It’s amazing how smartphones have become the breathing grounds for the latest camera technology. Dual-camera setups, in particular, have raised phone photography to yet another level.

Like adding more processing cores to a phone’s chipset, the idea of having two cameras at once came from the need to push past the physical limits of a single module, and introduce a whole new world of features in the process.

Now that it’s becoming the norm, we have to sort out some facts and myths about the latest trend.

The dual-camera setup isn’t exactly new

It may only be taking off now, but dual-cam setups have been around for a long time. In fact, the LG Optimus 3D and HTC Evo 3D, which were the first smartphones to introduce the feature, came out way back in 2011.

dual-lenses-future-20161123-06

The first-ever dual-camera smartphone, LG Optimus 3D

Their implementations were different from what we’re experiencing today, however. Five years ago, 3D content was a thing, and both television and smartphone manufacturers produced compatible devices like the two aforementioned phones. Everyone eventually agreed that 3D technology was best left in the past, and the idea of having more than one camera on a handset took a backseat for several years.

Not all dual-cameras are the same

Even though brands advertise their phones as having double the number of cameras, you need to look a little closer at how the modules work in tandem.

One of the more popular executions is the Leica-infused Huawei P9. It uses a pair of color and monochrome image sensors to produce sharper photos with greater clarity when operating together. You can also choose to rely solely on the black-and-white sensor to create stunning imagery.

Huawei P9

The Leica-branded Huawei P9

Another well-designed implementation is on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. Its cameras have different focal lengths, meaning one has the usual wide-angle look while the other provides further zoom, so it’s like having a zoom lens sans the clunky mechanism.

LG’s flagship V20 and G5 smartphones have a similar style to Apple’s. The difference is in the length of the zooms, wherein there’s an ultra-wide-angle lens instead of a zoomed-in unit. This makes LG’s version better suited for landscape photography and large group pictures.

It’s not a gimmick or passing fad

Equipping two cameras addresses several limitations in smartphone photography, such as introducing optical zoom without adding bulk and improving image quality on already-tiny sensors.

In order to add camera functionality while keeping the frame as slim as possible, the only currently known solution is to add more modules side by side. If anything, we could be seeing more lenses on smartphones someday, and look back at twin setups as prehistoric tech.

More lenses doesn’t mean more expensive

It’s easy to associate such an innovation with high-end handsets, such as the $769 iPhone 7 Plus and $559 Huawei P9, but entry-level smartphones have been feeling the love, too.

Huawei P9 and iPhone 7 Plus

The Huawei P9 (left) and iPhone 7 Plus (right)

Huawei’s more budget-friendly Honor sub-brand released the dual-cam-equipped Honor 6X for only $150; before that, there was the US-bound Honor 8 retailing for $400. Chinese rival Xiaomi also offers a $225 Redmi Pro, which is the company’s first phone to have a dual-camera setup — even before the mighty Mi 5s Plus.

There’s more to improving image quality

On the topic of existing technologies, it’s important to note there are several other factors that contribute to image quality. For one, the size of the image sensor matters; a larger one can take in more light and may produce a shallower depth of field for creamier backgrounds behind subjects.

Another important element is aperture. By having a larger maximum lens opening, more light can pass through, and, in turn, enable you to have a higher shutter speed for capturing fast-moving objects without too much motion blur.

iPhone 7 Plus zoom

Real-time zooming with the iPhone 7 Plus

Finally, we have image stabilization. It comes in two forms: optical, which utilizes a physical mechanism to steady shots, and electronic, which uses software magic to predict shaky hand movements. When using either of the two, photos normally turn out a lot less blurry, as long as the subject stays in place.

With more and more smartphone manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon, we can’t wait to see what radical designs there’ll be next year.

SEE ALSO
Apple iPhone 7 loses to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in DxOMark camera test

 


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Innity Philippines.

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45 comments

  • joanangeles November 25, 2016   Reply →

    In getting a good crisp hd and a beautiful pic is when you have the perfect phone.This site is really informative. Thanks guys.

    • Zea Gail Muyco Aronales December 2, 2016   Reply →

      It is amazing how huawei p9 is very affordable in spite of its good quality.. especially its cam. i just so love it!

  • Jeffrey Climaco Miraña November 25, 2016   Reply →

    It will be very amazing to use these dual camera phones which is a great advancement to mobile photography. Keep those innovations coming.

  • Jeffrey Climaco Miraña November 25, 2016   Reply →

    I will be really nice to see these dual camera phones dominate the market in the next few months. Innovations that makes good things better.

  • Nathan Osorio November 25, 2016   Reply →

    With the way things are now, it won’t be a surprise if dual camera phones become a necessity in a few years.

    • Tian Ex Grana Cabarrubias November 27, 2016   Reply →

      I agree.. I mean, a few years ago we didn’t expect there would be dual cameras on phones.. Probably 2017 will be raining with these types of phones.

  • Jayne Torres November 25, 2016   Reply →

    If two cameras can work like this, why can’t people do? Lol.
    It’s truly amazing how far tech has reached today.

