wants in on the action.
The Oppo N-Lens camera hasn’t officially been announced, but the company has already hinted at plans for a camera-centric phone. This week some leaked specs and images hit the web, painting a picture of a smartphone with a 12MP image sensor and support for optical zoom.
Optical zoom means that the lens can actually move to allow you to focus on items that are further away. It generally offers much better image clarity than the digital zoom you’re stuck with on most smartphone cameras, which basically just leads to really pixelized, blurry shots.
While Samsung and Nokia both offer phones that can shoot higher resolution photos, more megapixels doesn’t always mean better shots. We won’t know for certain just what kind of photos you can shoot with the Oppo N-Lens until it hits the streets… or at least until we have more than a few leaked details to go by.