Do we really need dual cameras on our smartphone?

Smartphone cameras today are the reason why we don’t use digital cameras anymore. Yes, remember those times when we use to buy a dedicated camera for our vacations and rare photoshoots? It’s not the case now. Although I am not comparing them with DSLR here, the technology running behind smartphone cameras have seen some commendable innovations recently. One of them surely has been the implementation of dual cameras which believe it or not, has now become a selling point for most of the smartphone companies out there. So much so that some of them have even started fitting two cameras at the front. But, does that mean these cameras can take better pictures? In other words, is the second lens absolute necessity to produce great pictures? No! If you ask me, I wouldn’t straight out pick the best camera smartphone based on the number of lenses it has. That would be rather stupid.


Taking the latest example, Google decided not to follow the trend and stick to a single camera on both its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. And how did it come out? Well, pretty good, actually the best if we take in DxO Mark’s rating but I would rather not touch that side of the story here. Even keeping all the ratings and scores aside, the 12.2 megapixel camera on the Google Pixel 2 has been lauded a lot from critics all around the world. I haven’t had the chance to get my hands on the device yet, but going by some of the sample photos on the internet, it is already sitting at the top, in my opinion. Coming back to my point, Google didn’t add any monochrome lens or an extra lens for bokeh effect and yet the camera on the Pixel 2 is a beast.


However, a camera on a smartphone is highly subjective. What you might like in a camera could be brutally ignored by someone else. For example, I really like when a camera takes vibrant photos adding a little bit of colour by itself rather than keeping it real and perhaps, dull sometimes. And as a matter of fact, some of you might not like the camera on the Pixel 2 as much as the one seen on the Galaxy Note 8 or the iPhone 8. Which is where the functionality comes into the picture. While Google managed to bake in the bokeh effect by pushing Artificial Intelligence, the telephoto lens on the iPhone 8 or the wide-angle secondary lens on the LG V30 brings added functionality.


I love LG’s idea to add a wide-angle lens along with a regular lens which gives us a lot more options and something new to play around. On the other hand, the telephoto 2x optical zoom lens on the iPhone 8 Plus can be really useful if you take a lot of shots from distance. Again, it is highly subjective. But what I really want to share is that more doesn’t always imply better. Dual cameras on smartphones add functionality not quality. The quality comes from the sensor used, post image processing which comes from the software and the quality of the lens. So the next time a smartphone company takes the stage and boast a lot of the dual cameras on its product, you better snap some pictures before buying it. Cheers!


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