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Xiaomi’s new Mi MIX Fold breaks the mold in photography with its new liquid lens: what it is and how this technology works


Smartphone producers introduce improvements within the cameras of their terminals virtually era after era. Nevertheless, few have the relevance that, on paper, the expertise that Xiaomi has simply unveiled has. In the meanwhile solely its new flagship mannequin, the Mi MIX Fold, could have it, however this innovation guarantees us to have a deep influence in cell phone images.

Liquid lenses have been used for a number of years in some industrial functions, however till now no model has introduced this expertise to the buyer market. That is exactly what has simply modified by the hands of Xiaomi. In any case, what is admittedly vital is that this innovation goals to clear up a few of the limitations imposed by the cameras of smartphones. And that is very constructive.

However it additionally raises some doubts that we will resolve as quickly as we’ve the chance to completely analyze this new cell phone in our personal services. Till we are able to precisely consider it, we advise that we uncover collectively why this expertise is attention-grabbing sufficient for us to concentrate to it. And, above all, what does it have for us to contemplate the likelihood that it’s going to obtain change the foundations of the sport in images with smartphones.

It’s what it appears: a lens with fluid inside

Photograph digital camera lenses are accountable for transporting mild to the sensor with out degrading it, introducing the least attainable geometric distortion and minimizing chromatic aberrations. It isn’t a simple activity, and to sort out it they often resort to varied glass lenses overlapping.

The standard of every of those lenses and the precision with which it has been manufactured depart your mark in our images, which has induced some cell phone manufacturers to show to corporations specialised in tuning optical blocks for his or her high-end fashions. That is the technique adopted for years, amongst different corporations, Sony, which has teamed up with Carl Zeiss, and Huawei, which is dedicated to Leica optics.

Not like typical lenses, liquid lenses can change their curvature. And its optical properties. That is your tremendous energy

Liquid lenses observe a really totally different path. And it’s that they don’t seem to be fastidiously sculpted sheets of glass; are optical blocks made up of a clear fluid encapsulated between two skinny stable and clear sheets that maintain it confined.

The key of this lens is that it’s attainable manipulate its curvature utilizing an electromechanical gadget, so not like typical lenses, the form of liquid lenses isn’t fastened. And its optical properties are usually not both. That is your tremendous energy.


On paper, liquid lenses have two nice strengths that make them very attention-grabbing to be built-in into cell phones: a single liquid lens can perform the identical work as a number of typical lenses, which permits us to avoid wasting house (a really priceless property on smartphones); and, as well as, their means to switch their curvature permits them to behave on focus and focal sizeSubsequently, a single optical compartment outfitted with this expertise can change a number of basic optics.

The brand that wants to win the photography of the future will need to look at what comes in mobile photography software

These qualities are exactly those who Xiaomi has taken benefit of throughout the set-up of its new Mi MIX Fold. As you’ll be able to see within the slide that we publish under, this cellular incorporates three cameras and lots of different sensors, however, based on the Chinese language model, it places in our arms 4 digital camera performance. The place is the fourth unit? Nowhere.

Considering what we already know, we are able to intuit that one of many three cameras makes use of a liquid lens to change its optical properties and provide us twin digital camera performance. If we follow what Xiaomi has defined throughout his presentation, the digital camera that implements this double “persona” is the telephoto lens, which permits us to take footage with a zoom optical as much as three magnifications, and, on the similar time, it acts as a macro digital camera modifying its optical properties to focus at a minimal distance of three cm.

3 sensors

These are the challenges that this expertise should overcome to persuade us

This innovation on paper seems nice. The benefits {that a} consolidated optical unit over liquid lens expertise presents us within the discipline of cell phones are engaging as a result of it helps to optimize a really priceless useful resource in these gadgets: house. As well as, it is extremely possible that it will likely be cheaper to develop a digital camera with a liquid lens that’s able to overlaying the performance of two or three cameras than to go for a number of impartial items.

What isn’t so clear is that this expertise presents us picture high quality actually comparable to which he proposes a well-executed typical optics. When we’ve the chance to completely analyze the brand new Mi MIX Fold, we are going to test if the images that we are going to take with the telephoto lens, and to a lesser extent with the macro digital camera, handle to maintain geometric distortion and chromatic aberrations underneath management. We hope to have the ability to reply your questions very quickly.


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