CES 2023 | LG Innotek's new smartphone zoom module can do true 9x optical magnification sans protruding camera bumps
After in-display fingerprint sensors and foldable designs, the next big avenue for smartphone makers seems to be incorporation of super zoom lenses into their camera modules. LG Innotek has announced that it will be showcasing a new camera module during CES 2023 that will supposedly do away with massive camera bumps.
Dubbed the 'Optical Telephoto Zoom Module' or 'Optical Zoom Camera', this camera module seeks to integrate professional DSLR and mirrorless camera features into smartphones. LG Innotek claims that the Optical Telephoto Zoom Module is capable of 4x-9x optical zoom without quality degradation.
LG Innotek developed the zoom actuator for moving the lens in 1 µm increments (and thereby changing the focal length) with a promise of speed and durability with less power consumption. The lens also features optical image stabilization to reduce shakes during capture.
The company said that the folded optical (periscope) design effectively eliminates the need for a camera bump. The need to include multiple lenses for different zoom lengths is also alleviated as both 4x and 9x lenses can be implemented in the same module.
It is not yet clear which smartphones will feature LG's new camera zoom module. However, several devices with super zoom lenses are indeed in the pipeline. We've previously reported about the possibility of the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max sporting a 12 MP periscope lens with 6x optical zoom. Sony, too, is planning an Xperia 1 V with up to 8.3x optical zoom.
LG Innotek said that it has ambitious plans to solidify its position as the leading camera module provider and is partnering with Qualcomm for the same. Both companies are working to optimize software for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform to work well with continuous optical zoom. This will have implications for auto focus, auto exposure, auto white balance, lens correction, and more, according to LG.