We present a novel, inexpensive and non-interferometric technique to retrieve phase images by using a liquid crystal phase shifter without including any physically moving parts. First, we derive a new equation of the intensity-phase relation with respect to the change of refractive index, which is similar to the transport of the intensity equation. The equation indicates that this technique is unneeded to consider the variation of magnifications between optical images. For proof of the concept, we use a liquid crystal mixture MLC 2144 to manufacture a phase shifter and to capture the optical images in a rapid succession by electrically tuning the applied voltage of the phase shifter. Experimental results demonstrate that this technique is capable of reconstructing high-resolution phase images and to realize the thickness profile of a microlens array quantitatively.