A Periscope iPhone Camera

You’re likely happy with your current smartphone. Most phones today are beyond “good-enough.” A lot of folks upgrade just for a better camera; I’m inclined likewise. And one thing that would excite me for the next iPhone: a periscope camera lens. Why? Optical zooooom!

A huge optical zoom on iPhone would be a significant advancement, more than a small iteration or “spec bump.” It would enable the iPhone to capture photos that it just can’t now. Think about how nice it would be, especially if you like outdoor shots.

Sure, you can often “zoom in with your feet” to negate the need for a 2x lens. But the bigger the zoom, say 4x or 8x, then the less likely you’ll do the foot-zoom thing. Let’s say you want to capture an animal in the wild; you’re less likely to scare it off, and you may also be safer by using long telephoto reach.

Of course, a periscope lens should have optical stabilization. More zoom means potentially worse camera shake and blurry pictures. That wouldn’t work.

Most notable is that I’m talking about optical, not digital, zoom. The different glass lenses do the zoom work physically while you compose your shot. And from there, you can still crop-in for greater framing.

A periscope camera on iPhone is possible because: one, it already exists on other phones. Two, I’m sure Apple’s engineers have the skills to make it a reality. I think the only real barrier, a temporary one, would be the cost.

Due to the newness and expense, and Apple’s margins, I think the periscope camera will come in time. It’ll start on the highest-end iPhone Pro Max Super Duper. Then, after a few years, this great camera feature will trickle down to the more affordable iPhones.

To market the new big zoom, Apple could call it: iPhone Z.

The only other question I’d have is what zoom would Apple set for a periscope lens? 4x? 5x? 10x!?

It could all come into focus this year, in 2021.