The story behind multiple cameras in smartphones.

If you don’t own a Google Pixel, your phone probably has more than one camera. This obsession of phone manufacturers of marketing their phones as the “best camera phone” has led to the rise of multiple cameras. These companies have made the number of lenses a unique selling point. It doesn’t seem like a very long time ago when dual cameras were a luxury, and now every other phone has at least two lenses on the back and the front and the day is not very far when the whole back panel of phones will be covered with cameras.

The problem with having only two cameras was that only one type of lens could be provided other than the main camera lens, for example, in the Apple’s implementation of dual cameras there was a main camera and a telephoto lens, so if the users wanted to take wide photographs, they had no option but to question their choice of buying that phone.

But now as we can have triple or quadruple cameras on the back, all kinds of lenses can be fit into just one phone, want a zoomed in photo? Tap this button, want a wide angle photo? Tap that button. The phone market runs on the user’s demand of wanting to have the closest experience to a DSLR, and they think that more number of lenses equals a better camera.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 – World’s first Quad-camera Smartphone

Let us bring the Google Pixel into the picture, the people at google went out of their way to give just one camera on even their 2018 version of a flagship, the Pixel 3, and as the reviews suggest, it clicks some of the best pictures a phone can take.

The Pixel 2 when compared with the iPhone XS and XS Max in terms of camera, showed that a phone that was launched nearly a year after was not able to capture better images than it. Which shows that how far these companies are from providing even a decent camera to the user.

There is a new trend in the market, ‘AI Camera’ which basically means that the phone’s processor can smartly process the image captured and produce a better picture, but most of these AI camera phones do not work like they are marketed. Although, there are some phones that do very well and put the multiple cameras to good use, like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and then there are the Samsung phones, the A7 with three and the A9 with four sensors which do not meet the user’s expectations.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro

 

There are endless possibilities, who knows in the future we might even get the DSLR-like camera in our phones that we’ve always wished for but as of now that future is very far away. All we can do for now is enjoy our not-so-great but the best-we-can-get camera and wait for the manufacturers to realise that there is more to cameras than just the number of lenses. And with that I conclude my rant.

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