Oppo has released a short video hinting at a new type of camera design for smartphones. The company’s “self-developed retractable camera” is shown out of the phone’s body before being retracted back in. The video suggests that the mechanism is waterproof and that it will automatically retract the camera if the phone is dropped.
Unlike pop-up selfie cameras that hide themselves in a phone until needed, moving the camera back and forth on the Z-axis can affect image quality, although Oppo has not yet made any claims about optical benefits of this design. . It doesn’t appear to be a zoom as it’s simply marked as 50mm, but in theory it could help improve telephoto performance.
The markings on the camera module show that the sensor is 1/1.56 inches and the lens is 50mm equivalent to an f/2.4 aperture, meaning it should be about 2x longer than the phone’s main lens. That’s a much larger sensor than you’ll find behind telephoto lenses, so perhaps the extra height provided by the retraction mechanism makes it possible.
Oppo is publishing this video ahead of next week’s annual Inno Day event, where the company often showcases various concepts and technologies before deploying them commercially. Last year’s event featured a roll-up phone and AR glasses. This year, Oppo will hold Inno Day on two days, December 14 and 15.