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LG to Unveil New, Flat Smartphone Camera Module at CES

The new camera includes a telephoto lens with up to 9x zoom and takes the "bump" out of smartphone cameras.

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Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
Expertise cybersecurity, digital privacy, IoT, consumer tech, smartphones, wearables
Bree Fowler
An image of LG's logo.

LG says it's shrunk the smartphone camera.

Getty

LG is set to unveil a new camera module at CES that could take the "bump" out of your smartphone.

G Innotek, a branch of LG that makes electronic components, said Tuesday that the new micro component combines the optical-zoom capabilities found in DSLR cameras with a thinner design.

Optical-zoom smartphone cameras aren't a new thing. What makes LG's upcoming offering different is that it allows you to zoom in at magnifications of between 4x and 9x without reverting to a digital zoom for the magnifications in between, as current fixed-zoom smartphone cameras do.

Digital zooms use software, rather than a lens, to make images bigger, which can significantly reduce image quality.

Combining the multiple optical-zoom options into a single module will also help free up space inside smartphones and boost battery efficiency, LG said.

Meanwhile, LG said it has reduced the thickness of the module in order to remove the camera bump found on the backs of smartphones that feature optical-zoom cameras with larger magnifications.

The company added that it's working with Qualcomm to optimize software for the module and jointly market it.

CES, which takes over the Las Vegas Strip each January, is the tech industry's largest in-person event.