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Surface Phone may have a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with real optical zoom

Surface Phone camera Zeiss Carl Vario
Michael

Leaked renders of a Microsoft phone hints at improved camera

Lumia as a brand has been known with its top class cameras since Lumia 920 – an innovative device with Zeiss optics and optical image stabilization for great stills and videos. The PureView technology evolved and reached its peak with the Lumia 1020 – a camera-focused phone with a 41-megapixel sensor for an exceptional level of details, and an ability to use digital zoom and re-frame the photo after it’s taken. Microsoft continues to use the Zeiss branding in the Lumia 950 line that also offers picture and video quality at top level. However, the competition have picked up pace in the past two years, and Lumia has no longer such an advantage as it had in 2013-14.

Now, new renders of the claimed Surface Phone (via NPU), or an early prototype, hints at possible camera improvements to the top Window Phone in late 2017. We can see a device with a camera hump similar to that on the 950 XL. But the module has not just the Carl Zeiss branding, but also the Vario-Tessar name, which means the Surface Phone may offer real optical zoom without loss in quality.

Nokia has already used the Tessar lenses in phones like the Nokia 808 PureView and the Lumia 1020. They are a 5 or 6 elements in one group, aperture-less all-aspherical lens.

Vario-Tessar name has been used by Carl Zeiss for various zoom lenses in SONY compact digital cameras and E-mount lenses, but never in modern smartphones, except the Nokia N93 – a Symbian smartphone launched in April 2006 with 3x optical zoom and a 3.2MP camera.