The Galaxy S11, which will be unveiled in February next year, is expected to feature a major camera upgrade such as a 108-megapixel image sensor and a 5x optical zoom.
Among the model’s specifications, the 5x optical zoom draws attention.
Digital zoom using software ends up with a lower resolution when an image is magnified. However, optical zoom, which magnifies an image by physically moving two or more lenses, does not reduce the resolution of the image.
“A type of periscope” is adopted to increase optical magnification. Samsung Electronics has registered the trademark “Space Zoom” with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for its periscope-type 5x optical zoom camera.
The longer the distance (focal distance) between the image sensor and the lens, the higher the magnification zoom. Until now, there has been a limitation in magnification as lenses have been stacked up vertically, which means the distance between the lens and the sensor cannot exceed the width of a smartphone.
The periscope type arranges the sensor and the lens horizontally and refracts light using a prism. This lengthens the distance between the lens and the sensor to the length of a smartphone, so the magnification increases. The 5x optical zoom needs to secure a focal distance 2.5 times longer than that of the 2x optical zoom.
Industry watchers and foreign news outlets forecast that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S11 and the clamshell-type foldable phone in San Francisco, United States, in the third week of February next year.