Samsung patents mobile camera system with adaptive aperture
- A new patent suggests that Samsung is working on a mobile camera design for smartphones.
- The moving camera system would allow multiple aperture values.
- It is not known if Samsung would ever use this system on a consumer smartphone.
Samsung is apparently working on a new mobile camera design for smartphones that could allow variable aperture.
The design was revealed in a recently published article patent (h / t LetsGoDigital). The camera array, in its standard configuration, sits horizontally on the back of a smartphone. However, the cameras in this network can also move, forming a triangle. The main camera sits in the middle and can move down from its home position. At the same time, an ultra-wide camera and a telephoto camera reside on the left and right sides of the matrix and can move inward.
Each camera sensor has two apertures, and each of these apertures has a different aperture. So, in theory, changing the position of the sensors changes the aperture of the cameras. When the cameras are in their triangular formation, each would be set to their lowest aperture. Since the cameras have two end locations, this suggests that only two aperture values per camera would be available. The figure above adds some context to this system.
Samsung’s mobile camera system: the downsides
This mobile camera system has many advantages. Lower aperture values allow more light into the camera, which should improve low-light photography.
See also: Understanding Aperture – What Is It And How Does It Affect Image Quality?
There are also a lot of downsides. Moving parts introduce more possible points of failure. This is particularly frightening, given that these parts are said to be related to the delicate components of the phone’s camera. The hardware needed to operate the camera system would likely weigh down the phone as well.
The Samsung Electro-Mechanics division is responsible for the patent, filing it in October 2020. That said, it is not yet clear whether Samsung plans to use this system in a future phone. The company has experimented with phones with variable aperture, including the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S10 Plus. He’s no stranger to moving cameras, either. The Galaxy A80 contained a nifty flippy camera system.
This is simply a patent, however, and does not confirm that Samsung is considering such a system for a future out-of-the-box smartphone. However, what do you think of the design? Let us know in the comments below.
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