Smartphone photography has been improving considerably for the last few years especially the bigger smartphone manufacturers like Google Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and LG are spending a debatable amount of resources just to beat each other in the camera department since the rest of the hardware remain almost same throughout.
The race of getting closer and closer to a camera with mechanical lenses was first started by Apple when they announced the first smartphone with two rear cameras the Apple iPhone 7Plus. It was the first device that featured a bokeh effect which essentially translated to a picture from a DSLR for people who could not afford the mechanical cameras. Following Apple’s suit, many smartphone manufacturers starting putting more than one cameras at the back which can augment the main sensor in measuring the depth of the picture so that they can add blur through the software.
Now we have devices with 3 or 4 rear cameras all performing different functions related to the scene up ahead, there are telephoto lenses, standard lenses, monochrome lenses, depth lenses, and ultra wide lenses for the time being with Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) being the only smartphone with 4 different lenses at the back. Additionally, the upcoming S10 codenamed “Beyond X” is rumored to be equipped with six different lenses.
LG, on the other hand, is escalating things dramatically by getting the 16 cameras in a smartphone patented, the device that is rocking 16 different lenses aimed at different purposes would be worth having a look. LG’s patent describes the use of different lenses that can use different perspectives of the same scene so that it can produce a miniature film which in layman terms can be described as the super powered version of Apple Live photos. The patent also describes the use of different lenses to catch different details of the scene which can be joined together through the software and many different kinds of images can be extracted out of these.
Now, the patent does signify the innovative part of the smartphone industry from a big manufacturer like LG that was only coming from Chinese smartphone manufacturers like Oppo, Vivo, etc. which is a good news for the American market. But before the arrival of the technology, we have to ask ourselves a major question Do we need a smartphone with 16 different cameras? We do have Google’s smartphones that have the best camera experience right now, but they only use one a single sensor. I think the industry should go towards the software development of the cameras rather than investing on the hardware which is getting expensive as we are increasing the count of lenses.