Counterclockwise: zooming in on smartphones with dual cameras

27 May 2018
It started out with a fad - 3D - but today dual cameras are the norm. Things are still in motion, though, some dual cams are better than others.

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  • Jman

Dual cameras are the latest gimmick which is used to persuade people to upgrade. Smartphones are just not advancing fast enough in other areas.

They are going the same route as tablets.

  • Winston

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018seriously? how colud you market somthing people don't under... moreLet me repeat it:
There is no practical difference between f/2 and f/1.7. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference in the amount of noise between the two.
Instead of copying articles from the net and presenting them as your comment, learn what is aperture, focal length, sensor size, and how do they affect the image quality, so that we don't get comments like "bigger sensor needs a matching f number". Dude, the "f number" represents the size of the aperture opening, it's lens based, and it have nothing to do with the sensor size. f/2 on a 30 mm lens is 15 mm aperture. Always. Because 30/2 is always 15. You can mount that lens onto a phone, onto a full frame camera, onto a medium format camera, as long as we're speaking about the opening size and the amount of light, it will always be a f/2 lens.

  • Anonymous

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018IMX358 is the 13MP low end sensor we seen in ALL lowends an... moreThen everybody would be using the 12MP 1.55 micron instead of the 12MP 1.4 ...
Size difference is not even 15%.

Pixel runs 8.1 like Pixel 2, both have same software. Hardware of Pixel should outperform Pixel 2 in most situations. It does not.

Years ago HTC used pixels bigger than 2 micron and failed. Same happens to OP5.

It would be much easier to use 24MP with 1 micron that goes 12MP 2 micron than 12MP/ 1.4 ..
But they dont.


The advantage of P20 Pro against other at night is the fact it is using 4s shutter. Other devices have benefit of OIS and ISO under 250.

Any flagship will do pretty well below ISO 150 and shutter 0.5s or slower.

About noise amount, set lower resolution on any phone that pic will have less noise. Low res pics dont let you crop that far.





  • AnonD-744321

Winston, 27 May 2018A minor update is not minor, if you make a fuss about it. A... moreseriously? how colud you market somthing people don't understand? have you ever heard of "more is better"
you can't market the low F/num because people are too shallow they look and say "Oooo :$O F/2.6!! batter then that F/1.7 crap };$)
simply the L F/num are not marketing tricks digital ZOOMing is/big screens are/ NOTCH IS
save your hatery for the NOTCH
this is the kind of marketing you REALY should fight
we will need people like you to fight marketing BULL$***

  • AnonD-152638

I want stereoscopic cameras to make a comeback.
By putting them at roughly the distance of the eyes, they can be used for widening the field of view. The overlap of the center portion of the image would allow for zoom to some extent.
But I think they could go further. Either stereoscopic with dual cameras in two pairs. Or at least a 3rd middle camera with a "tele" lens.

With VR glasses we would be able to enjoy the stereoscopic image.
But even without VR glasses, as said, it would be useful to extend the field of view.
It would also work for Bokeh, trickery.
And to introduce cool 3D effect to the center part of the frame.
And even with a stereoscopic only set-up the overlap in the middle of the frame could allow for zooming, or increased low light sensitivity.

If the phone makers and makers of compact cameras would just hang in there long enough, I do think, stereoscopic image capturing will eventually take over.
"VR/AR" glasses has the potential to be the personal 3D screen that TVs never became.
I do believe there will be a comeback for 3D.
Once people get to experience high quality 3D images with high resolution individual images per eye, it will be hard to go back to single screens with a single image as the source.

  • Winston

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018a minor update is no matter how small is still an update y... moreA minor update is not minor, if you make a fuss about it. And you did. Practically, there is no difference between f/2 and f/1.7, except in the much higher price tag on phones with f/1.7 lenses. End of story.
Beside, if you know anything about photography and lenses, you might also know that faster lenses are usually softer wide open, than slower ones. And since, on phones, they are always wide open, you can draw your own conclusion.
And the price of the lens is not determined by their focal length. You can have a cheap wide angle lens and you can have an expensive one.

  • Winston

Anonymous, 27 May 2018There are lenses f1.4, f1.8 etc... But lenses f3.0 - f5... moreMore used by who? Anyone who is seriously into photography is using more fast lenses, than slow ones. The Canon 50 mm f/1.8 is the best selling lens. Out of the f/3.5-5.6 lenses, only the kit zooms are popular, because they come with the body.

