LG Innotek teases new 4-9x optical zoom camera module with optical image stabilization: Digital Photography Review

This is a zoom camera module LG Innotek manufactures and has listed on its website. It’s unclear whether or not this particular module is the version with optical image stabilization the company has announced in this new press release.

LG Innotek, a subsidiary of Korean conglomerate LG Corperation, has teased a new optically stabilized telephoto zoom camera module destined for the next generation of flagship mobile devices. According to LG Innotek’s announcement, the camera module will be revealed in its entirety at CES, which starts January 3, 2023.

What we do know from the teaser though is that the camera module will offer a 4–9x continuous zoom range with optical image stabilization. The zoom actuator, according to LG Innotek, is designed for ‘high moving speed and durability with less battery consumption [than competitors]’ and can move in increments as small as one micrometer (1㎛).

This illustration shows a non-zooming periscope-style camera module Oppo uses in its smartphones. Note the difference between the straight and ‘L-shaped’ path the light takes before hitting the sensor in the conventional (left) and periscope-style (right) modules in this illustration.

LG Innotek says it worked closely with Qualcomm Technologies to ‘to optimize software for optical continuous zoom that will be applied to the new premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform.’ Specifically, LG Innotek says ‘Auto-Focus, Auto-Exposure, Auto-White Balance, lens shading correction and much more’ will be optimized on devices running Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chipset announced last month.

LG hasn’t released a smartphone since early 2021, but continues to make various components for smartphones, tablets, computers and other hardware for other manufacturers to use in its products. LG Innotek says this new camera module has been specifically designed to reduce the ‘camera bump’ we’ve come accustomed to seeing in various shapes and sizes on the backside of recent smartphones. By using a folded optics design, LG Innotek can get a longer focal length than would otherwise be possible without a massive camera module sticking out of the camera.

Back in August 2021, smartphone manufacturer Oppo showed off an 85–200mm equiv. optical zoom camera module with OIS (pictured above), but it hasn’t yet made its way into a commercially-available phone at this point in time. Assuming LG Innotek’s new camera module is revealed inside a smartphone come CES 2023, as is suggested in the announcement, it’s looking like LG will beat Oppo to market.

We will update this article when additional details are revealed at CES 2023.

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