Just as single core processors have been replaced by dual and multi-core processors, single-camera smartphones are increasingly being replaced by the dual-camera models. To be precise, a smartphone with dual-camera technology is where a phone is equipped with two separate camera lens.
Generally located at the rear of the phone and placed side by side, each of the cameras has their own sensors. Also called a stereo camera, the dual lens camera makes images more vivid and detailed. The separate image sensor or film frame for each frame enables the camera to capture three-dimensional images.
Dual camera mobile phones generally feature two cameras – primary and secondary. Primary cameras capture regular images (using little modifications), while secondary cameras helps in gauging the depth of the image. They have different focal lengths. Smartphones today offer a variety of unique features using this camera setup.
The range of images one can capture is optimized by using two rear cameras instead of just one. Even with single camera phones offering high resolution and fast processor, dual camera models are preferred as they provide images with greater depth, faster focus, refocus, better clarity, etc.
Additionally, the dual lens allows the incorporation of 3D effects in images to make them more visually appealing.
When both cameras work together, more light passes through the lenses and then to the sensors. This process contributes to greater depth-of-field in images. As compared to single-camera smartphones, models fitted with dual cameras offers faster auto-focus. Also, dual-camera technology allows you to refocus on an image even after the shot is taken.
Via the secondary camera, you can infuse bokeh effect by blurring parts or backgrounds of an image. Lastly, dual-camera phones are ideal for darker locations. As a result of more light passing through the sensors, these cameras produce quality pictures even in low-light areas.
Most smartphones equipped with dual-camera technology now offer users with features such as panorama mode, backside illumination sensor, autofocus, body and face detection; making the phone camera experience like never before.
Below are two smartphones with the best dual-camera technology:
Huawei Honor 8:
One of the first smartphones to bring bokeh to images, the Honor 8 allows you to adjust the focus after images have been captured. With this feature, you can either choose to focus on the subject by blurring the background, or changing the focus to the background instead by blurring your subject. Equipped with a laser-assisted autofocus mechanism, the cameras help in focusing speeds. The two cameras also come with the same focal length, resulting in crisp, detailed pictures. Shooting landscapes with this phone results in excellent images, provided you have sufficient lighting.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus:
Like the Honor 8, iPhone 7 Plus by Apple too allows you apply bokeh to refocus images after they are shot; you can either choose to focus and blur as per your preferences. Featuring a dual 12MP resolution, this model offers wide angles and telephoto lenses that allow you to capture pictures with optimal contrast and color saturation. It is equipped with optical image stabilization which makes shooting in darker locations a breeze.
Unlike the earlier iPhone 6S, the OIS mechanism of this phone greatly reduces motion and handshake; it also allows three times longer exposure.
Since the launch of the first dual-camera technology of Evo 3D by HTC in 2011, smartphones today are equipped with the latest in innovations. In terms of performances, while dual cameras may not match up to the sensor size of DSLRs, the use of smaller sensors by smartphones can simulate the effects of having bigger sensors.
Using two sensors offers twice the surface area for collecting information and capturing light. With smartphone makers continuing to improve on their dual-camera technology, even avid photographers are increasingly opting for these more compact gadgets over professional DSLR stand-alone cameras. Today, one can hardly differentiate between images captured via a smartphone to those taken by a DSLR camera.