The smartphone world had been lying low for around a year with very little innovation beyond enhanced phone specs. This until last year when dual camera rage hit big time after the launch of iPhone 7 Plus. Most manufacturers now have dual camera variants, with different pixel counts on their cameras. Some have even brought those dual cameras from back to front, promising a new revolution in selfie images. Yet others have gone more aggressive in providing dual cameras with the same pixels, thereby promising even better images. Through the use of dual cameras you can blur the background of subjects to replicate the Bokeh effect and also get a better of depth of field effect in photographs. This is achieved by digitally collating the images taken by the two cameras.
Do not go by the megapixel count as image quality whether through the back or the front camera depends on the quality of the entire set of camera components. The whole concept of providing dual cameras, especially at the rear, has its genesis in smartphones trying to replicate the DSLRs despite their compact form factors. Indeed their much smaller form factors induce limitations to what can be optically achieved through a smartphone and having dual cameras is an attempt to digitally process images taken by the two cameras and thus come out with the quality that is near to what a single DSLR camera lens can achieve.
However, the increased megapixel count does jack up the price of a camera and having two of them is indeed a double whammy. Moreover, if the associated components such as the lens, the sensor, the aperture, and the image processor do not live up to expectations, then you won’t get the desired picture quality anyhow. Also, improving on all these fronts would lead to the smartphone costing beyond the sweet spot of Rs 25-30k and thus reduced demand. For 30k you anyway get a quality entry-level DSLR which also provides much more flexibility and features in taking pictures as compared to what you get through a smartphone. As of now, the DSLR remains highly popular amongst photography enthusiasts while the smartphone can at best serve as a backup option for serious photography.
One wonders if the manufacturers are going to stop at just two. Going by the sales numbers, there is definitely a market for dual camera smartphones and to further improve image quality we might see smartphones with more than two cameras at the rear. There is still time for that to happen, so for now let’s keenly anticipate the new launches lined up in the coming months!