DSLR cameras are the rage for photographers these days. While DSLRs are definitely great, their size haven’t been reduced the same way other tech gadgets have been trimmed down. Most professional photographers have to carry around these bulky cameras with their huge lenses. Mirrorless cameras did gain some traction but they couldn’t replace DSLRs, yet (the Canon EOS M is very promising).

However, researchers at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have been able to come up with something which may finally revolutionize the world of cameras. These researchers have created a new kind of camera lens which is virtually as thin as a paper.

To be specific, it measures a mere 60 nanometers in thickness and makes use of a gold-plated silicon wafer. Parts of the gold plate are chipped away to leave behind several V-shaped structures, evenly distributed along the surface in near rows. It is then by tweaking the size, angle and orientation of these V-shaped structures that the lens is able to capture wide-angle distortion-free images.

This flat lens is completely free from the regular distortions which plague images from wide-angle lenses, such as the ‘fish-eye’ effect. With the help of this new lens, the cameras can be revamped to be a lot slimmer.

In fact, such paper-thin lenses may equip the smartphones of the future with DSLR capabilities. Imagine having a smartphone which has a camera as good as DSLR, yet tiny in size, fitting nicely in your pocket. That can be a dream-come-true for many. [more information]

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