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.
Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera
Cheaper version of the X-T3
The X-T30 is positioned to be a cheaper variant of the flagship X-T3 camera, but they actually share many common features and specs. It’s got a compact and lightweight body at just 383g which looks similar to the premium model, but with some minor changes at the back. It’s got a focus joystick instead of a d-pad, but retains the touchscreen.
Speaking of, it’s a 2-way tilting LCD panel with 1.04 million dots. The EVF, on the other hand, is a 2.36-million-dot OLED color viewfinder with a near 100 percent coverage area.
Inside the camera is a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 160 to 12800, which is expandable up to 51200, and backed by an X-Processor 4. With this, the X-T30 can shoot 30fps at 1.25x crop and 20fps without a crop using the electronic shutter. If you wish to use the mechanical shutter, the speed will be reduced to 8fps.
It has a hybrid AF system with 100 percent phase-detect AF, face detection, and eye tracking. Autofocus is also improved even in low-light. Focusing can be selected either through the touchscreen or joystick.
When it comes to video, the camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p. It’s capable of 10-bit recording and 4:2:2 DCI 4K video through the HDMI port. Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are also available.
The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in March starting at US$ 899 for the body only. It’ll go up to US$ 999 when bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, or US$ 1,299 when bundled with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.
Canon EOS RP is company’s cheaper and smaller full-frame mirrorless camera
The second model in the series
After the first EOS R last year, Canon has a new full-frame mirrorless camera — the EOS RP. It’s positioned below the EOS R, yet it happens to be Canon’s smallest full-frame camera. It’s also cheaper, which means it’s aimed for the mass market.
For starters, the EOS RP has a 26.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, only a slight step down from the 30.3-megapixel sensor of the EOS R. It still features the same ISO range of 100 to 25600, DIGIC 8 image processor, and Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Of course, the camera uses the new RF-mount system.
To make the EOS RP cheaper and smaller, Canon had to cut down some features like the continuous shooting speed to 5fps (from 8fps of the EOS R) and 4,779 autofocus points (EOS R has 5,655).
Both the 0.39-inch OLED EVF and 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD have fewer pixels at 2.36 and 1.04 million dots, respectively.
The EOS RP can only shoot 4K at 25fps with 120Mb/s bitrate and 8-bit color depth. It also doesn’t support Canon Log for professional color grading. It only has one SD card slot as well, so you’ll need high capacity memory cards when shooting non-stop.
Size-wise, this is where the EOS RP shines. It measures 132.5 x 85 x 70mm and weighs 485g with a battery and card already. This makes the EOS RP significantly smaller than the EOS R and even entry-level Canon DSLR cameras.
Other features of the EOS RP include focus peaking, 8.3-megapixel still photo capture when recording in 4K, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, stereo microphones, water and dust resistance, 250-shot battery life, and USB-C charging.
Despite some of the shortcomings of the EOS RP, its price is a pretty sweet deal. It’ll be available by the end of the month starting at US$ 1,299 for the body-only package, but it’ll come with an EG-E1 extension grip and an EF-mount adapter in the box. It’ll also come bundled with a 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for US$ 1,699 or with a 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens for US$ 2,199.
Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?
Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!
Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.
I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.
The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.
Kingdom Hearts III review: More for long-time fans
It didn’t spark joy
ASUS ZenBook 15 review: Everything you need in a laptop?
With great power, comes all the caveats in between
Trying out the Gixo Fitness App: A personal fitness trainer on your smartphone
Get fit on your phone!
Samsung announces new generation of wearables
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is official!
Instagram photo challenge with the Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung Galaxy S10 Hands-On
Samsung Galaxy S10 Hands-on: A refinement of everything
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Apps2 weeks ago
Dark mode is in the works for Chrome, coming to Windows 10 and macOS
Apps2 weeks ago
Instagram hides your story’s viewer list after 24 hours
Giveaways1 week ago
Galentine’s Day giveaway: Win a Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite!
News1 week ago
Huawei Y7 Pro 2019: Price and availability in the Philippines
Features2 weeks ago
Samsung Galaxy S10: Everything we know so far
Apps1 week ago
EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends
Her GadgetMatch2 weeks ago
How to take IG-worthy selfie portraits
India1 week ago
Xiaomi has become an undisputed leader by market share