What is the periscope zoom of Android mobiles?


Zooming has become an increasingly important element in phone cameras. This is something that has been seen on phones like the real X3 SuperZoom, or the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom that arrived in Spain last summer. More and more brands are looking to differentiate their phones with that zoom. Also, there are various types, such as periscopic zoom.

To better understand how zooming in the camera works, you need to know that there are various types, which we've already talked about. Also, we find a periscopic zoom, which has more and more prominence on phones. Here's everything about this guy.

What periscopic zoom is and how it works

This concept began to gain prominence with the launch of the Huawei P30 Pro, where we find an 8-megapixel sensor with five-magnification optical periscopic zoom, which can reach ten magnifications using hybrid mode in it. Although many of you may be wondering what exactly this type of zoom is.

The reason periscopic is used in this sensor refers to the image capturer not being placed just behind the external lens. In this case, it is placed on one side, in a perpendicular position. This allows a prism system to be created, which is the one that leads light to the getter through those lenses. This results in a greater distance between the lens and the lens, without the need to increase the thickness of the phone.


Why use it on smartphones

In the case of a camera, the lens body protrudes from the rest of the camera, as well as having the ability to extend or expand when needed. By doing this, the lens and internal matrix are pushed forward, allowing you to obtain an optical zoom without loss of quality. In the case of a phone, the small dimensions of the phone and the limited space for the camera sensors prevent this from happening.

The use of a periscope architecture allows you to have the lens and sensor in such a way that the lens has more space to move, which will allow for a larger optical zoom. An L-shaped tunnel is used to make this possible. The upper end has a rectangular opening to collect light that then falls on a prism. This prism bends the light to 90 degrees, which then passes through the lens elements and finally reaches the sensor where it will be processed.

Getting a longer tunnel will increase the space between the lens and the sensor. As a result, the range of motion is greater, which results in a greater zoom. When the user adjusts the camera zoom level, the internal elements of the lens move away from the sensor, to get the desired or necessary zoom effect in that case.

What advantages it offers

Using the periscopic zoom on the phone gives the device certain advantages over others that do not have this architecture. Since the maximum zoom range that can be reached is greater, without any loss of quality. This allows you to increase the optical zoom of the camera up to 5 or 10 magnifications, without a loss of quality in it. Something that phones that don't use this architecture can't get.


Also, manufacturers can lengthen the periscope tunnel if they want, allowing to increase the optical zoom capacity. At the same time, the range of hybrid zoom is increased, which will give us better results than digital zoom. This is something that will allow the manufacturer to play with that tunnel and thus get a greater zoom.

Presence on Android

The Huawei P30 Pro was the phone that gave great prominence to periscopic zoom or periscopic camera on the market. Since then more brands have been added to this type of architecture, although possibly the most outstanding so far has been the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, presented earlier this year.

Although we should also not forget about devices such as the realm X3 SuperZoom or the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom, which have also opted for this periscopic zoom, with good results in both cases, being a differentiating element in phones. As you can see, it's something that's limited for now to the high-end on Android.

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