Samsung is first to bring quad-cameras to market with the Galaxy A9 smartphone

Oct 11, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Samsung is first to bring quad-cameras to market with the Galaxy A9 smartphone

Oct 11, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s all getting a bit ridiculous now. When Lenovo teased quad cameras, I had to laugh a bit. It all just seemed a bit excessive. Even three cameras in a phone felt like a bit much. Two’s cool, sure, it offers some neat computational photography options that a single camera does not. But beyond that, is it really worth it?

Samsung thinks so, as they’ve just beaten Lenovo to the punch with the new Samsung Galaxy A9 which has, yes, you guessed it, four cameras. It’s the “world’s first” quad camera smartphone with a 2x optical zoom, a 120° ultrawide, a regular camera and a depth camera.

So, the main camera is 24 megapixels with a nice bright f/1.7 aperture. Then you’ve got a 2x optical zoom camera offering 10MP at f/2.4, an 8MP ultrawide also at f/2.4 with 120° field of view, and finally the 5 megapixel f/2.2 depth camera to help create the fake bokeh that seems to be so common these days.

  • Get close without compromise with 2x Optical Zoom for incredible and detailed close-up shots even from far away.
  • Capture the world in its fullest and without limit, with the Ultra Wide Lens, and shoot like a pro with the Scene Optimizer. Thanks to AI Scene Recognition, your camera is now smarter, and able to identify the subject and adjust settings accordingly for the best photo, in an instant.
  • Express your creativity with the Depth Lens, giving you the freedom to manually manage the photos’ depth of field and focus on the subject for stunning, professional looking images.
  • Capture clear and bright images in both bright and low light conditions with Galaxy A9’s 24MP Main Lens, for gorgeous photos at any time of the day.

– Samsung Press Release

The phone itself is, as one would expect, pretty high end. It has a 6.3″ Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2220×1080 pixels. It has an 8 core (4×2.2Ghz and 4×1.8Ghz) CPU with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and a 3,800mAh battery.

It features all the usual doohickies like accelerometer, fingerprint sensor, proximity senxor, gyro sensor, geomagnetic sensor, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 and 5Ghz WiFi, Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, GPS and all the rest of it.

I joked on the Lenovo post about which we’d see first, a phone with 16 cameras, or a smartphone version of the Light L16. But it might not be as far-fetched an idea as I thought.

My phone only has 2 cameras. But I still only use one of them for 99% of the images I shoot with my phone. I think if I wanted the kind of versatility that so many cameras potentially offers in a phone, I’d sooner just take out a “real camera”.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 will be released sometime in November in several colours and will be priced at €599 throughout Europe. No word on a US price or release date yet. If you want to find out more head over to the Samsung website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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7 responses to “Samsung is first to bring quad-cameras to market with the Galaxy A9 smartphone”

  1. Greg Silver Avatar
    Greg Silver

    Agreed. This is just getting stupid. On the smartphone’s quest to reach DSLR quality they make the phone more ugly and makes me really just wany to use a good smartphone with one lens and use a DSLR/mirrorless camera .They’re shooting themesethe in the foot by doing these types of “updates”.

  2. Ulises Layera Avatar
    Ulises Layera

    It is too much to put 4 cameras on a phone. But it’s also too much to complain about this.
    They will not drain more battery, they’ll likely not add too much to the price.

    1. Chainsaw Charlie Avatar
      Chainsaw Charlie

      Did you notice that, in the last year or two, the prices of flagship phones went from $500-600 to $1000-1500?

      1. Fernando Adrian Avatar
        Fernando Adrian

        last year or two? :/

      2. vasras Avatar
        vasras

        1. This is not a flagship.
        2. It costs 600
        3. Expect 3-4 cam module phones to drop to 300-400 within 1 year
        4. There is no way around physics: if you want more light gathering, more lens options, more focal lenghts inside a tiny phone housing and with no protruding lens, multi-cam is the only option

        This and the computational photography Google is doing with a single lens in Pixel series is the future.

        Like it or not.

        1. Chainsaw Charlie Avatar
          Chainsaw Charlie

          Exactly. It’s not a flagship. But it costs 600. That’s how much a flagship costed 2 years ago.
          And that’s the catch, i don’t want anything you wrote, in a tiny phone. Cos it’s just a tiny phone. I want a phone with a simple camera, useful for snapshots, and which doesn’t cost $1500 for a flagship or $600 for a midranger.
          And yes, there’s no way around physics. No matter how many lenses you put in a phone, it’s just a tiny phone camera. If i want more light gathering, more lens option, and more focal lengths, i will take my cheap Canon DSLR, not an expensive tiny phone.

          If you are lazy to carry a camera with you, you are free to settle for a phone which costs twice as much as the camera, and can’t go anywhere near the quality of a real camera, just don’t expect that everyone will do it.

          Like it or not.

  3. Kevin Avatar
    Kevin

    I like your articles, John, but this one’s off base. Computational photography is the future for all cameras. I have yet to be too impressed with smartphone cameras in real life…They’re always needing more light, always lacking real zoom beyond 2x, always a hassle to clip on a wide angle, always faking their bokeh. Multi lens computational fixes all that. 4 lenses is just the beginning. 16 is far more reasonable to tackle current phone shortcomings and to tackle various situations. Your lament sounds like the older generation asking why they need a smartphone at all.