The keyword here is optical zoom. Most smartphones these days have telezooms with pretty good performances. Though in almost all cases they are digital zooms, or hybrid zooms at best;
As an example, my current smartphone. A Huawei P30 pro. I have tested the zoom capabilities as much as possible already, which you can read in the P30 pro zoom review.
The strongest feature on that phone is a 50x zoom. Yet, it’s a digital zoom. This means your photo quality is reduced.
The Difference between Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom
Let’s clarify the two zoom options first. As for people that aren’t really into photography might not know the difference and how important optical zoom is for a great image.
Digital zoom explained
Digital zoom is pretty is to explain. What is does is simply cut out a smaller image of your image. This way, when you see the image on the same size as the original one, it seems to have zoomed in on your subject.
What it actually does it enlarging the pixels you have captured. You can imagine that this will reduce your photo quality a lot. So usually this is not really recommended.
Optical zoom explained
Now, imagine having a set of circular glasses that enlarge the image you see before it reaches the sensor of your camera. This is exactly what a telelens does. This way, you can zoom in on a subject and use the full quality of your camera sensor.
So the optical zoom is the most important feature if you like to make nice beautiful and especially detailed photos.
The problem with optical zoom in smartphone photography
Optical zoom, as you might have guessed, needs a set of lenses. The farther away the subject is you want to capture, the more lenses you will need. So, the longer your telelens will have to be.
Think about those wildlife photographers you see on television. With the mega long and heavy lenses. Now, imagine that lens on your smartphone. Yeah…
So that is the main reason why optical zooms on most smartphones haven’t really don’t so great yet. Though Huawei made a clever setup with their periscope set up to receive a 5x optical. I’m not going to deep into it as it might get too techy.
Swarovski Optik for an optical zoom on your smartphone?
As you already saw in the title, I have a solution for that optical zoom problem on your smartphone. Or better, Swarovski Optik has the solution, I just had the chance to try it out.
First of all, Swavorski Optik is not that company your girlfriend (or boyfriend) want’s the jewels from. This sister company is all about binoculars and scopes.
And that’s why their smartphone tool is so genius. They already have the knowledge of making far-away things look nearby. That’s their entire reason for existence even! For 70 years already they make the best optical devices.
Now, they have created a kind of contraption to put your smartphone in. For once a company that makes a case that fits any smartphone of any brand. I can only support that initiative.
So the contraption/ case has a couple of mechanical features. This way you can adjust everything to the size of your phone and also the position of the camera on your phone.
Next, you can add any of their binoculars to the case, creating an optical zoom lens for your smartphone. That’s right, you are making photos through their binoculars. This means you can do 50x optical zoom with your smartphone.
There is still some figuring out, as it’s not yet the easiest set up to handle. Especially when outdoors. But practice makes perfect. It’s already very useful for people that like to share the wonders of nature they see.
So, let’s go out with our smartphones and binoculars and shoot some awesome images!
Disclaimer: This article is the result of a press trip by Glenaki and Swarovski Optik