Smartphone cameras can do astounding things nowadays, however, they are starting to reach some hard physical limits. There’s only so much you can achieve within the tight constraints of a device that’s 7mm thick, and phone companies are looking for alternative means to keep improving. This spring, LG, and Huawei have led the way with their new Android flagships, introducing two very different dual-camera systems that nevertheless signal the direction that the entire industry is about to head in. Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is rumored to be following their lead later this year. One day soon, we’ll look at dual-camera phones the way we think of dual-core devices today: just a logical progression with nothing remarkable about it.
But having dual cameras on a phone is nothing new. Some examples are the Evo 3d from 2011 and most recently in the HTC M8 in 2014. It seems that the new flagship are running out of innovative ideas due to processing power.
Anyways the LG G5 has an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera sits alongside the main 16-megapixel module, making it easier to shoot bigger group, landscape, or architecture shots.Regular phone lenses are fixed at the same zoom level, and this supplementary hardware is necessary because phones have no easy way of adding zoom to their cameras. Zoom lenses require greater depth than modern phone designs can afford, and digital zoom trades away image quality. With the G5, LG adds a second prime (i.e. zoom less) lens, which it can do because there’s more horizontal space to play with inside the handset. The phone’s camera bump is, in fact, most probably required by the main camera’s more sophisticated optics and stabilization.The wide-angle shots that it provides would usually require an external accessory, so having that function built right into the G5 is a legitimate convenience. Somewhat ironic for a phone making its name around external plug-in modules, but it’s still true that LG gives G5 users flexibility that others lack.
Tune in next time, to find out if the Huaweis P9 dual Leica camera is actually worth it!