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Smartphone camera with optical zoom? This technology can help!

Posted: , by Nanko R.

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Smartphone camera with optical zoom? This technology can help!
Smartphone camera with optical zoom? This technology can help!
Smartphone camera with optical zoom? This technology can help!
Corephotonics demoed us their new camera technology; it is not yet available in a phone, but we wanted to show you what the future may bring. In order to add high quality optical zoom and avoid having a huge camera module, Corephotonics have created a system that uses two different optics - one wide lens and one narrow (zoom) lens - paired to a couple of identical sensors. The two image streams are then processed by a couple of image signal processors (ISP) and are combined to get one final photo/video. Interestingly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor family has dual ISP built-in, and that's probably why Corephotonics partnered with Qualcomm for developing this product. 

What are the benefits? Combining the two streams, you get real optical zoom with full resolution photos. So if you have 13MP sensors, the final image is 13MP even if the zoom was used. In our case, the lens had up to 3x zoom in in 13MP photo mode and up to 5x in 1080p video mode. You should also get better detail and less noise, as you actually have twice the image sensor area compared to a single sensor. Focus speed can also be better, as the processor can use data captured by both sensors and calculate the distance to an object instead of only relying on traditional contrast detection technology. By calculating the distance to objects, augmented reality can also be improved.

The drawbacks? Of course, it is slightly bigger than just a single camera. The prototype we saw was about 6.5mm deep, so if you have to integrate it in a phone, it can't be the thinnest one without having a camera bulge. It was interesting for us to see this new technology, and whenever it is available in a commercial phone, we'd be happy to test it out. 

reference: Core Photonics

18 Comments
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posted on 26 Feb 2014, 05:38 10

1. mr.techdude (Posts: 543; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Can't wait to see this in action on propably the greatest phone yet, HTC one2

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 05:43 4

3. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Qualcomm just demoed this technology at MWC, so you think the HTC All New One will have this technology built into it's camera?

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 05:45 3

4. toink (unregistered)


leaks seem to indicate that it is.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 05:53 12

5. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


I hope so. HTC must not disappoint us this year, this is the biggest chance for them because the S5 disappointed many people.

So, HTC...
Hold The Chance
Have The Courage
Heat The Crowd
Here's To Change.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 06:17 3

8. Birds (Posts: 983; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


Just prepare for disappointment. Dog the "All New One" out in your mind so you'd subconsciously beleive that the phone is going to be turd paste then when it comes out, you'll turn and be pleasantly surprised that the leaks weren't nowhere near as bad as they lead on. That's what I'm doing lol.

Also, you remember when the original one had leaked and all of those people complaining about the odd design then those same people fell in love with it? I beleive it's the same scenario here just replayed for 2014.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 09:32

15. Odiin (Posts: 226; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


Completely agree with U. S5 is the best example. People will never learn though.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 11:39

17. LiyanaBG (Posts: 307; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


here is proof it is used in the HTC One 2014

watch the video and look on the back poster it has a HTC one on there own Corephotonics poster

http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/26/corephotonics-dual-lens-smartphone-camera/

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 05:42

2. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 717; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


So it's similar to the Pureview camera, only smaller?

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 06:11

6. _Bone_ (Posts: 2126; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


I like the idea but have a logical question: instead of two fairly robust camera units, why not have just one really large mobile sensor with really quality optics? The Lumias do better cause they don't go workarounds, the 41MP sensor is just big, and photographic quality is as simple as that: more light, better results.

At that resolution and still fairly large sensor pixels, lossless digital zoom beats out any try at tiny sensor optical zoom, or Exmor BSI tech or Samsung ISOCELL filtering, and selective focus, OIS and high quality flash is also part of the Lumia deal.

Seriously. Just copy Nokia. I mean for our sake.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 06:20

9. Birds (Posts: 983; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I don't think HTC would do that considering that Nokia and HTC aren't really best of friends right now. But I heard that both these camera sensors were 1/4" in size and that is just pathetic. Maybe those advanced ISPs can allow the sensors to take pictures using giant pixels like 2.5-3.5 microns to compensate for such a small sensor.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 06:40

10. _Bone_ (Posts: 2126; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Fair enough, but I'm not saying steal the technology, just also make a large sensor with many pixels, quality optics and OIS, that's the heart of PureViews. Can you imagine Sony's Exmor sensor at 1/1,5" and like 32 megapixels? Tremendous amount of well lit details, quality lossless zoom, great low-light images...

I know Sony, HTC and Samsung are trying very hard to bring great pictures, but the solution is easier than they think. Put a 1/1.5" sensor and fitting lens in it, and there you have it, 300% more light captured

It's really that simple..

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 06:14 8

7. luis.d (Posts: 154; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)


Sorry, folks, CorePhotonics stated that this technology isn't going in the HTC M8.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 07:05 1

11. iAmFish (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Where is that info from?Any poof-links?

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 07:11 1

12. protozeloz (Posts: 5375; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Well they are at MWC they can just ask the horse

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 07:12

13. iAmFish (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Ahh, i was so excited, and now i am disappointed :(

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 08:37 2

14. HTCOE (Posts: 469; Member since: 20 Nov 2011)


this technology is used with the All New HTC One

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 10:42 1

16. HouTexan (Posts: 311; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)


No, it isn't. Read Luis.D's comment.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 11:41

18. LiyanaBG (Posts: 307; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


here is proof it is used in the HTC One 2014

watch the video and look on the back poster it has a HTC one on there own Corephotonics poster

http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/26/corephotonics-dual-lens-smartphone-camera/

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