As a smartphone enthusiast and tech freak, I noticed that almost all smartphones now come with two or more camera modules attached to the back. But what is the use of these multiple cameras?
Know about Smart Phone Cameras
A question I got asked so many times that I decided to create a post about it. Just so if I am asked this question one more time, I can direct the person to this post instead of engaging in a long argument on why multiple cameras are added on smartphones.
Well, here it goes.
The multi camera phones come with a number of setups but we’ll only discuss the three that are currently prevailing in the market. By just reading the different setups, I hope you will develop a basic understanding of why multiple cameras are used.
The first and most common setup includes adding the second camera as a telephoto lens. This setup has been adopted by top manufacturers like Samsung and Apple.
The second one includes the placement of a monochrome lens. Also used by big manufacturers including the likes of Huawei and Motorola, this setup is usually found on mid-range phones.
And the last one includes the addition of a wide-angle lens. While I believe this to be the most usable multi-camera setup, it is unfortunately only found on a handful of devices with majority of them being from LG.
- Higher Resolution
Even though the standalone primary cameras on smartphones have become great for everyday photography, the use of multiple cameras has only added to the quality of photos taken by smartphones. The added cameras not only help in enhancing the depth of field through the use of different focal lengths but also result in some high quality HDR shots with that offer unbelievable low light shots.
- Two is Better Than One
If you have read the setup section above than you know by now that different modules can add to different aspects of the image. A wide-angle lens for example, helps in gathering sharper details of still a subject and its surroundings. When such image processing combinations are put together, the multiple lens setup only improves upon the weaknesses often reflected by a single lens. As a result, the pictures come out brighter, clearer and carry more detail in them. If you compare such pictures with the ones taken from a smartphone with a single lense camera module, the results just standout.
- The Double Zoom
Despite all the capabilities that phone cameras have now gained, they still lack the ability to offer quality zoom. However, this is more a fault of their design than the lack of advancement in technology. In a race to create the slimmest phone in the market, manufacturers have trimmed down the bodies so much that there is hardly space left inside a smartphone’s body to place any sort of miniature electronic optics to enhance its zooming capabilities.
But with the use of multiple camera modules such issues have been alleviated to a good extent. While the results aren’t going to be something to write home about or challenge that DSLR you have, it does produce better results than what you have come to expect from a single lens digital zoom.
- Combination of Colors & Monochrome
If you use filters on your photos, you may have noticed how applying the black & filter adds depth to the darker parts of your photo while taking away its colors. The monochrome multicamera setup does just that but without taking away the color of your pictures.
The multiple camera setup with a monochrome module is designed to take two different shots with one of them being black and white. The photo processing software on the smartphone then combines both the shots to produce a single image with sharper and almost perfect color depth.
The results have in fact been so astonishing that many of the top tier manufacturers have now started experimenting with more lens modules bringing the number of primary cameras on a device to 5, and in some cases, even more.
With so much advancement in the smartphone camera technology and the continuous experimentation with multiple cameras, I wouldn’t be surprised if smartphones would soon replace conventional cameras we use for professional photography. I hope this post has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about why multiple cameras are being used in smartphones. However, if you still have some questions, reach out to me in the comments below and I’ll be sure to reply.