realme will soon introduce a new smartphone which shares the same Periscope Telephoto Technology which is offered in both the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung S24 Ultra.
According to the brand, Apple’s announcment of the term ‘periscope camera’ in the iPhone 15 Series has caused popularity of the term.
The fact is, ‘Periscope camera’ is not a novel concept.
In 2019, the entrant of the HUAWEI P30 Pro surprised the world with its 50X magnification; and Samsung kept the buzz ignited by introducing the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which enables up to a whopping 100X space zoom.
Both models are flagship smartphones and they come with periscope cameras, are flagship models.
How periscope cameras work
Deriving its name from the instrument used on ships and submarines, a periscope camera is a specialised type of telephoto camera that leverages a periscope-like architecture of lenses and mirrors to achieve a longer focal length.
Compared to the regular telephoto lens, the periscope lens offers better zooming capabilities without adding bulk to the smartphone, which is why the latest Samsung S24 Ultra can provide up to 10X optical zoom.
The feature lends a helping hand to users to capture far-off subjects without compromising image quality, ensuring sharper images with clarity.
Meanwhile, optical zoom also brings a natural depth of field that highlights your subject dynamically, resembling professional-grade photographs taken by DSLR cameras.
Cost of periscope cameras
However, a periscope telephoto lens costs roughly USD80. To paint a clear picture, the cost of a 2MP macro lens is around USD1 — the higher costs and technical complexity have hindered many smartphone makers from incorporating periscope cameras into most of their devices, making it a unique feature in high-end flagship models.
There needs to be more gap between the sensor and lens element to move vertically and create the optical zoom range, which could be difficult to engineer in the cramped space of a smartphone.
Here’s a brief list of the latest smartphones available in Malaysia that come with periscope cameras:
- iPhone 15 Pro Max (12MP 5X Periscope Lens) | RM6,499
- vivo X100 Pro (64MP 4.2X Periscope Lens) | RM4,599
- Xiaomi 13 (50MP 5X Periscope Lens) | RM3,499
- OnePlus 12 (64MP 3X Periscope Lens) | RM4,599
realme to make periscope cameras affordable
But the fact that smartphones with periscope cameras are expensive might no longer be valid thanks to the introduction of realme 12 Pro Series 5G.
According to the official information, the realme 12 Pro+ 5G boasts a 64MP periscope telephoto lens powered by a 1/2″ OV64B sensor and is capable of 3X optical zoom, 6X in-sensor zoom and up to 120X digital zoom.
The brand suggested that this superior performance firmly positions the realme 12 Pro+ 5G alongside, and even above, flagship models like the iPhone 15 Pro and Xiaomi 13 Ultra.
This might come as a surprise as the other mid-range budget smartphones are trying to step up their mega-pixel games while realme is embarking on a different pathway.
The range-topping model (12GB RAM + 256GB storage) retails at INR33,999, which is equivalent to approximately RM1,900, a similar price range to the realme 11 Pro+ 5G.
While there are no details yet on the realme 12 Pro series’ availability for Malaysia, the availability of the smartphone here would be much anticipated.