Dual Camera Smartphones: Explained!

There’s plenty rumors about the next iPhone the iPhone 7 or 7 plus or 7 pro or whatever it's called having two camera lenses, there's plenty of other rumors about the next iPhone but that's the not one we're focusing on.
Dual Camera Smartphones: Explained!

Also LG and Huawei both in the last year worked with Google to make the Nexus smartphones that we got and then exactly a year later now here both companies also have a dual camera smartphone out on the market what do they know that we don't, it'll be really interesting to find out, obviously but with VR having a really big year and 360 degree video having a really big year and you could argue that the features in smartphones over the past couple years have slowed down a little bit it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see a bunch of smartphones in the next one or two years that have dual cameras on the back.

Here's one of the smart phones with the dual cameras on the back this is what it looks like this is the LG G5 it's also a really interesting phone in a bunch of other ways full review of it coming soon but this is what the dual cameras on the back of the smartphone looks like and like I said there's a bunch of others with dual cameras.

Here's the thing to note is there's almost never two identical cameras it's usually one main camera and then also another secondary camera and then that secondary camera captures sort of extra information or a slightly different image that's usually given back to add to the original.
HTC EVO 3d

One of the OG at this whole dual camera in a smartphone thing was the HTC EVO 3d back in 2011 and this one actually did have identical cameras on the back so two of the same camera the back module was huge and essentially we use both of those cameras to take a slightly different image from that slightly different angle it would stitch them together in software to create a 3d image that you could look at on its glasses-free 3d display.

I wouldn't say this flopped, but it kind of did I mean this was back in 2011 and how many other 3d smartphones have you seen since then? Exactly.

So more recently a phone that came out with dual camera lenses on the back this was probably more recognizable is the HTC One M8, so this one had a main four megapixel camera on the back and a second sensor specifically for recording depth information of the whole scene, so with this it would be able to tell what was in your photo in the foreground what was further away in the background and then you could apply some software effects to like fake bokeh or whatever artsy stuff to take advantage of this separation.

 Now again I wouldn't say this one flopped either in fact the one series is still part of HTC's most important line of smartphones right now, but this first one was I mean the software wasn't that it was subpar at best is what I'm saying a lot of times you couldn't even tell if it was really even using that depth information the bokeh would get all glitchy on the edges and you'd wonder why so it wasn't fantastic but it was a pretty cool concept.

Now fast forward to 2016 and we have smartphones like the LG g5 and the huawei p9 again like I said from the two manufacturers that happen to work with Google on a smartphone last year, this g5 has a regular 16 megapixel camera on the back with a regular field of view but, then right next to it next to the laser autofocus is an additional camera a super wide angle 135 degree 8 megapixel camera for those crazy super wide shots and you can switch between them on the fly if you want to so they don't really work together to add information to one image but it can be pretty fun to play with this super wide angle kind of looks almost like a GoPro camera a lot of times so you can get these cool landscapes or architectures in the city or whatever other really wide-angle shots you think look dope.

The Huawei p9 is the other one I don't have a p9 with me but the p9 is the same deal primary camera and secondary the primary is a regular RGB sensor and the secondary camera is a monochrome sensor so it's like a black and white camera but because it's less color information it can do additional detail and sharpness and dynamic range and then it'll take that image information and use software to stitch it together with the original RGB image to create a much better looking original photo.

Right now there really isn't any theme or overlapping standard for why smartphones have dual cameras on the back, it's just sort of a mix and match do whatever you want with it so like we said we're expecting Apple to probably have an iPhone 7 or 7 Pro or something like that with maybe two camera lenses on the back but we don't know what Apple would be doing with that, we don't know if it would be maybe two identical image sensors doing stereoscopic 3d or would they be like a primary secondary type of thing where the secondary one would pick up additional color information or light values we just don't know.

 What we do know is it's a feature and it's not really quite up to its full potential right now in smartphones as we see them, mostly because we don't even know what that full potential really is. I would like to see two identical cameras on the back but facing slightly apart from each other so they could capture two simultaneous high-resolution images and then stitch them together into one high-res panorama without software tricks, I think that would be pretty dope or maybe something else related to VR and we see all these 360 degree videos all the time now on Facebook and on YouTube obviously you're having a smartphone that can capture 360 degrees without an extra accessory that you have to carry around would be pretty cool, but again this is all just wishful thinking from one person

What it's cool to know is that it's not just me thinking about this stuff it's a lot of people, so we know that there are companies every day working to try to make this into something cool so when the next iPhone or the next Samsung or the next Nexus comes out and has dual smartphone cameras now you know why.

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