Periscope cameras are a technique that has been around the smartphone industry for a while now in high-end devices. The first smartphone to ship with a “periscope camera” was the Huawei P30 Pro, and since then, both Huawei and Oppo (Chinese companies) have pioneered with 5x optical zoom lenses. Recently, even Samsung jumped in on the trend with the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 10x “lossless hybrid optic” and 100x digital zoom.
A new report from TF Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, who has long been known for his accurate predictions about upcoming Apple devices, says that the iPhone may gain a periscope camera in 2022. A “periscope camera” refers to the technique of putting the optical sensor along the length of the phone, allowing it to pass light through multiple lenses within the body, achieving a very high optical zoom.
An example of a camera system using its image sensor along the body of the phone to overcome the height constraint is Oppo’s “5x Dual Camera Zoom” technology, as shown above. The major innovation is being able to avoid having a large camera bump while extending the camera module to never-before-possible lengths.
Apple’s 2022 iPhone is also expected to adopt this technique for at least one of its rear-facing cameras. Apple is long known for jumping on technology trends late, such as wireless charging, OLED displays, and facial recognition. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant has proven to master and perfect a new trend before hopping on.
This may mean that we may see an iPhone in 2 years or so that can achieve 5x, or even 10x lossless optical zoom.
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