from the Now-there-are-FIVE-lenses-that-I-got-to-try-and-keep-my-fingers-from-getting-in-front-of? dept.
HMD appears to be working on an impressive camera array for a future Android-powered Nokia handset. Leaked design sketches and images hint that we could be about to see a Nokia-branded phone with five cameras on the rear. The penta-lens setup first appeared in rumors about a Nokia 10 device earlier this year, and now an alleged photo has leaked of the handset.
The camera module includes five lenses arranged in what looks like a circle, with prominent Zeiss branding. HMD Global, the Finnish company that licensed the rights to produce Nokia phones, teamed up with Zeiss last year to reunite the Nokia and Zeiss brands for the Android era. HMD has started to use Zeiss optics in its latest Android handsets, and the lens maker has even patented a miniaturized zoom camera system that looks very similar to this leak.
F*** Everything, We're Doing Five Rear Cameras.
But you still have a long way to go.
Also at Engadget.
A company set up by former Nokia employees called HMD Global has licensed the Nokia brand name from Microsoft, struck partnerships with device manufacturer Foxconn and intends to launch an Android smartphone in the early part of 2017.
The head of HMD Global, Arto Nummela, said: "Consumers may be carrying different smartphones now, but are they really in love and loyal to those brands?"
HMD Global will be looking to stir nostalgia in an effort to challenge the big and small players of the highly competitive smartphone market, dominated by Samsung and Apple, as well as Chinese brands such as Huawei.
The Nokia 6 will be available in early July:
HMD Global — the Finnish company that owns the rights to manufacture Nokia-branded smartphones — announced earlier this year that it would be releasing new midrange Nokia Android phones in the United States. We now have more information on the first Nokia phone to hit Stateside: the Nokia 6, which will be available in early July for $229.
The Nokia 6 is the largest of the three Android phones HMD Global announced at Mobile World Congress, featuring a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage (expandable by microSD). On the software side of things, the 6 runs Android Nougat in its purest, unadulterated form — that means no bundled apps or overlaid skins. Plus, while the specs are decidedly average, the Nokia 6 does stand out with a metal unibody design built out of a single block of aluminum, which adds a premium touch to the otherwise midrange device.
HMD Global and Zeiss on Thursday announced that they had signed an agreement under which upcoming Nokia-branded smartphones will use Zeiss-branded optics exclusively. The companies said that they would co-develop imaging capabilities of future handsets, but did not elaborate when to expect actual devices on the market.
The collaboration announcement between HMD and Zeiss has a number of layers, all of which seem to be significant. First off, Nokia's future phones will use optics co-developed with a renowned designer of lenses. The important upshot here is that HMD is actually investing in the development of custom capabilities for its Nokia phones. Second, the two companies are talking about "advancing the quality of the total imaging experience", involving optics, display quality, software, and services, but do not elaborate. From the announcement, it looks like HMD will put R&D efforts not only into optics but will design its own software enhancements to improve imaging capabilities beyond those offered by vanilla Android. A good news here is that certain future phones carrying the Nokia brand are not going to rely completely on off-the-shelf hardware, software, and reference designs. Third, HMD announced that imaging is one of the areas that it considers important for its future smartphones. Finally, Zeiss will be used on Nokia-branded devices exclusively, which means that future halo smartphones from Microsoft (if the company decides to launch them) will have to rely on other optics.
It's tough to stand out in the premium smartphone world, but LG may have a solution for its upcoming V40 flagship. There's a rumor from Android Police that says the company is throwing caution to the wind and putting five cameras on its new phone, a device that will surely succeed where last year's V30's (and its V35 variant's) paltry three cameras did not.
According to Android Police's source, the V40 will feature three cameras on the back of the device. It's similar to the Huawei P20 Pro, which was the first major smartphone to offer a triple-camera system. The V40 will also feature dual cameras on the front of the device (like the HTC U12 Plus), in what's rumored be a stereo system to follow for 3D face mapping and unlocking. While both the dual-front camera and triple-rear camera configurations aren't new, the five-camera system would the first time we've seen both on a single device. If the rumor is correct, this would be the most cameras on a smartphone.
Oppo has confirmed that it's developing a smartphone camera system with a 10x zoom lens, as rumored. The tech is similar to the 5x zoom prototype the company showed off a couple of years ago, making use of the phone's lateral width to enable the necessary physical depth through the use of a periscope-style prism.
This time around the camera is 15.9-159mm-equivalent, meaning it'll start with an ultrawide perspective and zoom into medium telephoto. It's essentially three prime lenses in one, so Oppo's claim of "lossless" zoom might not quite be accurate throughout the entire zoom range, but it should be considerably [more] flexible nonetheless.
The system has optical image stabilization, but so far Oppo isn't saying anything about aperture, which has been the drawback of previous experiments with zoom lenses on phones. The Asus Zenfone Zoom, for example, had a 3x f/2.7-4.8 lens, and the results weren't great. Even the 2x f/2.4 "telephoto" lens on the iPhone XS turns in worse results than simply cropping the wider, faster primary camera except in the very best of lighting conditions.
The camera will be shown off at Mobile World Congress 2019 in February.
Also at Engadget.
Xiaomi and Light, a computational imaging firm, have announced at Mobile World Congress that the two companies will be working together to develop new multi-module cameras for smartphones. The two companies promised that the jointly-developed cameras will feature DSLR-level capabilities, but did not disclose when the first product from the joint project is expected to come to fruition.
Light specializes on computational imaging solutions using multiple camera arrays. The company has gone so far as to develop their own chip that can work with 6, 12, or 18-camera arrays. And while Xiaomi and Light aren't specifying just how big of a camera array they're looking to develop, we're likely looking at something in the lower-bounds of those number, if only due to the limited size of smartphones. For reference's sake, a 6-module camera would be very similar to what Nokia has done for their Nokia 9 PureView.
Cover the entire back of a smartphone with cameras, then gingerly hold it using the corners.
Related: Meta-Lens Works in the Visible Spectrum, Sees Smaller Than a Wavelength of Light
A Pocket Camera with Many Eyes - Inside the Development of Light
Caltech Replaces Lenses With Ultra-Thin Optical Phased Array
Nokia (HMD Global) Partners with Zeiss for Optics Capabilities
Google Reportedly Acquires Lytro, Which Made Refocusable Light Field Cameras
LG's V40 Smartphone Could Include Five Cameras
Leaked Image Shows Nokia-Branded Smartphone With Five Rear Cameras