Cameras

5 facts about dual-camera smartphones

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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.

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.

[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.

Cameras

Fujifilm launches the X-T200 as a companion for creative pursuits

Definitely an investment

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Fujifilm’s newest camera is here! A step up from X-T100, the X-T200 is shaping up to be a reliable companion for aspiring creators.

The X-T200 aims to help you hone your skills in photography and videography. It’s a lightweight mirrorless camera, ensuring you don’t strain your hands as you practice. It also features an improved face and eye-detection AF, and the ability to capture stills at 8 FPS. Additionally, it’s capable of recording a stabilized Full-HD 120p video and a 4K UHD video, thanks to its “electronic stabilization.”

It prides itself with professional-level features, a high-speed APS-C 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, a new processor, and a large widescreen LCD vari-angle touchscreen. It also has Fujifilm’s signature creative filters, Film Simulations.

Fujifilm’s new camera is promising for people pursuing creative professions and hobbies. If you’re looking for a camera to jumpstart your creative pursuits, the X-T200 might be the one you’re looking for.

The X-T200 will be available in three colors: Silver, Dark Silver, and Champagne Gold. It will be paired with the XC15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens and sold as a kit, which will retail for PhP 45,990 (US$ 902) starting February 2020.

SEE MORE: Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

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Apps

Zhiyun partners with Huawei for better vlogging

More advanced features for Zhiyun owners

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Zhiyun — maker of gimbals for action cameras, DSLRs, and smartphone cameras — has announced a partnership with Huawei to bring better vlogging experiences on all Huawei smartphones.

By leveraging Huawei’s CameraKit API, Zhiyun will be able to directly control the cameras in any Huawei smartphones. In addition, Zhiyun’s ZY Play app will deliver more powerful and smoother zooming on Huawei smartphones thanks to the API.

Huawei’s CameraKit will also bring additional capabilities to all of Zhiyun’s gimbal products. Added functionality also includes photo-taking, video recording, camera switching and zooming directly from the gimbals.

Huawei’s advanced camera capabilities such as AI photography, wide aperture, and super night mode will also work with the gimbals. This will open up new and better shooting capabilities in the future.

This partnership benefits all Zhiyun gimbal products. The company has been producing reliable gimbals at an affordable cost. Their products range from the Crane series to the Smooth series featuring Smooth 3, Smooth-Q, Smooth 4 and the new compact Smooth-Q2.

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Accessories

6 gift ideas for the traveler on your list

For people who have caught the travel bug

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Know someone who’s caught the travel bug? It can be hard to pick out a gift for the person on your list who’s got a serious case of wanderlust. Will you go for something that’s practical or something that will help them make more memories during their adventures? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are six gift ideas for the traveler on your list.

Casetify x Pangram Pangram iPhone case

Let the traveler in your life flex his or her love for far-off places with these new phone cases. Casetify’s collab with type foundry Pangram Pangram features names of various, visit-worthy cities in a look that’s reminiscent of luggage scan tags issued by airlines.

You can shop the collection over at their website.

Noerden Mate2+

A watch that can match almost anything and take you from a nature walk to partying in the city is something most travellers should have. After all, you can’t bring your whole closet and sometimes, you’ll never know whether you need to suit up at one point of the trip.

Noerden’s new release, the Mate2+, is a gorgeous timepiece that ticks all those boxes and more. It’s also a smartwatch that tracks your steps, heart rate, and your sleeping pattern. Yes, it sports a classic face and there’s no touchscreen but you can view all your stats on the app. Another useful thing for travellers especially those who love to go solo. You can use the watch as a remote for your phone camera. Snap photos of yourself or your group just by shaking your wrist!

Get the new Mate2+ here.

GoSun Flatware

As the world continues to move towards eliminating single-use plastic, there are more efforts to make eco-friendly choices more convenient. One of these is the GoSun Flatware which is currently on Kickstarter.

A spoon and fork set the fits conveniently in your wallet and is the size of a credit card. You won’t have an excuse to go for plastic cutlery ever again.

You can sign up for a set via their page.

VAGO Travel Vacuum Compressor

Is the traveler on your list not a light packer? Well we have a nifty gadget here that they will love. The Vago Travel Vacuum Compressor can reduce the space occupied by clothes in half. This makes sure there’s always room for more stuff in their suitcase.

Get this vacuum via their website.

Instax Mini 9 Bundle

For those who are on the creative side and who appreciate a retro take on their travel memories, why not an instant camera? Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9 currently has a promo that gets you a craft kit along with your purchase.

Aside from having print outs of their travel memories, they can also create customized scrapbooks with the materials in the kit. Get the bundle at any of the authorised Fujifilm dealers in the Philippines.

Steamery Cirrus No. 2

It’s always a hassle when you suddenly need to look sharp for a fancy dinner and your clothes are all wrinkly from travelling. Swedish company Steamery produces travel-friendly steamers that ensure your OOTDs will always look pristine.

Steamers also extend the freshness of your clothes as well as their lifespan. We’re practically in love with the Cirrus No. 2 model which comes in a variety of colors — a pretty pastel pink included.

SEE ALSO: 7 ways to practice sustainable fashion

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