On the afternoon of January 28, vivo held a video media communication meeting. The scale of this event was relatively small. Not only did it not broadcast live, the official did not even post a Weibo. However, this does not affect the excitement of the content. The small-scale internal interactions can open up the conversation and reveal more details about the images and products for us.
Vivo Tang Qingliang, Senior Director of Imaging Products, and Li Zhuo, Director of Imaging Products, attended this communication meeting and discussed the topic of “images” with many media including NeochaEDGE.
Cooperating with Zeiss is not just as simple as multiple logos
The X series has become a master of vivo imaging technology since it was upgraded to the flagship imaging flagship. In this generation of the vivo X60 series, vivo found that only one person’s hard work is not enough, and cooperation can shine brighter. As a result, the strategic cooperation between vivo and Zeiss was a matter of course.
You may be wondering what benefits the cooperation between vivo and Zeiss can bring to the actual experience. In this regard, vivo also cited many examples at the scene, the first is T* coating.
The four lenses of vivo X60 Pro+ use Zeiss T* coating. In some scenes with direct point light sources, T* coating can effectively prevent artifacts such as glare, making the overall picture purer and closer to the naked eye.
Compared to the 1/1.3-inch ultra-large bottom, the X60 Pro+ main camera f/1.57 ultra-large aperture light may be masked. But in actual use, the latter can also play a huge role in low light environments.
However, the large aperture will also bring a new problem: the edge image quality is reduced. At the communication meeting, the media suggested that the edge image quality of X60 Pro+ is not as good as the previous generation X50 Pro+. In this regard, vivo said that this is indeed a physical law and there is no way to easily subvert it. But overall, the X60 Pro+ still keeps the edge image quality within a reasonable range, which is technically better than the previous large aperture lens. Among them, there is also credit for joint research and development between vivo and Zeiss.
Vivo also said that at present, vivo and Zeiss still maintain close communication. Basically, there are regular meetings every week (once every two weeks at the latest), and there will be high-level meetings every six months. Regarding how vivo and Zeiss will cooperate in the future, vivo revealed that there will be more new ideas from Zeiss on the follow-up models of the X series, so that everyone can feel more about Zeiss’s own help to vivo, or how vivo and Zeiss will do Integration, giving consumers a better experience. Therefore, I believe that in future products, the significance of cooperation between the two parties will be further highlighted.
The future image competition is the competition of computational photography
X60 Pro+ wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle focal lengths, both use a super large lens, of which the super wide-angle lens is also equipped with a micro-pan. In terms of telephoto, X60 Pro+ is not only equipped with a 5x periscope lens, but also has a 2x mid-focus lens. These four lenses have already taken up a lot of internal space. If you continue to stack materials, it will either increase in weight and thicken, or occupy space for other components. “The photosensitive element (of a mobile phone) cannot be infinitely large. If a camera is so big, the mobile phone can’t be used,” said vivo Li Zhuo in the communication session. Therefore, it is difficult for the hardware configuration of mobile phone cameras (such as photosensitive elements) to develop as fast as in the past two years.
When talking about the development trend of mobile photography, vivo believes that the future image competition must be the competition of computational photography. Through many fusion algorithms, the actual performance of the camera hardware can be further improved. Vivo also said that after more self-developed algorithms, it was discovered that a product really requires a combination of software and hardware. It is not possible to rely solely on hardware or software. The algorithm space is much higher than vivo’s previous imagination.
In actual operation, vivo said that it has sufficient technical reserves for RGBW photosensitive elements. In terms of color, vivo has done a certain degree of self-research on white balance and color reproduction, rather than relying solely on the ISP algorithm.
Since it is an algorithm, it needs computing power. At present, many mobile phones, including the X60 series, have to wait a few seconds after taking a picture to see the final film. This actually reflects the insufficient computing power of mobile phones. For example, portrait photos, beauty and blur effects require complex calculations, including the new Zeiss blur.
Regarding the issue of photo processing time, vivo said that there is a dedicated high-performance computing team within the company, and subsequent optimization will be carried out, but a process is required.
In addition, the production of a film within a few seconds actually reflects a balanced art. For example, vivo can produce movies in 1 second, but there are fewer overlay algorithms, and the effect may not be obvious. Finding a time that can overlay enough algorithms without making users wait too long is also something that vivo is considering at the algorithm level. In addition, in the cooperation with Zeiss, even if the T* coating is added, it will not be done once and for all, and there is still room for optimization at the software level.
From “restoring what the eye sees” to “surpassing what the eye sees”, this is the vision concept mentioned by vivo in this communication meeting. This sentence actually tells us that in addition to restoring what we see, mobile phone images have more possibilities. This is the joy of creation. I believe that with the combination of vivo and Zeiss, with vivo’s exploration of computational photography, we can see more excellent vivo imaging products.