With smartphone photography being front and center in 2019, Huawei and Oppo are at the forefront with their periscope camera technology.
Huawei started the trend with its flagship P30 Pro and Oppo first used a periscope lens in its Reno 10X Zoom. This tech gives both Huawei and Oppo a massive lead in zooming technology, with Huawei going as far as 50X zoom with the P30 Pro.
Xiaomi is also planning to join the race with its own periscope lenses for smartphones.
A recent patent application, approved by the State Intellectual Property Office of China on July 2, reveals how Xiaomi wants to implement the upcoming telephoto mechanism.
The patent application was filed with the title, “Camera Components and Electronic Devices” under the application number CN201822150093.2 on 20th December 2018.
Here’s what it looks like:
According to the patent, the main camera will be paired with a complimentary periscope lens placed perpendicular to the main camera. Using the properties of light refraction, the periscope lens will be able to zoom into the object using multiple tiny mirrors to refract light multiple times within the lens.
This mechanism will provide good camera imaging and zooming properties without having to increase the size of the primary lens or sacrificing aesthetics.
Here’s what a periscope camera looks like, using Oppo as a reference:
The focal length was not mentioned in Xiaomi’s patent but as Huawei’s and Oppo’s periscope lens come with 125 mm and 135 mm focal length, we expect Xiaomi’s periscope lens to be in the same range.
None of the Xiaomi executives have commented on the patent so we don’t know which phone they’re going to use it with, but it is highly likely that the upcoming flagship Mi Mix 4 will debut the periscope lens.