We want to see these 5 improvements for smartphone cameras

Smartphone cameras have come of age in the last ten years, but of course it can always be even better. We want to see these five improvements!

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This is how smartphone cameras get even better

Ten years ago, smartphones were really only suitable for home, garden and kitchen snapshots. The difference with real cameras was huge. There are already photographers who work exclusively with their smartphones. Yet there is still a considerable gap between the average SLR and the phone in your pocket. That will probably never be bridged completely, but we do have some wishes. We want to see these improvements for smartphone cameras!

1. True optical zoom

More expensive smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 in particular often have a telephoto lens that you can use to ‘zoom in’. We put that in parentheses because it’s actually not true. The lens of the S22 brings the image 3x close. Point. If you start zooming in from the regular main camera, it’s called digital zoom. Only when you get to 3x zoom does the device switch to the telephoto lens. If you only zoom in 2x, your photo is less beautiful because a crop of the main camera is used.

That could be better. The (expensive) Sony Xperia 1 IV is the first smartphone in years to use true optical zoom. And the very first that doesn’t need a huge bump for that, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Between 85 and 125mm (about 3x and 5x zoom) you can get the image close without any tricks. So you can’t really zoom from the main camera yet, but it’s a first step. Give us optical zoom!

2. Better Ultra Wide Angle Lenses

Ultra-wide angle lenses provide a unique perspective. It is perhaps the coolest camera on a smartphone because you can capture so many elements in one photo. Unfortunately, they are often neglected children. The resolution is usually lower than that of the ‘normal’ camera and the sensor used is usually a lot smaller.

This results in less sharp photos. Especially the corners are often just a bit blurry. The Oppo Find X5 Pro is one of the first smartphones with an ultra-wide-angle camera that has the same resolution and sensor as the main camera. A good development as far as we are concerned. We hope other manufacturers follow Oppo’s lead.

3. Choice of algorithm used

Artificial intelligence is the main reason smartphone cameras have gotten so good in recent years. AI compensates for the limitations of the small lenses by, for example, making light parts darker and dark parts lighter. However, not everyone is charmed by the accompanying ‘look’. Your photos may look a bit fake, too colorful or too sharp due to the algorithm used.

That is why it would be nice if you can set how you want the camera to handle your snapshot before shooting. Want all the bells and whistles of artificial intelligence? Or a slightly more old-fashioned look? The iPhone 13 from Apple offers a first step in this direction: photographic styles† This determines the atmosphere of your photo in advance. Yet it is still mainly about the colors and not about the use of digital improvements per se.

4. Built-in filters

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For ‘real’ cameras, many different filters are available that you screw onto the lens. This allows you to create beautiful effects in your photos. Perhaps the nicest is an ND filter. In simple terms, it blocks light, so you need a much slower shutter speed of 30 or even 60 seconds to shoot a usable plate.

How cool would it be if smartphones built in such a filter? Whether practical or digital, it opens up a new world of creative possibilities. For example, an ND filter is very suitable for capturing waterfalls. The slow shutter speed makes the movement of the water visible. The same applies to beautiful cloudscapes, which you can see floating through the sky, as it were. You will of course need a tripod to keep the smartphone still.

5. More beautiful portraits

Portrait mode has become an integral part of our phones. However, there is still plenty to improve upon. No device currently estimates the depth flawlessly, so in many cases you see strange artifacts in your photos. If smartphones really want to become serious tools for portrait photography, they must be remedied.

We do, however, see improvements in this area. Thanks to new software, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra makes fewer mistakes than before. Still, it will likely require an improved Time of Flight sensor to be able to shoot truly natural portraits with smartphone cameras. Such a sensor scans the environment in order to make a depth map.

May is photography month on Android Planet

Op Android Planet May is all about photography. We tell you which smartphones have the best camera, why photos you take with your smartphone often look mediocre, and we explain how to ensure a good composition.

Don’t want to miss anything? Sign up for the newsletter or download the gratis Android Planet-app† We can also be reached via social media: Instagram, Facebook in Twitter.


Source: Android Planet by www.androidplanet.nl.

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