The headlining feature of Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S9, is definitely its improved camera. A large part of that is creditable to software improvements, but hardware plays a big role as well, and the biggest improvement there is the variable aperture camera.
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With the Galaxy S9 or the Galaxy S9+, the camera sensor uses a mechanical lens cover to adjust the aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4 depending on the situation, letting in more or less light.
Just adjusting this setting yourself on the S9, you can easily see the mechanics from the outside that make this possible. However, in a recent teardown, well-known YouTuber JerryRigEverything took a closer look at what makes this camera tick.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice in the video that optical image stabilization is very much present, as the components shift position as they are touched. Once taking off the main housing for the camera, though, the teardown shows off how the mechanics for this variable aperture setting are on top of the lens, rather than behind like in a DSLR camera.
Further, that cover can be manually adjusted with a small switch that sits off to the side of the sensor. Apparently, the actual movement is done with magnets, as noted in the video.
Obviously, this isn’t something you’ll try yourself, but it’s always cool to see the hardware behind unique features like this.