  • Clarife Olacao Longakit November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Dual camera features give more help on the people who wants to have a wonderful output using mobile photography…

  • Tokugawa Kei Chan November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for making this kind of article. It really helps <3

  • Carmina Ermino Tolentino November 25, 2016   Reply →

    A brilliant load of information. Having a dual camera phone with amazing feature is definitely the newest trend.

  • Moon Child November 25, 2016   Reply →

    I’m gradually understanding the differences between camphone. Love this article. Worth sharing.

  • Cath Loyola November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Dual camera is the new trend! Thankyou for this article! 😊

  • Aiza November 25, 2016   Reply →

    This article has really much needed information and I wish more innovative response to make better cameras in the future

  • Majoy Malibiran November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Well, two is better than one as always! 🙂

  • CLEA November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Thankyou for this great information that i really need and everyone needs. An HD cam.

    • Aiza November 27, 2016   Reply →

      This blog makes a lot of sense and is good for the public to be informed with the latest trend and advance technology of gadget that comes out in the market.

  • Zea Gail Muyco Aronales November 25, 2016   Reply →

    After reading these facts about dual camera smartphones. I guess I am more excited to take photos with my phone now. lol 😀

  • Jomar Arceo November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Good Camera but it depends on the user.

  • Jan Lloyd November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Good to know. Its nice to get more information about dual camera phones. Planning to get the huawei P9 soon.

  • Tian Ex Grana Cabarrubias November 25, 2016   Reply →

    Well, the dual camera sure is better.. It has better image stabilization than that of a single camera.

    • Jan Lloyd November 28, 2016   Reply →

      Yes because two is better than one. Like the huawei P9 with 2 cameras you can take better low light pics.

  • joanangeles November 26, 2016   Reply →

    I really have to consider things before buying a new one.

  • CLEA November 26, 2016   Reply →

    Dual camera with high definition is what we all need and thankyou for sharing this blog to be my guide and have a knowledge on it.

  • Tokugawa Kei Chan November 26, 2016   Reply →

    Dual camera phones are cool. Hopefully I can also buy one soon. Thank you for writing this article.

  • Tian Ex Grana Cabarrubias November 26, 2016   Reply →

    I would love to have one for Christmas! Its perfect! Especially the Huawei P9.

  • Jan Lloyd November 26, 2016   Reply →

    This blog is very helpful. I have been looking for a new phone and will consider everything on this blog. Will get the P9.

  • Jomar Arceo November 26, 2016   Reply →

    Gives you more consistent image capturing options. It’s good.

  • Tokugawa Kei Chan November 27, 2016   Reply →

    Oh no, now I’m starting to want this type of phone! Especially that I love taking pics and stuff. T^T But I’m still low on budget so I guess this will have to wait.

  • Carmina Ermino Tolentino November 27, 2016   Reply →

    Can’t wait to see how much more dual cameraphones will improve. This is one great article, very informative. Thanks.

  • joanangeles November 27, 2016   Reply →

    Would love to test all phone, willing to be a photographer ahaha. Wanting to have one soon!

  • Jeffrey Climaco Miraña November 27, 2016   Reply →

    This article provides good information about dual camera phones which pressumably makes it a good read for mobile photography fanatics.

  • Jayne Torres November 27, 2016   Reply →

    I wonder what’s next to dual cameras. 😀

  • CLEA November 27, 2016   Reply →

    Really a good and usefull blog and i can’t wait to read and know more about this dual camera.. That very useful in this now generation

  • Jomar Arceo November 28, 2016   Reply →

    Trendy items for christmas ,just waiting for it.

  • Jayne Torres November 28, 2016   Reply →

    I wish my santa claus can surprise me with either a P9 or an iphone7! Don’t worry, I’m not that choosy!

  • Moon Child November 28, 2016   Reply →

    It’s really good that they are now more focused on improving the quality of the camera. I mean dual cam phones have been available since years ago but it wasn’t really a competition of camera back then. It is now

  • Jeffrey Climaco Miraña November 29, 2016   Reply →

    Phone cameras keep on improving. Camera phones 2 years back are already good so what now? What we have is really better than ever.

  • Nathan Osorio November 29, 2016   Reply →

    The Dual camera technology is really helpful and a must have for every mobile photographer!

  • Carmina Ermino Tolentino November 30, 2016   Reply →

    With its improving camera features, photo enthusiast can now snap and share in an instant. Making it an on the spot photo studio. Keep soaring high. Really considering a P9.

  • Clarife Olacao Longakit November 30, 2016   Reply →

    Huawei P9…Image quality fared much better, with excellent colour reproduction and plenty of detail…Great output result!

  • Nathan Osorio November 30, 2016   Reply →

    It’s great that entry level smartphones also have access to this technology. It empowers more people and allows creativity!

  • Moon Child November 30, 2016   Reply →

    First they worked the graphics. Then they introduced touch screen. Then they improved connectivity. Now it’s all about the camera. I can’t wait for more upcoming improvements in the wireless technology.

  • Clarife Olacao Longakit December 1, 2016   Reply →

    Budget friendly, amzing battery usage and with improve camera features.. Surely you love Huawei P9

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