Ever since the first triple camera phone was launched, it looks like the competition has started among smartphone manufacturers: who’s gonna make a smartphone with more cameras? According to a recent report, LG is currently in the lead, at least in theory. The company is reportedly making a phone with 16 cameras. Not four, five, six or nine. Sixteen!
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Well, it can be yours for $29,999 plus $155 shipping, anyway. But the shipping’s practically a bargain. We often hear about those “rare” lenses popping up on eBay and various other places, but this one does appear to actually be pretty rare. It’s a Canon 45-200mm f/2.8 (C35) prototype lens, and the seller claims it’s never been sold before in the “whole eBay selling history”.
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.
Just when you already think that three rear cameras in a phone is a bit excessive, Lenovo comes along and teases this. Oh yes, the Z5/S5 Pro will have four cameras. One 2x telephoto, one regular, and two unknowns. Maybe wide-angle, black & white, depth sensor or a telephoto with a longer reach, who knows?
But what we do know is that one of them is a 2x telephoto, and Lenovo has released a few sample photos shot with it. Officially, the phone’s name is the “S5 Pro”, but people are apparently also calling it the Z5 Pro? So, yeah, no idea.
Samsung has introduced a variable aperture in mobile photography and put a triple camera setup in a mid-range phone. The company is soon launching the next flagship model Galaxy S10, and the camera specs have just leaked. A few sources have confirmed that S10 will have a triple rear camera, so this setup is not reserved for the recently launched A7 only. Reportedly, there will also be an S10+ model which will pack five cameras in total: three on the back and two on the front.
Light made big news when they announced the L16 back in 2015. A crazy handheld camera that was actually 16 cameras in one. Not much bigger than a smartphone it threatened the end of DSLRs. The sample images looked very impressive, but when it got into peoples hands, they were entirely underwhelmed. It didn’t kill DSLRs.
But people did take notice. People at companies like Leica Camera AG and SoftBank Vision Fund, who have now invested $121 million in the unconventional camera company. It’s an interesting, but not an illogical investment for Leica. The merging of their hardware knowhow and Light’s software expertise could be a perfect combination.
Remember Light L16, a weird-looking camera with 16 lenses? The same company has recently revealed that they plan to develop a smartphone with nine cameras. Yup, you read it well – nine cameras. Just like their L16 camera, the smartphone will also stitch multiple photos into a single large one, producing a 64MP image.
It doesn’t seem so long ago when dual camera technology appeared and brought a revolution to mobile photography. Then Huawei P20 Plus came, with its triple camera. It was only a matter of time when someone will try to add more cameras to a phone, and according to the latest rumors: it’s gonna be LG. Their next phone will reportedly have not two, not three, but five cameras squeezed into a single smartphone.
It’s 2018 and it blows my mind that we still have to choose between using a smartphone camera and a real camera.
Why hasn’t a single camera manufacturer added mobile data and standard smartphone apps to a real camera?
Why hasn’t a single smartphone manufacturer made a smartphone with a real camera attached to it?
How hard can this possibly be?
In this article, I will outline what I want in a smartphone/camera hybrid and why I think it would be an instant success.