The Technology behind Dual Camera phones Explained: Is Two better than one?

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The Technology behind Dual Camera phones Explained: Is Two better than one?

When it comes to mobile photography, it is hard to expect them to perform as Digital Cameras. Smartphones have a limited real-estate of Space for internal components and as a result, they also have tiny camera modules. Manufacturers should use the space wisely while keeping the phones slim and light. So they can’t really incorporate large sensors which can take more space, also leaving a bump on the back. This is where Dual camera phones came in, enhancing and taking the smartphone photography to next level.

For dual, the smartphone will have two independent camera modules. Typically the higher megapixel one acts as a primary lens that does all the major capturing and focusing works. The secondary lens focuses on capturing additional light/details while increasing the depth of field-view by producing a background blur.

Huwaei’s Implementation: 

However not every dual camera setup works in the same way, the implementation can be different. Consider Huwaei range of Smartphones, they have a monochrome (Black and White) secondary module. According to the proven results, a monochromatic lens can capture more details, resulting in sharp images. It can also produce the depth of field of effects, what we called bokeh effects.

The technology behind Dual Camera phones: Huwaei Mate 9

The Apple’s approach:

Apple used a telephoto lens which can enhance the zooming capabilities while also producing Bokeh effects. Apple claims to provide to up to 2X zoom without quality loss and maximum up to 10x zoom with considerable loss in details. So, depending on the type of secondary module used, it may Capture more details, Enable an ultra-wide angle mode for Macro shots, can produce bokeh effects making the subject stand out or can provide enhanced zooming capabilities.  We are seeing Apple’s approach on other models like latest Oneplus 5, Samsung Note 8, Asus’ Zenfone 3 Zoom.

The technology behind Dual Cameras: Apple iPhone 7 plus

Are Dual Camera phones Always better than one?

Two better than one is true in most cases and same follows for the Dual cameras. The dual cameras in a smartphone is no more a premium segment offering, it down to mid-range market. More and More manufacturers are offering dual camera specs at affordable prices, just around 12K ($200). So, Can dual cameras really make a difference? Is two better than one for an improved image quality?

Of course, Two should be Better than One, But Not Always!

While the dual cameras do offer impressive results, Several other factors such as sensor size, aperture, and image processing plays a big role in producing the outcome. So don’t go blind with the words. There are cases where a Single lens outperformed few dual camera setups.Smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, S8/S8plus, Google Pixel, despite having single camera module can give you better results in Low-light and better detail compared to many dual camera phones.

The only dual camera phones which can match/outperform these flagships are again the latest Flagships like iPhone 7 Plus, Oneplus 5 and Huawei p9/P10. It is important not to forget, flagship Processors always have an edge in form superior image processing units, resulting in faster focus.

To wrap up! Going by the word Dual cameras, they can make the Images Standout with software aided Bokeh effects. They also have a real capability to take mobile photography to next level when properly combined with reliable hardware. let’s see where they land next!

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