Xiaomi has one goal: to revolutionize photography made with smartphones

xiaomi lens

You know, phones have replaced cameras in many areas, but the quality of a photo taken by a smartphone is still lower (and much) than one taken by a traditional device. To fill this gap, Xiaomi (a company that produces 4k TVs with an excellent quality / price ratio ), is working on a retractable lens for smartphones, promising a great increase in photographic quality thanks to strategies and technologies borrowed from the world of photography. real.

How does the new goal work?

This new technology, called Retractable Wide-aperture Lens Technology , provides that, in optimal light conditions, the lens retracts inside the body of the phone (showing no differences compared to other smartphones not equipped with this technology), but, when there is a need for “extra performance” in low light conditions , the telescopic lens can unfold to provide a significantly larger aperture.

By “aperture” we mean the size of the hole through which light enters and hits the photo sensor. The larger the aperture, the more light will hit the sensor. Unfortunately for smartphone manufacturers (and for those who ultimately buy them), the physics and behavior of the light set some limits: if you want a smartphone camera with a large aperture, it will necessarily have to be quite bulky.

Old and new solutions

Device manufacturers have over the years developed solutions to the problem using strategies such as pixel clustering or longer exposures to collect more light, but to improve photographic quality there is nothing better than having a wider aperture. great. Samsung, with its Galaxy S9 series of smartphones, had experimented with a dual aperture camera (which could use two different apertures), but was still constrained by the need to mount the lens assembly entirely inside the phone's body. This is where Xiaomi's new technology comes into play.

Xiaomi claims that, at maximum extension, the "telescope" can increase the amount of light captured by the phone by 300 percent . The new technology also introduces a new image stabilization system (managing to correct vibrations and movements in a better way than we are used to today). As a result, the company says, there is less hand-shake blurring and a 20 percent improvement in overall image sharpness.

Pros and cons

What are the results brought by the new camera and the new stabilization? Better performance in portraits and night photos , says Xiaomi. The first improvement is presumably due to the fact that, with a larger aperture, the depth of field is narrower. This means that you can create that kind of background gradient typical of “professional” portraits without resorting to artificial editing. As for night photography, it is obvious that any increase in the light captured by a lens allows you to be able to capture details otherwise invisible in dark environments.

The flaws of the new Xiaomi technology are the potential bulk of the telescopic camera and the greater number of potentially breakable moving parts inside the smartphone.

Xiaomi did not say how big its Retractable Wide-aperture Lens Technology is , and only shared a prototype image of the system, so we're still not sure how bulky a phone with this technology can be overall. The company has not provided information about the possible use of this lens on its next smartphones.

The Xiaomi article has a goal: to revolutionize photography made with smartphones comes from TechCuE .