Do multiple cameras on a smartphone give you better image quality?

High-end smartphones now come with multiple rear cameras and lenses. Right now, you can enjoy this innovative feature on the iPhone X series and other high-end phones available in the market. But we just might see entry-level phones with multiple cameras in the near future as mobile technology continues to evolve.

 

While multi-camera phones are a great addition to the mobile arena, you might wonder how these devices fare in mobile photography. Modern smartphones already deliver stunning images in high resolution with only one camera. But can you get better image quality with multi-camera phones? Let’s find out.

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How do multiple camera smartphones affect image quality?

A few years ago, smartphone brands were competing with each other in the Megapixel War. These days, they have stopped outperforming each other in the camera megapixel front and are now in the midst of a looming multi-camera phone war.

Smartphone manufacturers previously released phones with higher megapixel resolutions, in the name of winning the so-called Megapixel Race. And this created a megapixel myth that misled consumers into thinking that a phone with a high megapixel count would give them better image quality. Experts have debunked this myth, however, proving that the sensor quality effects that a photo will look like, and not just the megapixel resolution. Simply put, you’ll get great images with fewer megapixels that have more depth.

 

But multiple smartphone cameras can give you more than just better image quality. They enhance image quality because they cover a wide range of focal lengths and apertures. On top of that, they can combine visual elements from several sources into a single image.

Multiple cameras also deliver clearer, more detailed images. They tend to have more natural hues and a greater dynamic range. A smartphone will multiple cameras can take better low-light photos, too.

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Are multi-camera smartphones worth investing in?

Multiple smartphone cameras come with special lenses that can help you achieve the desired effect for your photos. These lenses include telephoto, wide-angle, and monochrome lenses. Some cameras even contain depth sensors. A telephoto lens on a multi-camera set-up, for instance, comes with an optical zoom feature that lets you take better quality close-up shots. The telephoto lens also reduces facial distortion thanks to its longer focal length. Wide-angle lenses, on the other hand, help you capture your subject entirely with a lower focal length.

 

Other smartphones are equipped with depth sensor cameras. The cameras can blur backgrounds — also called the “bokeh” effect — in Portrait mode. And if you’re into black and white images, using a monochrome lens can help you create a greater visual effect.

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When it comes to pricing, multi-camera smartphones have a heftier price tag than their single-camera counterparts. But as the market adopts these devices, however, you can expect these phones to become more affordable over time. But don’t let their high price tag dissuade you from buying smartphones with multiple cameras; the high-quality photos make them worth it.

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What’s next for multi-camera smartphones?

Apple, Samsung, and other smartphone manufacturers have been releasing multi-camera devices this past year. Brands like LG and Huawei are now incorporating triple camera set-ups in their smartphones. Telephoto and ultra-wide angle lenses are slowly becoming the new standard camera on these high-end phones.

 

Samsung’s Galaxy A9 has entered the multi-camera battle as a world-first quadruple rear cameras smartphone. The A9 offers traditional, telephoto, depth sensing, and wide-angle lenses in its camera set-up.

 

Other brands are also following suit. Camera start-up Light has enlisted Sony’s help in improving its multi-camera technology and are even planning to release a 9-lens smartphone soon. And the Nokia 9 Pureview—a five-camera phone—might soon come your way, as well.

Greater image quality than single-camera smartphones

Single and multi-cam smartphones now offer better image quality than the phones of yesteryear. This fact only proves that you can take stunning, high-quality photos with multiple smartphone cameras. And with manufacturers capitalizing on new technologies for these cameras, you can expect more models with enhanced image capture in the coming years.

Author Shane Haumpton Multiple cameras in smartphone photography are where hardware intersects with software engineering to produce computational photography

Author - Shane Haumpton

Shane Haumpton is a contributing writer for several websites and blogs. She has written on a variety of topics, ranging from lifestyle, photography, travel, and arts and crafts to gadgets, social media, and internet safety. This self-confessed coffee addict and shutterbug manages to do all these while enjoying life as a nomad.

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Do multiple cameras on a smartphone give you better image quality?
Multiple cameras in smartphone photography are where hardware intersects with software engineering to produce computational photography