Minolta Co., Ltd. developed the Micro Zoom Camera (MZC), a new small zoom lens unit that can be used for mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
The company has realized an optical zooming system with a maximum magnification of 3x. Two out of the three lens blocks are driven by a microactuator using a piezoid, which is called Smooth Impact Drive Mechanism (SIDM), and the other lens is linked by a cam, Minolta said.
It weighs about 1.2g, and its size is 4.5mm wide x 14.5mm high x 12mm deep for the 2x optical zoom and 4.5mm wide x 14.5mm high x 14mm deep for the 3x optical zoom.
The new lens unit is ready for CIF-format, 1/7-inch CMOS camera devices. It can be used with low-power-consumption devices such as mobile phones and PDAs, as it can be driven by just 3V. Because its operational frequency is as high as 150kHz, the noise of driving the camera cannot be heard and it takes only about a second to zoom.
Minolta plans to start its mass production around the summer of 2002.