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Oppo's retractable camera delivers 2X zoom, smaller camera bump (Updated)

Update: OPPO has clarified that the retractable camera offers 2X zoom and uses the same sensor as the Find X3 Pro.

Published onDecember 15, 2021

  • OPPO has briefly shown off a retractable rear camera for phones.
  • This would drastically reduce the size of a camera bump.
  • OPPO later confirmed that it offers 2X zoom when extended.

Updated: December 15, 2021 (2:12 AM ET): OPPO posted a teaser video last week, showing a phone with a retractable rear camera. Now, it’s posted a longer video along with accompanying information about the new tech.

The video description confirms our suspicions that the sensor is a 50MP Sony IMX766 camera, as seen on the Find X3 Pro. It also confirms that the tech enables the equivalent of 2X optical zoom when extended. OPPO adds that the camera can retract in 0.6 seconds to protect the module in the event of a drop.

Otherwise, you can also expect the module to be splash and dust resistant. In other words, we doubt that we’ll see this on something like the Find X4 Pro given that the last two Pro models had full-fledged water resistance.

Original article: December 7, 2021 (7:23 AM ET): Camera bumps are one of the more annoying things about smartphones today, as many devices have main cameras that jut out from the rest of the phone. This means your phone might wobble when flat on a desk or gather loads of dust around the camera.

Fortunately, OPPO has a solution as the firm has revealed a retractable camera. A video posted by the firm’s Twitter account shows a tiny main camera bump that turns into a jutting sensor when the phone’s camera app is launched. Check it out below.

The video also suggests that, much like traditional pop-up selfie cameras, the phone has fall detection that retracts the camera when you drop the device.

OPPO didn’t reveal any more about the retractable camera, but we do get a look at text revealing a 1/1.56-inch sensor size, 50mm focal length, and f/2.4 aperture. The sensor size is identical to the IMX766 50MP main and ultra-wide cameras found on the Find X3 Pro, although the focal length suggests we’re looking at a ~2X telephoto camera instead.

Would you buy a phone with a retractable rear camera?

1152 votes

Speaking of zoom capabilities, it’s not immediately clear whether this camera will be capable of optical zoom by moving in and out or if it has any other practical use for photography.

In any event, we’ll likely hear more from OPPO when the Inno Day event kicks off next week. The company has a mixed track record when it comes to Inno Day announcements translating into commercial products. So you might not want to hold your breath for phones with retractable cameras in 2022.

Would you buy a phone with a retractable camera? Let us know via the poll above.

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