We can confidently say 2018 was a year of finer smartphone camera performances. With multiple rear cameras lenses popping up, artificial intelligence for scene detection and improved image processing technologies, I think we should expect more these amazing features in 2019.
Short 2018 smartphone camera review
Camera reviews in 2018 didn’t really favour Samsung but Huawei’s devices immediately became exemplary for the others. The Huawei P20 Pro raked in positive reviews. It became the example of a device effectively using three rear cameras. Later in the year, Huawei moved the bar up with the introduction of its Mate 20 Pro. Three camera lenses appeared on the LG V40 and Samsung A7. Samsung jumped up to bring four lenses to its Galaxy A9 but multiple camera didn’t really mean over the charts camera performance.
Google jumped in with equipping its Pixel 3 with excellent features like the Super Res Zoom. This feature lets you take superb photos while you’ve zoomed in. also, the Pixel 3 came with the Night Sight feature which let you take bright photos in low light environment. Apple also introduced the SmartHDR which processed excellent shots with the combination of multiple frames.
All in all, it was a good year for camera performance challenge. We know this excitement is continuing into 2019.
What we should expect from 2019 smartphone cameras
More multiple lenses
Smartphone companies aren’t stopping at just four camera lenses. We are going to see more of the multiple lenses this year. The Nokia 9 Pureview is even rumoured to have a whopping 5 lenses and photos of it are already out. The reports say these five lenses will handle telephoto, monochrome, colour, and multi-lens pixel synthesis.
LG also may be bringing some crazy challenge to the table. There were two leaked patents that suggested LG might introduce us to smartphone possessing more than 5 camera lenses. One patent suggests 7 lenses on a curved phone. The second one, which the craziest, hints monstrous 16-lens setup.
So let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait when these phone would be springing up.
Wait for huge Megapixels
Megapixels again. Yeah, seem we’re back in 2011. For some reason known to them, Xiaomi and Honor announced they will release smartphones with 48 megapixels in 2019. Well, this is somewhat weird because right now you really don’t need your phone to be able to take a photos with plenty megapixels – maybe, unless you are going to print them on large formats.
The important things for taking great photos are lens quality, camera sensor size, the processing technology. We really don’t know why they’re getting into large megapixels now. Maybe, they’re trying to get par with actual digital cameras like the Canons, etc.
AI in smartphones camera was limited to scene detection, adjusting parameters including colour, exposure, etc. to get you the photo you wanted. Well, now, top notch phone makers are beginning to utilise AI in image processing to get better results. Since it’s nearly impossible to increase lens sizes to improve imaging, phone makers would have to rely on AI.
We anticipating that in this year, makers will use computational photography techniques refine images. Apple introduced this technique with its first-gen smartHDR. Critiques said it was “a bit too flat” as in comparison with Google Pixels’ HDR+ effect.
There’s belief that Apple will go back and to fine-tune its algorithm for better low-light capabilities. And surely other smartphone companies will jump in.
Google is also expected to upgrade its Super Res Zoom and Night Sight features. Reviewers suggesting Google upgrade the Super Res Zoom feature so it adds less noise to your photographs than it currently does.
3D and AR
Apple brought 3D sensors for Face unlock and we believe that technology will mount on rear cameras soon. The Samsung Galaxy S10 is reported to be coming with feature to measure depth with the rear camera – Time of Flight sensor. Vivo Nex 2 already has this and promises better imaging for 3D face recognition and AR experiences
In May, Bloomberg reported that Huawei may release a 3D-photo taking in 2019.
CEO of AMS, Alexander Everke, also hammered this 3D and AR move. He said, “We will commercialize high-quality 3D sensing solutions for Android-based smartphones and mobile devices. Active Stereo Vision, Structured Light (SL), Time-of-Flight, we will prepare all of them.”
In conclusion, if you are enthusiast of smartphone camera then I can assure you this year is yours. From daylight photos to portrait shots and better low-light photos, you’re covered this year.