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Smartphone Cameras: Dual Camera Setups Explained!

What took off in 2016 has now become a bonified trend in 2017, with every manufacturer taking on the task of dual cameras and doing them differently than the next guy. I get asked a lot if whether or not dual cameras make a difference or some clients shying away from phones that do not have a dual camera setup. So I think it is about time we tackle this subject and let people know what they are getting or not getting when they are picking up a device with a dual camera setup.

Now for starters, one must understand that everybody does dual cameras differently, with different purposes in mind. Some are very useful, while others may look or sound nice on paper, yea you might use it once or twice, but after the novelty wears off, you may never use it again. So we are going to break it down by the manufacturer and let you know how their dual cameras work. I also won’t be judging camera quality, simply breaking down how each manufacturer uses the 2 sensors.

LG: LG currently has probably the most well-regarded use of their dual cameras that actually fixes a huge need for smartphone photography. The main standard lens uses the regular 71-degree lens, while the 2nd lens uses an ultra wide 125-degree lens. This enables you to take some amazing wide view shots of scenery, group shots, etc. It is easy to switch between the 2 lenses so that you can get the best shot based on the circumstance at the time.

Huawei: Huawei’s take on the dual camera setup is using 1 RGB colour sensor and 1 dedicated monochrome sensor. The explanation is that with the monochrome sensor, 3x as much light can reach the sensor as there’s no division between red, green, and blue required to make digital colour. The second RGB lens is free to focus on detail and sharpness. Together, they are stitched to create the final product.

iPhone 7/8 Plus – iPhone has their own special take on the secondary lens. The main lens is a 23mm wide angle lens to fit more into the frame than the previous iPhone 6s which was a 29mm lens. The second lens is a double focal length lens which acts like 2x Multiplier (telephoto); 56mm lens. It allows far away objects look closer without losing too much information and having the picture come out grainy, or noisy.  

The Telephoto Style – I guess there was clearly a public outcry for better zoom capabilities on smartphones because this seems to be the most popular style of the dual lens setup. Samsung jumped in on the Telephoto setup with the new Note 8. Some other notable manufacturers using this style are Xiaomi, Oneplus, Oppo, Vivo, and now Samsung.

Well, I do hope I was able to shed some light on the dual camera hype. Ultimately you have to make the decision of whether or not you would actually use a device with a dual lens and which one would best suit your needs. If you have any further questions or maybe you need some assistance on picking the right dual lens setup or if you even need one, do not hesitate to drop me a message.

Keron Mcleish

Keron McLeish is the owner of Droid Island and has over 10+ years of international experience working for some of the biggest brands in mobile such as Apple, Telus, and Rogers. He is located in Trinidad and Tobago and is a trusted mobile expert in the region. In his off time, he can be found shooting airballs on the basketball court or eating a bake and shark on the beach.

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