A Story of Bold Innovation: Three Ways in Which vivo Champions Smartphone Photography Breakthroughs

A Story of Bold Innovation: Three Ways in Which vivo Champions Smartphone Photography Breakthroughs


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When one thinks of mobile cameras, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps convenience, usability, or spontaneity. However, rarely does one think of quality. This is where vivo is changing the discourse surrounding mobile photography by making professional-grade camera technologies accessible to every smartphone user. The X series was vivo’s first flagship line to break these boundaries. From providing vivo’s first smartphone with gimbal stabilization to introducing a high-quality imaging system co-engineered with iconic optics maker ZEISS, the X series stood out as the go-to smartphone for photography lovers.

The vivo X series introduced users to a new era of mobile photography, pushing the limits of what was once thought possible through innovations in optics, AI, and image processing technology. By merging professional-level optics and image processing technologies with the smartphone’s ease of use, vivo has created the perfect tool for self-expression. Even at night, users can unleash their creativity with an innovative AI denoise algorithm optimized for different landscapes and lighting. Through its flagship devices, vivo offers more than any regular smartphone camera, bridging the skill gap between experts and amateurs with intuitive yet high-quality specs.

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Bringing professional-grade optics to smartphone photography

vivo strives to provide consumers with a best-in-class mobile imaging experience, and to do so it relies on both joint as well as independent innovation. vivo and ZEISS have achieved key milestones in their long-term strategic partnership, and as part of the collaboration agreement, vivo and ZEISS have established the vivo ZEISS Imaging Lab—a joint R&D program to pursue ongoing mobile imaging technological innovation, demonstrating vivo’s genuine commitment to this partnership as well as mobile photography in general.

The first vivo-ZEISS co-engineered imaging system debuted with the vivo X60 series and has improved with each new product generation. Building on each other’s R&D strengths, vivo and ZEISS have brought meticulously crafted lenses, premium color science, and portrait styles inspired by classic ZEISS camera lenses to smartphones.

While users are looking forward to experiencing new camera configurations, one cannot neglect the groundbreaking innovations that the vivo-ZEISS partnership has thus far brought about. In fact, the X series initiated an era characterized by unrivaled breakthroughs in mobile imaging. Since 2021, all X series camera lenses have been certified in compliance with ZEISS T*Coating, which reduces ghosting and stray light in images across various lighting conditions. In addition to working with ZEISS, vivo has continuously optimized the lens material at use, exploring new ways to improve light transmission. For instance, the company introduced a new High-Transmittance Glass Lens with the X70 series, helping to reduce chromatic aberration in photos.

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Pushing the limits of physics with AI algorithms

Night photography can prove challenging and especially daunting for smartphone users. Your device doesn’t have as much light to work with, and you will face pesky camera noise. However, at night is when the power of AI gets to shine the brightest. vivo AI algorithms changed the way we approach night photography, making crystal-clear night shots possible for any user. It captures images that users wouldn’t otherwise be able to see with the naked eye while maintaining natural, authentic colors.

vivo has revolutionized mobile night shooting with its flagship night imaging specs that create picture-perfect bright, vivid shots even in ill-lit settings. Among the settings worth noting, we can find Real-time Extreme Night Vision. This camera mode boasts vivo’s updated AI noise reduction algorithm which optimizes night scenes with a professional photographer-level tonal adjustment, thus making the whole image look more splendid and brighter. This mode also improves the imaging speed, further refining the user experience at night. Yet another great feature introduced is Pure Night View, supported throughout the entire X80 series. With the phone’s hardware capabilities, bolstered by vivo’s self-developed AI Deglare algorithm and RAW HDR algorithm, this feature reduces stray light and glare to improve night scene purity.

The successful combination of hardware and software solutions has also led to the creation of the ZEISS Style Portrait. This feature includes four distinctive portrait bokeh effects, giving users different portrait mode options to choose from. vivo is known for its camera portrait features and has developed AI solutions to further facilitate users’ creativity even in low-light scenarios which intrinsically make shooting portrait photos challenging due to image noise. To address this issue, vivo has developed the Super Night Portrait algorithm which allows for clear portraits, even in low light, with a bokeh that blends seamlessly with the background. With these unique photography mode features, vivo has asserted its position as a leading innovator in both night and low-light imaging.

AI algorithms can also enhance the color of images. While smartphone photography is often known to exaggerate color brilliance and intensity, vivo has instead chosen to capture images in the most realistic way possible, developing some of the most natural color profiles in the industry with algorithms that simulate the classic color styles of professional ZEISS cameras. With the support of AI Perception technology, ZEISS Natural Color mode adjusts tonal brightness, further highlights detail changes in dark areas, and makes photos look and feel more natural by further improving color cast accuracy and scene coverage.

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Breaking new ground with a fully customized imaging chip

Imaging chips revolutionized the photography industry and are fundamental to developing innovative smartphone camera capabilities. First introduced in the X70 series, vivo’s customized ISP helps further boost professional imaging and enhance the performance of its devices—from optimizing power consumption to optimizing photography in the most challenging scenarios.

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For instance, vivo’s customized ISP supports the processing required to reproduce stunning nighttime images and helps to enhance video quality during night shooting. When taking photos, your phone uses both the camera and the screen, two power-intensive components. Running out of battery while capturing a memorable moment on your smartphone is incredibly frustrating. To prevent this, vivo’s customized ISP allows you to achieve a balance between performance and power consumption—so you never miss out on the perfect shot.

At vivo, innovation never stops. With over 300 R&D personnel and imaging lab experts, vivo’s approach toward spearheading innovative image processing technology at the chip level has mainly revolved around four strategic tracks: image system, operating system, industrial design, and performance. vivo’s focus has been on addressing the needs of consumers through chip design as well as developing key innovative image processing algorithms without undertaking chip manufacturing.

Throughout the years, vivo has applied continuous subtle changes to each smartphone series to redefine its premium mobile photography experience. While the X series already boasts impressive professional imaging capabilities, we can expect to see even more powerful photographic features in iterations to come. As of today, users can enjoy a lineup of professional imaging smartphones, offering a superior mobile imaging experience in just one click.