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Dual camera phones: the future of smartphone technology?

Mobile camera lens

Technology brings high-res images to smartphones

With the smartphone revolution, we now take pictures of everything. Pretty much everyone’s phone is filled with hundreds of blurry evening shots and grainy snaps of food in dimly lit restaurants. While you get the odd gem, there is no denying that though we take so many of them, smartphone photos don’t get you the best quality images.

All that’s about to change. Dual camera technology is one of the biggest things to come to mobile phone cameras in recent years, and promises to really step up the game. Zoom and image noise are two of the things that limit image quality, and having two camera lenses aims to fix just that.

What can we expect from upcoming smartphones?

The most recent development comes from Corephotonics, who use dual lenses to improve image quality and introduce a much-anticipated optical zoom for mobile phones. Though this particular technology reportedly hasn’t been incorporated into any of the phones currently on the market, the hype suggests that it could be a game-changer in digital mobile photography. The problems with smartphone cameras, according to Corephotonics, are motion blur, poor focus, image noise, and poor digital zoom, and their technology promises to fix those things.

The Corephotonics models come with a couple of different combinations of lenses. In one, a narrow-focus and a wide-angle lens are combined to allow for 3x optical zoom, significantly improving on the standard digital zoom of smartphone cameras. The most recent model ups this to 5x optical zoom. A final model uses one colour and one monochrome lens to improve image noise, producing better low-light images. In each case, the two images from each camera are combined to produce higher-quality photos.

What are the best dual smartphone cameras out right now?

Dual Camera

A couple of phones already have dual cameras built in. Both released this year, the LG G5 and Huawei P9 have two cameras, though the benefits vary between the two phones. The LG combines its 16-megapixel main camera, with an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, making it easier to capture wider shots. The Huawei on the other hand, has one colour and one black-and-white lens, to get in more light and detail, and up the image quality. Reviews suggest that both of these models offer a significant upgrade in the standard of smartphone cameras.

It’s rumoured that the next two iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, will use similar technology. In this scenario, the new Apple models would come with two 12-megapixel cameras, one with a wide-angle lens, and the other with two to three times optical zoom. The images would be combined from the two cameras, creating better quality images.

All in all, it’s looking like we’ll be seeing some exciting changes to smartphone cameras. Though Corephotonics have been off to a slow start with a longer wait than anticipated for the technology to hit the market, we now seem to be headed for a mid-to-late-2016 release. Here’s hoping we’ll soon be able to fill our phones with much more than a memory-jogger with these new high resolution shots.