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 A7R V combines hi-res sensor with AI
Hardware and software in tandem
It’s been three years since the launch of the Sony A7R IV. So, it’s about time that Sony released its successor — the Sony A7R V (Sony Alpha 7R V).
The Sony A7R V is hardware and software working in tandem to provide the best images possible. It has Sony’s highest resolution image sensor with a new AI processing unit. One that’s dedicated to AI-based image recognition. It’s the first of its kind on any Sony Alpha camera. It also has the BIONZ XR image processing engine which is a first in the “R” full-frame lineup.
The new A7R V offers 61 MP still images plus the an 8-step image stabilization system. That bodes well for shooting video which you can shoot in refined 8K movie output.
The AF (Autofocus) has also been improved with advanced accuracy and broader subject recognition. Real-time Recognition AF, using AI subject recognition, has been developed to include several subject types, including animals, vehicles, and insects. The Alpha 7R V also includes continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF/AE tracking.
These beloved Sony Alpha features have also been improved:
- Tenacious Real-time Tracking
- Faster and more precise wide-area, high-density AF system
- Silent, vibration-free shooting at up to 7 fps
- Continuously shoot up to 583 compressed RAW images at high speed
Cinematic video capabilities
The A7R V isn’t just for taking breathtaking stills. It also ffers advanced video capabilities. Sony’s newest camera delivers 8K1 24/25p video, 4K video oversampled from 6.2K without binning, a high-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 codec, intra recording, 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, and more for high image quality and flexible editing. It also includes evolved subject recognition for unprecedented real-time tracking reliability, breathing compensation and the ability to use camera metadata for post-processing and advanced in-body image stabilization.
Price and availability
The Sony A7R V will be available for pre-order starting October 28, 2022, until November 27, 2022. The camera can be pre-ordered with just the camera body or preferred accessories and through different payment options. Suggested pre-order net cash price starts at PhP 239,999.
Fujifilm X-T5 camera now available for pre-order
New macro lens also revealed
As the year winds down, it’s ideal for freelancers to invest in the right equipment should they pursue a career in the creative industry.
At X Summit Tokyo 2022, Fujifilm unveiled the Fujifilm X-T5, the latest iteration in its line of compact mirrorless cameras under the prestigious X Series.
It has a high-resolution 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor which has an enhanced image-processing algorithm to boost resolution without compromising quality.
And with X-Processor 5, the camera delivers twice the processing speed of its predecessor.
Among the X-T5’s features are:
- Three top-plate dials – for ISO, shutter speed, and exposure
- Five-axis IBIS system for up to 7.0 stops of compensation
- Three-way tilting LCD
- 19 film simulation modes to recreate classic colors and tones
- Al technology-driven Auto White Balance
- Subject-detection autofocus
- Pixel Shift multi-shot for ultra-high-resolution 160MP image
- 1/180,000 maximum shutter speed
And while the X-T5 focuses more on photography, it is also capable of shooting 6.2K videos in standard 30fps.
For pre-orders, the Fujifilm X-T5 body is priced at PhP 109,990. Customers can avail of the 18-55mm Kit for PhP 134,990 or the 16-80mm Kit for PhP 141,990.
Pre-orders come with a free Manfrotto backpack and one (1) year extended service warranty.
As an option, Fujifilm has also revealed the XF30mmF2.8 R LM WR macro lens to pair with the camera.
This lens is capable of 1:1 macro, features advanced auto-focus, and is weather-resistant for users to be able to shoot in virtually any condition. For sample images, click here.
Sony vlogging camera ZV-1F to be available in the Philippines
Pricing details to follow
With the year about to conclude, Sony has released another go-to vlogging camera option in the compact ZV-1F, to be available in the Philippines soon.
The pocket-sized camera is optimized for creators, carrying easy-to-use vlogging functions and advanced connectivity features.
The ZV-1F has a fixed ultra-wide angle 20mm F2.0 prime lens, making it ideal especially for selfie shooting while still capturing a wide field of view.
Capable of shooting up to 4K in 30fps and full HD in 120p, among the device’s standout features are:
- Background bokeh and face priority AE
- Skin tone optimization and Soft Skin Effect
- High-precision focusing and Eye AF
- Slow motion (up to 5x slower) and quick motion (up to 60x faster) options
With Active Mode image stabilization, users can be guaranteed of steady and smooth footage even when filming while walking or on the move.
The camera can even be used as a live-streaming tool if one pairs it with the right software. The ZV-1F is also compatible with Sony’s shooting grip with wireless remote commander (GP-VPT2BT).
Thanks to its 3-capsule mic, the device also has crystal clear audio pickup, while connectivity is also seamless with Sony’s new Image Edge Mobile Plus smartphone app.
Captured content can easily be transferred to phones and then uploaded to social media.
Pricing and availability for the ZV-1F will be announced soon.
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