Vivo X60 series reportedly features Pixel-Shift Technology – Everything you need to know

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Vivo X60 Pro Plus

The already launched Vivo X60 series in China has not yet reached the other regions. This is the company’s first smartphone series to carry ZEISS branding for its specialized camera hardware. However, recent news reveals that the same smartphone series will apparently be using pixel-shift technology.

It’s been around three months since the initial duo of X60 smartphones launched in China, and two months since the X60 Pro+ launch. The company never mentioned such a feature or technology if used in these smartphones.

It’s also possible if the feature will only be available in the upcoming global variant. Like we already know that the global variant of X60 and X60 Pro will feature the Snapdragon 870 chipset instead of the Exynos 1080 in the Chinese one. X60 Pro+ will keep the Snapdragon 888 in the global market. It’s not too far to hear about any new features in the upcoming global variants of the Vivo X60.

What is Pixel Shift Technology?

The technology has been used in DSLR cameras but never been used in any smartphone. That’s the first interesting factor for you to know. The method is performed by shifting the sensor horizontally and vertically. The camera repeats shifting the sensor and each time takes a shot. The process is done in a burst sequence of at least 4 shots. The system then combines the shots to fill the missing color gaps normally caused by the Bayer-pattern RGB color filter array in a single shot.

Sony describes the method very clearly for its Alpha 75R IV in the following video. It shifts the sensor in half or one-pixel increments in order to capture 16 pixel-shifted images. It then composites them into one high-precision image of approx. Watch it to take a good idea of how the technique works.

What about similar technology in Google Pixel 3?

Google Pixel 3 mimics the same method by using multiple shots taken at a randomly shifted pixel level. Now, what is it? Well, if you have taken the idea above how pixel-shift works by the sensor shifting within a camera, you would easily know that the actual problem is to move the sensor. Google Pixel 3 does not exactly shift the sensor inside the camera/phone. Instead, Google takes a set of frames in a burst mode and cleverly uses the movements in each frame caused by the hand motion.

With the help of OIS (optical stabilization), macro movements are removed to stabilize the image. The other high-frequency movements caused by the hand-shake do the job of sensor shifting naturally. Google’s algorithm chooses the most appropriate image from the burst shots, and then aligns the other images relative to it with sub-pixel precision.

Google Pixel Shifting
Illustration by Google

Sure Google’s technique doesn’t shift the sensor inside the camera exactly at a certain pixel level, unlike the above Sony’s approach. So that’s why it can be said as randomly shifted pixels because hand movements are not going to shift the sensor in an exact manner frequency.

How Vivo X60 is going to implement pixel-shift technology?

There is no official detail about how Vivo may have chosen to deal with pixel shift technology. However, according to the revelation (source below), there is a good chance of using the X60’s built-in gimbal system for the purpose. It’s believed that X60 will take 8 RAW shots and perform its own software approach by choosing the best shot as a reference and the remaining shots to fill the missing color gaps.

All three phones Vivo X60, X60 Pro, and X60 Pro+ will feature pixel shift technology. It’s also assumed that the feature will focus to provide an improved digital zoom experience, as the source revealed.

Expect official details at the global launch in a couple of days.

Vivo X60 Pricing and Availability

The most expensive of the trio – Vivo X60 Pro+ costs around $770 for an 8GB/128GB variant. 12GB variant with 256GB storage costs around $925.

The Vivo X60 series is set to launch globally on March 22, 2021. Vivo India is already promoting the series as it’s coming soon on March 25, 2021, in India. The Vivo’s X series smartphones have never been launched in Pakistan. However, it doesn’t mean it will be always like that. Maybe Vivo X60 would be the first to show up to Pakistani customers? Who knows, let’s wait and watch.

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