  • AnonD-744321

Anonymous, 27 May 2018Of course even with f2.0 Moto X4 does better than J7 and it... moreIMX358 is the 13MP low end sensor we seen in ALL lowends and Samsung add a wider aperture to "cheaply" improve the profurmence
and it did good at improving the shutter speed and decreasing the noise and low light shooting with a lowend sensor BUT
pixel size does matter sith bigger pixels you get more light going to the pixel and less high light noise and batter dynamic range
allso past processing image my rely on complex algorithms to remove the noise
there is two kinds of noise reduction:-
pixel banding which works by scanning neear by pixels to see if they are to different from each other (like LG V30 which crops the image to 4MP to remove the pixel peeping which doesn't result in detail increasment) and Xiaomis HHT and Sonys BIZONS algorithm
multi frame noise reduction like Samsung S9 and Google pixel HDR+
there are examples of good cameras with small pixels and lose in profurmence with smaller pixels
LG V30 for example 1um pixel size BUT uses a spacial pixel banding which removes most of the noise
example of profurmence increase and decrease with pixel size is Google pixel 1/2
1 had 1.55 um pixel size which results a near noise less image an high dynamic range PLUS HDR+ algorithm allows it to score the highest DxO mark in its time (ok most people hate DxO mark but even gsm thinks it was AWESOME)
2 had 1.4 um to get the dual pixel Autofocus for super fast Autofocus and blur effects and OIS and wider aperture BUT it lost some of the sharpness and noise reductioneven tho you still get more detail
another example is Huawei P10 lite and P20 lit
P20 has dual camera 16MP F/2.2 1.12 um pixel size with a secondary 2MP bokeh sensor for blur effects
P10 has one large sensor 12MP F/2.2 1.25 um
they both have the same software (including back ground blur) and the same aperture size BUT the P10 out profurmed the P20 spacialy the low light shooting and software effects (light trial for example) and dynamic range were the P20 only trick is back ground blur
oh by the way the moto X4 does profurm batter then the j7 BUT still worst then other large pixel cameras (G5+ Z2 PLAY)

  • Anonymous

I wish my phone had:

1/1.6" sensor
20MP
Selectable focal length : 13mm, 26mm, 78mm
5x optical zoom
Selectable f value : f1.8 / f2.2 / f2.6 / f3.0

ISO ( auto) : 10 - 400
ISO ( manual) : 10 - 21600

Shutter : 1/6000 s - 6s




  • AnonD-744321

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018a minor update is no matter how small is still an update y... morehard not gared

  • AnonD-744321

Winston, 27 May 2018Then you probably also know that the difference between f/2... morea minor update is no matter how small is still an update
yes the F number doesn't do much but it still do something
at leas keep it in the middle so you wont lose a lot of proformence
one question are wide lens expensive or gared to make?

  • Anonymous

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018dude as you said by your self with a bigger sensor you need... moreOf course even with f2.0 Moto X4 does better than J7 and its f1.7 because also of software.
J7 is low midrange, X4 is another level. Same of Galaxy A.

Many devices use the imx358 , the 1/3.06" with 1.12 micron. But results are different even in daylight.

Post processing, noise reduction etc of LG G6 wont be same of Q6.

Pixel size does not matter, ask any photographers. Guys on DPREVIEW laugh when they read this on tech sites about mobile.

  • Anonymous

Winston, 27 May 2018Really? Is it rare to see a f/1.4, 1.8 or 2 lenses for DSLR... moreThere are lenses f1.4, f1.8 etc...

But lenses f3.0 - f5.5 are more used. Of course it depends of the situation.

  • Anonymous

Sammy wants to use Sony's Acoustic Surface on the cellphones.
Looks like deal was already set.

Lightning McQueen, 27 May 2018I agreed with your comment. Nokia doesn't want to pay for D... moreYeah, but the thing is that others still believe that DxOMark is a professional camera review website. Yes it is professional, but it is not the best camera reviewer u can find, clearly in my opinion GSMARENA is way better than them man. Look, they even provide a photo and video comparison tool for us. Another thing is that famous tech reviewers that review smartphones use DxOMark as their source of evidence to show how good the smartphone camera is, this made more people believe the website

  • Winston

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018I know that when you have low ISO you have less noise but ... moreThen you probably also know that the difference between f/2 and f/1.7 is virtually not existing, right? It's half of a stop. With f/2 you'll have an exposure time of 1/20 seconds, with f/1.7 you'll have an exposure time of 1/15 seconds. Or with f/2 you'll have an ISO 400, with f/1.7 you'll have an ISO 300. You wouldn't even notice the difference.

  • AnonD-744321

Winston, 27 May 2018You mixed something. The noise is the result of the sensor... moreI know that
when you have low ISO you have less noise but less light
and low ISO with long shutter means less noise and more light BUT
not every one has a tripod or a powerfull image stablizer or rock hands to use long shutter with low ISO with out blurring the image
so instead of relying on long shutter slow breathing and luck you can have a wide aperture for more light
and yes the noise comes from the sensor BUT also from high ISO which used when you don't have enough light going to the sensor
and NO they don't use the F/2.0 /2.2 because it was used old flagship the supply should ran out by now

  • Winston

Anonymous, 27 May 2018Wider aperture does not mean it is better. It is amount... moreReally? Is it rare to see a f/1.4, 1.8 or 2 lenses for DSLRs? How about the hundreds of f/1.4, 1.8 or 2 models from Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Sony, Tamron, Tokina, Fuji, and others?

  • fgsagsavasdc

Huawei's first implementation of dual camera was back in December 2014 with the Honor 6 plus.

  • Winston

AnonD-744321, 27 May 2018dude as you said by your self with a bigger sensor you need... moreYou mixed something.
The noise is the result of the sensor, not of the lens or the aperture. You can have a noisless low light image with a small aperture, if your ISO is reasonably low and the exposure time is long enough. The amount of light is not determined by the sensor size. The depth of field is.