All those who have evet handled or held a high quality camera such as DSLR will understand the pain of handling such heavy thing. The multiple layers of thick glass go deep inside giving more than required weight to the camera. However, you may want to thank some researchers in Harvard who recently introduced a concept called metalenses. There may come a day when heavy glass-filled lenses might become a story of past.
If you know the process of digital photography you must be aware of the fact that glass lens mainly centralized the incoming light to the digital sensor of the camera. The precision of lens determines its price as well as quality of the picture taken and hence that of the camera. Metalenses work on same lines, but these lack precision-ground glass. In place of that, these use a layer of transparent quartz that is covered completely under a layer of small towers made from titanium dioxide. When these are arranged in a particular pattern, the complex arrays of towers are formed that then focus light like glass lenses. The only difference is in the thickness of metalenses which is lesser than a strand of human hair and completely weightless.
It can easily be assumed that a technology this can be used only by high level organizations like American Military, but that’s not the case. Giant cameras are so costly because the production process of these cameras needs the glass to be ground and polished on a very high scale. Production of metalenses, on the other hand, will be very cost-effective as it will use the very same technique that is used for production of microchips. Another reason why camera makers need to go for this kind of lens is because these are smaller in size and don’t need to be giant like their previous counterparts. Once the technique has been studied and modified well, the same lens can be squeezed in smartphones giving them a strong edge over DSLR cameras. Soon, the time will come when your phone will not only work as your PC but also as your DSLR camera.