crwdns2875948:07crwdne2875948:0 —



Here's an unusual thing: this camera module takes up a lot of lateral ... space. Samsung is so proud of this particular camera that they advertise it right on the camera bump. Let's see what's inside.

How do you fit a stack of "zoom" lenses into a smartphone that's only 8.8 mm thin? Samsung says: turn it sideways. Instead of focusing your image directly onto the sensor, this camera uses a prism to bounce the light sideways at a 90-degree angle.

It certainly is impressive! After passing through the prism—which has its own optical image stabilizer—the image barrels through a sliding box full of telephoto lens, and finally hits the sensor mounted at the end of the tunnel.

The lens itself is good for a (fixed) 4x magnification—the rest comes from a combination of sensor cropping and binning (48 megapixels pared down to 12) and standard digital zoom, to get to 100x.

With the prism lifted out, we can see the copper coils and magnets surrounding it, and the tiny white bearings on the supporting bracket. The prism moves back and forth against that bracket to compensate for your shaky hands.