Upcoming handset could feature a 160MP periscope camera

Upcoming handset could feature a 160MP periscope camera
Leaker Digital Chat Station (via AndroidAuthority) has posted on China's Weibo social media site about a new phone that will carry a 160MP periscope camera. First, let's discuss what a periscope camera is. Because a smartphone has a small body, extending the focal length requires a way around this limitation. So having light enter a tube through the lens, bounce off a prism at a 90-degree angle, and hit the image sensor allows the phone's telephoto camera to deliver greater optical zoom.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max uses a series of four prisms to create a 120mm focal length that allows the top-of-the-line 2023 iPhone to deliver 5x optical zoom. Apple calls this the Tetraprism periscope lens.

While Digital Chat Station didn't name which phone would sport the 160MP periscope lens, he mentioned that the device would carry Porsche branding. In a previous post, the leaker said that Honor and Porche Design were working together which means that the Honor Magic 6 series could contain the phone with the 160MP periscope camera. It goes without saying (but we will anyway) that this would be the highest-resolution telephoto camera ever found on a smartphone.


The problem with such a large resolution sensor is that the sensor itself and the pixels could be small which would negatively impact images shot with the periscope camera in low-light environments. It could also lead to increased noise and a reduction in dynamic range. Pixel binning could allow the smaller pixels to carry more information that might make up for some of the reduction in sensor and pixel size.

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The post by Digital Chat Station also mentions the use of 3D Time of Flight facial recognition which is a secure system like Apple's Face ID. The phone will also be equipped with the Omnivision OV50K one-inch sensor for the primary camera, variable aperture support similar to what we've seen from Huawei, and an ultra wide-angle camera backed by an Omnivision sensor called the OV50H. The device will also offer satellite communications which is something that Huawei is already offering on the Mate 60 series.

Here's the thing. There is a rumor circulating that the Vivo X100 Pro Plus will sport a 200MP telephoto camera. Samsung's semiconductor division has said that the "next big thing in smartphone photography" is a 200MP telephoto camera for smartphone. What this shows is that no matter what you might want to think, the real innovation in the smartphone industry continues to come out of China.

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