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Mobile: Xiaomi shows retractable smartphone camera

Last updated on March 9, 2021

In addition to the extendable 120 mm camera, Xiaomi has also introduced a new 50 mm tele-macro. It is uncertain when the first smartphones will come with it.

Xiaomi’s new extendable telephoto camera
(Picture: Xiaomi/Screenshot:

Xiaomi presented two new camera concepts for smartphones: On Twitter the Chinese manufacturer showed a telephoto lens with a focal length of 120 mm converted to 35 mm and a tele-macro lens with a converted focal length of 50 mm.

The 120 mm lens differs from the usual smartphone cameras in that it is extendable. As can be seen in a short video, the camera consists of two parts that extend from the housing like a compact camera. This way, according to Xiaomi, a larger maximum aperture and a better image stabilizer can be installed.

Retractable lenses have not been used with smartphones so far. In order to achieve higher focal lengths and to prevent the respective device from becoming too thick, manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung use telephoto lenses in periscope design. However, these lenses do not achieve the same high focal lengths as Xiaomi’s new camera.

New telephoto lens with macro function introduced

The second new camera has a telemacro lens and is manufactured in a conventional design. The focal length is the equivalent of 50 mm, which is not considered a telephoto lens in classical photography. As Xiaomi shows in a video, the lens can be used to focus on very close objects.

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Technical details of the two new lenses have not been revealed by Xiaomi – only the focal lengths are known. Unknown is currently still which initial apertures the lenses use and how many lenses they consist of. Also unknown is when Xiaomi will install the new cameras in one of his smartphones.

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