Just about anybody can take photos today with their smartphones. But the common consensus was that smartphone photos don’t stand a chance to what a DSLR camera can produce.
But the introduction of dual camera technology to smartphones has changed mobile photography. Image noise and the inability to zoom is now a thing of the past. Take the new iPhone 7 Plus for example. It features a two 12-megapixel lenses, one a standard 28mm and the other a 56mm telephoto for 2x optical zoom, which means no quality loss quality when zooming in. The two cameras also work together for depth mapping, so the in-camera app can apply progressive blur to the background.
But if the iPhone 7 Plus is out of your price range (or not to your taste), there are many dual camera smartphones available in the market today. Here are some of the more prominent models that have been released:
HTC One M9+ (RM1719) / HTC Butterfly 3
HTC was one of the earlier manufacturers who toyed with the idea of dual camera smartphones. In 2011 it tried the HTC Evo 3D, which takes 3D images without the need for glasses. Then in 2014 it released its flagship HTC One M8, with ‘Duo Camera’ hardware that allows you to switch the focal point of an image after shooting.
How this works is simple - the secondary sensor captures distance information, which also allows you to apply a blurred photographic effect behind your subject. The ‘Duo Camera’ would later be replicated in the HTC Butterfly 2 and 3, as well as the HTC One M9+, but dropped on the HTC 10.
Huawei P9 (RM2099)
When it comes to dual camera smartphones, many have heard of the Huawei P9. The company first tried dual cameras in its Honor 6 model, but its latest iteration has become the talk of the town. It features two Leica-certified 12-megapixel cameras - one RGB, the other monochrome.
The monochrome sensor isn’t for taking black and white photos. Unlike an RGB sensor, it is able to capture more detail from a shot without having to filter out light. When combined, the resulting shot has far richer detail and looks far sharper than using a single lens.
LG G5 (RM2299)/ LG V20 (RM3699)
The LG G5 introduced a different kind of dual camera setup. Rather than detecting depth-of-field, the secondary camera is an altogether different camera. Accompanying the main 16-megapixel camera (with 78° angle of view) is a slightly lower-res 8-megapixel module that captures a 135° super wide-angle image. You can switch between cameras anytime, or it seamlessly switches when trying to zoom in.
LG would try this on its LG V10, but on its front facing cameras instead - one a standard 80° lens, the other able to take far wider 120° wefies. Its newest LG V20 would use the same LG G5 setup.