Samsung in advanced talks to acquire firm behind 10x optical zoom tech

Cameras with optical zoom are already the norm and not head-turning highlights, but there's lots of room for further improvement and growth as showcased by a few Chinese juggernauts which are showing Apple and Samsung that 2x optical zoom just doesn't cut it anymore. Chief among these is Chinese giant Oppo, which recently showcased a 10x lossless optical zoom solution that could potentially be a game-changer for the camera industry.

We just heard that Samsung is reportedly in very "advanced talks" of acquiring Israeli company Corephotonics for $150-$160 million, which happens to have more than 150 zoom-related patents that are applicable to smartphone cameras and has actually worked alongside Oppo on the 10x lossless zoom tech. Back in 2017, Oppo showcased its 5x zoom tech at MWC'17 in Barcelona, Spain, which was most certainly co-developed with Corephotonics as well. And it's not just 5x and 10x cameras, Corephotnics' white paper of their latess invention reveals that “combined with multi-frame technologies, image fusion and multi-scaling, this camera (setup) could provide up to a total of 25x zoom factor,” which is wow-worthy.

So how does this prisma-powered optical zoom technology works? Rather simple - it uses a prism that refracts incoming light and redirects it towards a perpendicularly-placed camera sensor inside the phone. Unlike regular setups, where the tiny physical space is preventing manufacturers from employing longer lens for higher optical zoom, the periscope placement largely eliminates the physical constrains, allowing lens with way longer than usual focal lengths to be used.


Acquiring a company with so much insight in the field would clearly indicate that Samsung could be very serious about the imaging capabilities of its future phones, and while nothing's official until it is, it's likely safe to say that many future Galaxy devices will be betting hard on optical zoom. Samsung actually joined the "zoom camera" game a little late in 2017 with the Galaxy Note 8, when most of its competitors already had a few such devices in their portfolios, but it seems that the South Korean giant will be going all-in, and the projected acquisition of Corephotonics could really help it in the armament race.

Oppo's 10x camera tech will be demonstrated at MWC'19, and we'd love to check it out. 

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10 Comments

1. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 370; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

Interesting, will we see the revival of the galaxy zoom line?, loved my galaxy k zoom until that chunky heavy thing dropped out my bag and went walkies!. Hopefully it would have a much better and bigger camera sensor then the k zoom and a better design.

7. p51d007

Posts: 702; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I think the original galaxy zoom, had it the PHONE part was perfect. Larger sensor, retractable zoom lens. But, in the slim, sexy, stylish category it lost out. Not to mention it didn't have the PHONE part.

2. Lanx1998

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 06, 2017

Hopefully we get to see this tech in Note10.

4. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

Nope. Its not goin to happen any time soon. Its bulky new tech and at best something we will see next year on a phone. A phone needs to be radicaly designed around this tech

3. gd761

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

That would be Great for Both Front & Rear Cameras.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4094; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

What's the use case on the front camera?

6. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

In case you have a 50 m selfie stick and still want to show just your face? I don't know either lol

8. gd761

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

If You can Zoom in then You could use it for Macro Pictures as well for Front or Rear Cameras. This bring a LOT more Photo Options for People who want to take more than just a Selfie. The Camera can be anything from a Macro to Telephoto Lens in just a single Camera instead of having Multiple Cameras on the Phone.

9. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Why would you want to use macro on front camera?

10. gd761

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Just think of ANY reason. Many People would want to take Abstract Pictures that they would otherwise Not be able to take and Add to their Collection as well as to Customize their Wallpaper for their Phone and or Computer.

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