It’s amazing how smartphones have become the breeding ground 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.
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.
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’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.
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.
[irp posts=”4954" name=”Apple iPhone 7 loses to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in DxOMark camera test”]
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Innity Philippines.
Sony’s A7R IV has a massive 61MP sensor
Still king of full-frame mirrorless cameras
After hearing of a Sony Alpha event, we at GadgetMatch crossed our fingers hoping for the A7S III. That’s a much-awaited update on their S-series full-frame mirrorless cameras specifically made for taking videos. The event though, was for the Sony A7R IV. And while it’s not what we were waiting for, it still has so much going for it.
For one, it’s world’s first 61-megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor. That’s a huge step-up from its predecessor’s 42.4-megapixel sensor. Sony’s samples during the presentation showcases how you don’t lose detail even when you zoom in on the images thanks to its massive sensor.
It also has a 15-stop dynamic range, five-axis optical in-body image stabilization, as well as 10FPS shooting with continuous autofocus as well as real-time eye-tracking for every shot. Something new that video-makers might find really useful is the addition of the real-time eye AF to video recording.
Speaking of video, the A7R IV is capable of 4K recording with S-Log 2/3, HDR for professional editing. Still with video-makers in mind, the A7R IV comes with a new system that captures digital audio signal. With this, Sony introduced two accessories to take advantage of this new tech — a digital audio shotgun mic and an XLR mic adapter kit. The accessories cost US$ 350 and $600 respectively.
As for the camera itself, the A7R IV will retail for US$ 3,500 body-only and will be available in September 2019.
With Canon and Nikon launching their own full-frame mirrorless cameras namely the EOS R and the E6 and E7, this was a serious flex on Sony’s part. The company is letting the world know that they continue to hold the crown as king of full-frame mirrorless shooters.
Fujifilm debuts flagship GFX100 in the Philippines
Boasts of 102 megapixels, 4K videos
Fujifilm has just unveiled the GFX100 in the Philippines. Launched in Tokyo last May, the company’s flagship camera found its way to the country through an exclusive launch held in Illuminate Studio in Makati.
The GFX100 prides itself as the world’s first camera capable of shooting uncropped 4K videos in 30p on a medium format. It’s powered by Fujifilm’s latest X-Processor 4 to ensure the medium format camera has the power and speed to handle a large amount of data.
Set in Illumination Studio in Makati, Fujifilm lets you see first-hand how amazing the GFX100 is, especially its new features. Story soon on @gadgetmatch 😊 #FujifilmPHGFX100 #GadgetMatchLIVE pic.twitter.com/emYmuHA2wG
— The MJ Jucutan (@mj_jucutan) July 13, 2019
The camera is a real treat for those with artistic flair since it carries the newly-developed 102 megapixels image sensor. Active shooters should also rejoice! The camera has an improved phase detection AF (compared to X-series models) and built-in image stabilization, both of which are a first for a medium format digital camera.
To make it even more exciting, the GFX100 is weather-sealed, possessing dust- and water-resistant body which can also handle freezing up to -10 degrees Celsius. Its lightweight yet robust build made of magnesium alloy won’t let any kind of weather stop you from doing your craft.
Simply put, the GFX100 makes it easier to produce premium-quality output with great details, three-dimensional definition, and an accurate portrayal of a scene’s atmosphere.
In addition to loads of premium features, the GFX100 introduces the Film Simulation for the first time in the GFX series. Known from X-series cameras, the feature allows users to enjoy color and tonal reproduction.
To amplify the medium format camera’s arrival in the country, Fujifilm flew in two professional photographers who have used the GFX100 model.
Fujifilm invited Atlanta-based photographer @zarias and X-photographer @jan_gonzales to talk about the GFX100 and the importance of medium format. #FujifilmPHGFX100 #GadgetMatchLIVE @gadgetmatch pic.twitter.com/TjwCbRUZ6s
— The MJ Jucutan (@mj_jucutan) July 13, 2019
The GFX100 could be a GadgetMatch for artistic people, particularly those who work as a commercial or fashion photographer. It could also be a match made in heaven for photographers and videographers committed to producing premium quality work, or just an enthusiast moving to medium format.
As Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias said, “Once you go medium format, you won’t settle for anything less anymore.”
The GFX100 is now available in the Philippines for PHP 599,990 (US$ 11,753) for its body only.
Canon introduces PowerShot G7 X III, shoots 4K and vertical videos
Made for aspiring YouTube and Instagram influencers
Canon has just announced the PowerShot G7 X III, another “vlogging” camera meant for YouTubers and Instagram creators. Vloggers will love it for its LCD touchscreen that tilts up 180 degrees.
The G7 X III boasts about shooting 4K videos at 30 FPS without cropping, something that the EOS R can’t do. It can also shoot 120 FPS slow-mo videos at 1080p resolution for cinematic effect. But more importantly, these videos you capture can be streamed live on YouTube.
Instagram influencers shouldn’t feel left out! The G7 X III has support for vertical shooting so you perfect for both Instagram Stories and IGTV. Your die-hard followers won’t have to worry about tilting their heads just to watch your vlog!
Canon’s newest camera is packed with features dedicated to aspiring creators. It’s equipped with built-in optical image stabilization, ND filter, and microphone input.
Like every recent camera, the G7 X III has a BlueTooth and Wi-Fi feature, as well as an option to gather GPS information through the Canon Camera Connect app. Creators can also do panoramic shooting because vlogging doesn’t always have to have the vlogger in focus.
The G7 X III will be available starting August. It costs around US$ 749 for both black and silver options.
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