Smartphones are constantly evolving. A fresh trend is the dual camera modules. The technology is not new, a few years ago it was used exclusively for 3D, but it did not gain popularity. But now it was reborn with new forces. Dual cameras help to expand the viewing angle, realize high-quality zoom and bokeh effect, give the pictures more clarity due to the use of monochrome modules. Want to know the details? Now let’s talk about the example of smartphones Honor.
The era of 3D: the main and additional modules
In 2010-2012, there was a boom in home 3D. It all began with televisions, then flowed into smartphones. Of course, it would be strange to look at the tube in special glasses. So there were several models with the support of the so-called “bezel” 3D.
A parallax barrier was used – a special coating in the form of a set of slits, which allowed the left eye to see one-half of the pixels, and the right one – the other. Immediately say, the picture was far from perfect. Keep the gadget in one place, where the image would not be divided into different parts, it’s not easy, so these screens did not get accustomed. In addition, the resolution of the displays for the sake of the stereo effect was reduced by half.
But what is interesting to us: on such smartphones, it was possible not only to view the downloaded 3D content but also independently to make three-dimensional images. For this, two cameras were used on the back panel – the main one and the additional one.
Why do you need two modules? Close one eye, then the other. You see a few things, right? The same principle creates a three-dimensional world on the screen. Each camera shoots a different picture, then the images are automatically combined. And when viewing a 3D photo, each eye receives a separate image.
Extra bonus: since we have two pictures of the same, there is the possibility of post-processing – you will be able to change the focus point on the finished photo. This option is supported, in particular, by the smartphone Honor 6X with the main camera module Sony IMX386 (12 megapixels) and an additional 2 MP.
Double cameras with equivalent modules
There are dual cameras in which both modules have the same resolution. One of the pioneers of this technology was Honor 6 Plus, announced in 2014. It was equipped with two eight-megapixel main cameras.
The point is that two sensors capture twice as much light. As a result, the images in the dark are more qualitative.
In addition, Honor came up with how to use dual cameras to increase the clarity of the image. Thanks to this, the output was excellent 13-megapixel photos.
Well, two more cameras were used (and used) to create a bokeh effect. It’s about the beautifully blurred background when shooting macro and portraits. Such photos imitate the perception of the human eye, so it’s nice to look at them. Most smartphones with one camera also know how to blur the background (software), but only for macro photography. A device like Honor 6 Plus can cope without problems, even if the object is located at a distance of up to two meters.
In 2014, the market was not yet ready for a double-chamber boom, so the technology did not spread to other Honor models. A year and a half later, the company finalized the idea and introduced the new Honor 8, where the dual camera received another development option.
Dual cameras with a monochrome module
Here two sensors of the same resolution are used, one of which is monochrome, that is, it can only take black-and-white photographs. For the first time, this technology was applied in the Honor 8 model.
How is it useful? A monochrome sensor captures much more light. Even more than Honor 6 Plus, because of the lack of colour filters to the black and white sensor, more light comes. As a result, the pictures at night and in low light are clear and saturated.
A successful innovation from Honor 8 has migrated to other models – Honor 8 Pro and Honor 9.
It should be added that in these smartphones there are special modes that allow you to use two modules at once or to shoot only in black and white. In the second case, you will get beautiful clear photos. Perhaps, even highly artistic. You will not achieve this if you make a frame on an ordinary camera and programmatically discolour it in the photo editor.
Zoom and Wide Angle
There are other options for implementing a “two-chamber”, for example, modules with different focal lengths.
Let’s say one camera has a standard viewing angle, and the second one is a smaller one (long-focus lens “sees” closer). As a result, we get a full optical zoom without using a complex lens system (which can not be shipped in today’s thin smartphones).
Another option: a standard lens plus a wide-angle lens. The bunch allows you to not zoom in, but to remove the image – so you can shoot panoramas without gluing together. This technology is also used for self-cameras and makes it possible to make group photos.
And what do you choose?
A few years ago, two cameras in smartphones seemed superfluous, because they were used only to create a 3D photo. Today, there are many ways to use this technology, and almost all flagship models on the market are equipped with dual cameras.
The effect of bokeh, beautiful portraits, clear pictures in the dark, panoramas and optical zoom … And what do you think about the dual camera modules, which option would suit you better?