Oppo teases retractable rear camera for phones

The image is from thechorus image on thecdn.vox-cdn.com.

A new type of camera design is teased in a video by Oppo. The retractable camera on the company's phone is shown extending from the phone's body. The video suggests that the mechanism is waterproof and that it can be used if the phone is dropped.

Unlike pop-up selfie cameras that hide themselves inside a phone until needed, moving the camera back and forth on the Z- axis could have implications for image quality, though Oppo hasn't claimed anything about any optical advantages of this design. It doesn't appear to be a zoom lens, but it could theoretically help improve performance.

The camera module shows that the sensor is 1/6.56 inches and the lens is 50mm-equivalent with an f/2.4 lens, which is 2x longer than the phone's main lens. Maybe the extra height allowed by the retracting mechanism is what makes this possible, because that sensor is much bigger than you would find behind a telephoto lens.

The video is being released ahead of next week's annual Inno Day event, where the company often shows off various concepts and technologies before they're commercially deployed. The event featured a rollable phone. On December 14th and 15th, Oppo is holding a two day event.