Weekly poll: what kind of zoom camera setup do you want on your next phone?

05 September 2021
Variable focal length cameras, especially the ones that can do continuous zoom seem to be the next big thing. But they will be expensive.

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  • AngryLithuanian

Smooth continuous optical zoom starting at 2x up to 10x

Something like what O-Film demonstrated last year as mentioned in your own article: gsmarena.com/ofilm_unveils_periscope_module_with_continuous_zoom_85_mm_to_170_mm-news-43797.php

  • Realist

Who cares about zoom and smartphone photography. Give us removable batteries instead.

  • Jason137

Continual zoom at 4x-6x with a 50mp sensor so that when you hybrid zoom to 10x you'll still get a 12 mp shot

I'm doing street photography using my phone, with a bit of casual portrait. Main sensor on flagship nowadays can get between 23mm to 35mm with good quality already. Basically all I need are good image quality telephoto ranging between 50mm to 90mm (optical telephoto at x2 to x3.5 zoom). Beyond that? Nah thank you very much. Not so much into wildlife/sports/moon shot photography. 135mm & UWA is a bonus.

In smartphone world, the further the zooming system, the smaller the sensor.

Kev, 05 Sep 2021I am really digging my 5x snapper on my P30 Pro. The only p... moreThe 3x on the P40 Pro plus is excellent but the 10x is pretty pointless, it's just a bit too "far" for most photo opportunities. I'd rather have a 3x and a 6x with a larger sensor personally.
Still, the real answer is a proper optical zoom which seems to be on its way soon.

  • Anonymous

Where is the option for "I don't really care about phone camera" or "Just single fix 100x" I'll definitely voted for that 😏

The Xperias were a good start and they should work on improving that to what Oppo is claiming to do.

  • blue.sun

I'd rather go back to a single camera module, both rear and front. The image quality of all other modules is poor at best, tragic in most cases. And with a true-zoom (not the fake zoom they call it today) it is only going to be far worse, due to poor optical system.
I had a camera with periscope zoom in the 2004 (Minolta X21), and the optical quality was... well, below average, to be very polite. A good lens needs a lot of space and that is not achievable in periscope zoom cameras.

Optical zoom or nothing. Plus "hybrid" zoom does not exist, it is a lossy crop just like digital zoom. Continuous zoom (aka zoom) will be the way forward, though the aperture might get too small at 10x (problem shared by professional camera lenses where fixed aperture lenses are crazy expensive). So C3x-7x and 10x might be the best setup though you will have to pay for that with a smaller battery or increased thickness.

Demongornot, 05 Sep 2021One continuous zoom going from Ultra-Wide to a bit over 1x ... moreI wholeheartedly agree with this. I've always wondered why a giant sensor doesn't start at x0.7 with a wide field of view and then go to 1.0 via software so you save a lens dedicated to Ultrawide.

  • Anonymous

Rather have a better quality ultrawide

  • Kev

I am really digging my 5x snapper on my P30 Pro. The only problem is that it's sometimes too much for short zooms and not enough for extremes. I feel that recent Huawei and Samsung flagships with their 3x + 10x snappers are the sweet spot, due to having extreme zooms for when you need it, and also a short zoom lens for portraits and everyday use where the 10x is too much.

i am not interested in the snseor, there are few photos that i make on a phone, for that there are real cameras for true results, as for the telephones the cameras have already arrived to their limit and there is nothing bad, but still missing a lot of way. i am interested in the next pixel 6 pro, i only hope good battery life, a smart google relog and an ultra sonic fingerprint scanner, the optics for someone who is always in the dark is not beneficial, unlocking the phone with that blast of light launching cheap optical fingerprint sensors assembled by the chinese

  • AnonD-940827

What kind of amateur question is that?

Optical zoom! Always.!

Better photo processing and handling is more important than the "lenses".

  • Anonymous

The poll doesn't make sense as "3x", etc are just marketing specifications. A "3x" camera does not really have three times the focal length of the main camera and it doesn't always have 3² = 9 times as many pixels per object. So the poll is totally useless.

Don't really care, even if my new phone will have one.
Zoom/telephoto lenses/sensors are usually rubbish, so I do not really care for them.

One continuous zoom going from Ultra-Wide to a bit over 1x (1.2x?).
And another one from 0.9x or 0.8x to 5x.

Both sharing the same sensor with OIS and the same lens with Gimbal, but using two periscope paths.

The Telephoto one capable of modulating its focus to have a wide range, from focus to infinity (normal) to really close, up to few cm, and able to get from a really deep to shallow depth of field, making it natively able to do regular Telephoto as well as Portrait and Macro without requiring any depth sensor.

This is THE ideal setup.

  • Anonymous

"Continuous zoom lenses"
Zoom lens always means continuous, otherwise it's called a tele prime lens. Smartphones usually don't have zoom lenses.

"focal length of 70 mm and 105 mm"
No, that's wrong. The Xperia 1 III periscope camera has a focal length of 10.22mm or 14.5mm

  • Anonymous

"As Google showed with the Pixel, it can be done well,"
That's totally wrong. I have the Pixel 3a and its digital zoom is terrible in perfect light conditions, not better than a properly exposed single frame dng file. Many people make the mistake that they think that the zoom works, if they see more detail than at 1x. But that's totally wrong. The 1x setting often just applies more spatial noise reduction or has a worse signal to noise ratio. Furthermore, Google also uses machine learning digital zoom, which leads to wrong detail.

  • Anonymous

Complicated poll.