Like the tail wagging the dog, cameras on smart phones are becoming the dominant technology on the handset, out-performing the basic telephone features — and indeed — accounting for the most complex hardware technology on board. Already, dual-lens camera phones turn out as good or better pictures, than any dedicated point-n-shoot camera.
With the launch of the first quad-lens cameras, smart phones may take on — albeit in a small way — the basic function of digital single lens reflex cameras by offering an easy switch between, normal, wide angle and telephoto zoom modes — something that still involves a clumsy lens change in most DSLRs.
Let's face it: the professional photographer is not about to ditch his bulky DSLR — even the relatively lighter mirror-less models. Why? Because the lenses in an SLR are still multiple times larger than the largest phone camera lens — and for great imagery, lens size still matters. But cameras are fighting back: Since the size of the handphone limits lens size, designers go for a combination of tiny lenses — each with a separate camera function. The Galaxy A9 opts for 4 separate lenses and parcels out the main modes of an SLR between them. The upcoming Redmi Note 6 Pro calls itself quad by virtue of twin cameras, fore and aft. This, added to the enhanced AI-fuelled software ensures that lens size limitations are somewhat overcome,.
More is coming. Four or five lenses on a phone are here. Next year, we can expect this trend to consolidate. Some phone makers are working in another direction: "Three or five times zoom is not enough, ten times zoom with the smartphone is unique...we could have surprises for you.”, Huawei executive Walter Ji was quoted recently as saying.
One thing is clear: Quad cameras on phones may become standard in 2019, trickling down to the sweet spot of affordability: Rs 10,000.