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Optical zoom will be a key upgrade to high-end smartphones in 2020, according to the latest prediction from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said the rear camera on Huawei's upcoming P40 Pro will feature a redesigned periscope telephoto lens and become the world's first smartphone with 10x optical zoom. The device is expected to launch in the first half of 2020.

huawei-p30-pro-cameras-800x482.jpg

Huawei competitor Oppo had promised a smartphone with 10x optical zoom earlier this year, but it has so far only released a model with 10x hybrid zoom, which relies on a combination of optical zoom and software.

Kuo said enhanced optical zoom will extend to more high-end smartphones next year, although he did not specify if that will include the iPhone, which currently maxes out at 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. Optical zoom preserves the quality of a shot when zooming in, while digital zoom results in some blurriness.

In other camera news, a supply chain report from DigiTimes today claims that Apple's high-end 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones in 2020 will adopt sensor-shift image stabilization technology. While details are slim, sensor-shift technology could bring image stabilization to the ultra-wide lens on high-end 2020 iPhones.

Article Link: Kuo: High-End Smartphones in 2020 to Feature Longer Optical Zoom, Including 10x on Huawei's P40 Pro
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 603
Dec 9, 2008
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I wonder if they'll aim to form any other punctuation marks with camera housings or just stick with exclamation points.
 
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PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
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My Huawei P30 Pro has a fantastic 5x optical zoom. The results are amazing. However, I'm not sure about the 10x optical zoom.... 3x is perfect, 5x is great, but 10x is much too long for practical use.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
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Hopefully Apple will increase the zoom factor of the telephoto cameras, you can get decent enough 2x images with digital zoom (hence why at least earlier dual camera phones did exactly that in lower light conditions) it's above that image quality begins to deteriorate significantly.
 
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Thrutheroofnunderground

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2018
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North Carolina
I’m not in the market for a new iPhone until 2021ish, but if higher zoom is available on future models then BRING IT ON APPLE!

high quality zoom is what I’m looking for
Literally the only addition I care about in a phone. Sometimes you just can't get close enough to get good details, and cropping in often results in a non-usable photo. Won't be upgrading until that happens, and after that they'd have to brick it with an update for me to think about moving on.
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My Huawei P30 Pro has a fantastic 5x optical zoom. The results are amazing. However, I'm not sure about the 10x optical zoom.... 3x is perfect, 5x is great, but 10x is much too long for practical use.
But you wouldn't HAVE to go all the way to 10x. I would much rather have the option if I needed it, than be stuck at 2x and need 5x.
 
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twolf2919

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2014
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The features have to be meaningful and offer specific use cases...not just higher specs.
Not sure what your point is - better optical zoom is a meaningful feature that has a specific use case. Many smartphone users have been waiting for such a feature for years. While you can get add-on lenses that provide a tiny bit of extra zoom (I had one by "Moment"), they're either phone specific or require you to keep buying adapters or cases as you upgrade the phone. And, of course, you have to remember to bring them. I don't even know where that lens is right now - in some box somewhere.
 
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Baymowe335

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Oct 6, 2017
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Not sure what your point is - better optical zoom is a meaningful feature that has a specific use case. Many smartphone users have been waiting for such a feature for years. While you can get add-on lenses that provide a tiny bit of extra zoom (I had one by "Moment"), they're either phone specific or require you to keep buying adapters or cases as you upgrade the phone. And, of course, you have to remember to bring them. I don't even know where that lens is right now - in some box somewhere.
Consumers won't care unless they can understand how it benefits them...particularly general consumers. They don't even know that optical zoom is different than digital. For many, they can do 10X with an iPhone today.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
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The iPhone does NOT have optical zoom. It just has two or three lenses with different focal lengths. Everything else is software.
Technically yes, but to all intents and purposes it's the same, you get a full resolution photo of a smaller field of view (therefore everything is 'zoomed in').
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
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Bringing the iPhone's zoom up to 5x would be great - guessing they'll be years behind, but we'll see. With Huawei going to 10x optical and Samsung going to 5x optical with a similar para-scope lens with its s11, the market Apple plays in, particularly the Pro models, seems to be moving beyond 2x zoom.
 
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ericwn

macrumors 604
Apr 24, 2016
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Zooms are certainly nice from a consumer standpoint - and from the digital camera era just a few years back I'm sure most of us will remember that all lenses are compromises of some sorts. Zooms often reduce image quality compared to primes and I hope this won't be the case when the iPhone gets a zoom lens one day.
Also hope that it's going to last as long as the prime lenses today.
 
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PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
220
193
But you wouldn't HAVE to go all the way to 10x. I would much rather have the option if I needed it, than be stuck at 2x and need 5x.

No, unfortunately it's not a fluid optical zoom from 1x to 5x but a different lens and different sensor for the zoom. So any steps in between 1 and 5 are just digital zoom and crops. That means, best image quality at 1x and 5x....
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
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Technically yes, but to all intents and purposes it's the same, you get a full resolution photo of a smaller field of view (therefore everything is 'zoomed in').

True, but if you want something in between 1x and 2x you get a cropped image from the 1x lens.
A real optical zoom would be different but I don't think they can put one with a good quality into an iPhone without increasing its size in a significant way, or have a huge camera bulge. I think that was its point.
I'm fine with the current approach of having multiple fixed lens, and I either shot at 1x or 2x never use digital zoom. I'd be happy with something more than 2x for the telephoto lens, and if they add a new one I hope it will be 4 or 5x to capture distant subjects.
 
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