Why two cameras on the back of the phone, why and what gives

Dual camera in a phone - what is it, why two, three cameras in the back?

A couple of years ago the question – “why two cameras on the back of the phone?” sounded from every corner of the Internet. Users were stumped when choosing a new smartphone and did not understand – is it worth overpaying for such functionality. But even today not everyone understands what dual camera (or even a third) gives, how it affects the quality of photos/videos. Let’s try to understand in this publication!

What dual camera gives

In the pursuit of technology!

Perhaps when you read this review, there will be mobile devices equipped with 4, 5 modules for shooting in mass sales. Some Chinese brands have long been promising devices with 6 “eyes” on the back. But as practice shows, “cheap” gadgets use this step purely for marketing purposes, but in practice you get a terrible photo – even worse than on my old iPhone 5S with one camera.

So in this matter it’s not the quantity but the quality that matters.

I will not go into the history and tell you who was the first to implement such technical features and revolutionize the market of mobile devices. I do not want to praise the manufacturers (or vice versa – to criticize them). But at this stage, the Galaxy S9+, Huawei P 20 Pro, iPhone XS Max hold the lead. You can read the comparison tests on the website DXOmark. The situation is constantly changing, so it is better to keep track of current information by looking at current sources.


Two cameras on the phone for what purpose?

The vast majority of smartphones do not have an optical zoom function (zoom), which many gadget owners miss so much. Digital zoom – no problem, but the pictures are not too clear, and in low light – in general tinny.

Digital zoom

Until recently, manufacturers equipped devices with a single module with a wide angle lens, which was not very good at capturing faces (with the violation of the correct geometry) and distant objects. You look at the big moon, you want to capture the moment, but when you pull out your smartphone, the effect is unsatisfactory. Instead of a large luminous disk there is a small dot in the dark.

In order to fix this situation and earn more money, the mobile giants decided to place two rear cameras (and now three). But what does it give? After all, the size (thickness) of the phone does not allow the installation of complex optical mechanisms inside.

It turned out that if each of the photocells will have different focal lengths, for example, 24 and 55 mm, then using the built-in software can easily be performed zoom by switching from one camera to the other.

This results in a zoom without loss of quality:

But that’s not all!


Dual camera in a smartphone – the benefits of the bokeh effect

Owners of professional cameras are familiar with this concept. Many of you have also seen portraits in which the person turns out clear and the background is blurry, soft.

Blurred background

So, using dual lenses makes it possible to realize a similar effect in the phone. You can turn it on/off in the shooting settings, at your discretion.

By the way, after the MIUI 10 update Xiaomi got a similar feature in portrait mode (not only for the rear, but also for the front camera). And it works even on older devices with one “eye”.


More light means better photos!

It’s no secret that low light produces grainy images with unrealistic colors. Light passes through the lens and onto the sensor.

Bounce light

So you need to increase the bandwidth, but the size of the module should not increase. So why not use 2, 3, 4 “windows”? After all, more brightness will reach the matrix through them. As a result, by using several lenses at the same time it is possible to take a picture without noise even in the evening.

I think the point is clear.

And we shouldn’t forget about artificial intelligence, which is now being implemented everywhere. It helps the device learn, memorizes information, analyzes it, and with each subsequent photo the result is better due to the use of individual processing algorithms and the choice of optimal shooting settings in automatic mode.

Dual camera in a smartphone why you need it – we figured out what it gives. If you still think – there is no need to overpay for a marketing ploy, then look at the network comparison of images taken on a cool camera phone from the past, and on modern phones with 2-3 optical components.

– Hybrid.ai

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