DynaOptics promises to bring real optical zoom to thin smartphones next year
This side of the Samsung K zoom or Panasonic's camera-with-phone-function contraptions, there is no real optical zoom to be found on regular Android phones if your life depended on it. We are not going to wax poetic about the benefits of optical zoom, compared to the fake digital ones we have now, or the cropped "lossless" zoom that some Nokia and Sony handsets offer, as these benefits are numerous. Very often you can't just take a few steps closer to the subject, and need quality zooming done, which is hard to fit in the ultraslim bodies of today's smartphones.
Enter DynaOptics - the startup company says it is developing a tiny optical zoom mechanism that can fit in a slim smartphone chassis, but it's not your regular optical zoom, not even the periscope-style one, like on some compact cameras. It uses an intriguing way to achieve the same result as conventional protruding lens, by moving aspherical lens bits laterally on a micron scale. As a result, the optical zoom unit can be very, very tiny, and able to fit in the slimmest of smartphones. DynaOptics has done a round of funding, and promises that the modules will be phones as soon as next year, so we'll keep an eye on the developments here.