Oppo released a brief video hinting at a new kind of camera design for smartphones. The “company-developed retractable camera” is shown extending from the body of the phone before retracting inside. The video suggests the mechanism is waterproof and will automatically retract the camera if the phone is dropped.
Unlike pop-up selfie cameras that hide inside a phone until you need it, moving the camera back and forth on the Z axis could have implications for image quality, although Oppo has not yet claimed anything about the optical advantages of this design. It doesn’t appear to be a zoom lens, given that it’s just marked as 50mm, but it could theoretically help improve telephoto performance.
The marks on the camera module show that the sensor is 1 / 1.56 inches and the lens is equivalent to 50mm with an f / 2.4 aperture, which means it should be around 2 times longer than the primary purpose of the phone. It’s a much bigger sensor than what you tend to find behind telephoto lenses, so maybe the extra height allowed by the retracting mechanism is what makes this possible.
Oppo is releasing this video ahead of next week’s annual Inno Day event, where the company often showcases various concepts and technologies ahead of their commercial rollout. Last year’s event featured a roll-up phone and AR glasses. This year, Oppo is hosting Inno Day over two days, December 14th and 15th.