comscore A look at how smartphone companies are developing cameras based on consumer needs
News

A look at how smartphone companies are developing cameras based on consumer needs

Consumer demand and availability of new technology has had a big impact of smartphone photography. Here is a look at that evolution.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus main

Perhaps next to calling, messaging, browsing, and listening to media, the most used feature of a smartphone is its camera. Not only is it one of the most used tools but it also is of high aspirational value to users. Users hold high aspirations for superlative quality camera and fantastic videos and images. But what makes consumers demand better quality smartphone cameras? Also Read - Huawei P40 Pro is the new leader in DxOMark rankings for main camera and selfie camera but does that matter

Consumer Behaviour Calling for Better Cameras

Consumer needs have evolved tremendously in terms of visual content (photos, videos, etc), which is fueling the technological revolution in cameras. The urge to click and the need to get clicked, to capture every moment in high definition, has underwent a climaxing rise which doesn’t seem to end. This want is working at multiple levels and related to various consumer needs. Also Read - Huawei P40 Pro Vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Head-to-head comparison

Today, cameras and photography have gone beyond capturing a special occasion. It has become a part of daily living; a tool connecting the world and promoting sharing of perspectives. Even in the times of social distancing, it is the camera in our smartphones and other portable devices that help people stay connected. People, groups, and organizations are more than ever relying on the tool to tell stories, showcase talents, celebrate life, entertain, and most importantly, serve and educate masses. Mobile camera driven visual content has become a tremendous means to drive transformation at personal, professional, and social fronts. A worldwide social revolution is underway using the smartphone lens(es), and it is getting stronger as the mobile cameras become better. Also Read - Huawei P40 vs P40 Pro vs P40 Pro+: What's different

Cameras have become the primary tool that either forms the basis or acts as one of the core verticals of numerous social media sites utilizing photo and video content shared by its user base. A host of visual formats including photos, GIFs, graphics, boomerangs, and etc, are being used today. The availability of high-speed internet, technological innovations and digital-conducive policy making are supporting factors driving these consumer needs.

The DSLR Impetus

Since the advent of digital photography and the adoption of cameras in our handsets, most phone users were left yearning for photography experience akin to DSLR. Also, neither everyone can afford a DSLR nor does everyone know how to work with it. Backed by unmatched accessibility, portability, and high storage benefits, smartphones became the obvious solutions to cater to this need. The consumer yearnings are motivating smartphone manufacturers to aggressively package advance camera features into the small physical spaces.

With an ecosystem that utilizes high quality lens and sensors along with innovative processing and software technologies, smartphone manufacturers are endeavouring hard to match the growing consumer expectations of impressive image and video results.

Consumer Behaviour Driven Smartphone Camera Technology

Sensors and Lenses

Manufactures have gone aggressive in incorporating high quality large sensors and three to four lenses in the camera ecosystem to usher in the age of ultra-visionary photography. Sensor size is of critical importance in smartphone camera set-up, as bigger sensors capture more light. One of the major innovations in the recently launched Huawei P40 series is use of the biggest sensor till date. The device has 1/1.28-inch active pixel CMOS sensor in comparison to other flagships which use 1/2.55-inch sensors, such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max. In combination with lenses and other processing technology, the bigger sensors enable users to shoot higher dynamic range and sharper images even in low-light conditions.

Smartphone cameras today host up to four camera lens ecosystem, such as ultra-vision Leica quad camera, with combinations like 50-megapixel RYYB primary lens, a second 40-megapixel ultra-wide-cine camera lens; a third 8-megapixel 10x periscopic lens, and an 8-megapixel 3x telephoto lens. The array of multiple lenses enables high quality zoom, better HDR, portrait modes, 3D, and low-light photography. The ultra-wide cine camera with 1/1.54-inch sensor supporting 3:2 aspect ratio enables users to record movies at 4K quality. Such cameras usually support up to ISO 51200 light sensitivity and even enable 7680 fps ultra-slow-motion video.

Super zoom array features enable users to click distant objects with high clarity and excellent image quality. With ingenious ways such as using light reflective prisms to distance lens from sensors for higher zoom capacity, manufacturers are now able to deliver combinations of super-sensing zoom lens such as 5x optical, 10x hybrid zoom, 50x digital zoom.

Software Processing and Other Technologies

Other key technologies used by Huawei to match user expectations include using advance 5th generation image signal processor (ISP) + da-Vinci based Kirin 990 NPU (neural processing unit), which helps users achieve impressive photography and video results. The block-matching 3D filtering technology is also being used for the first time in the mobile industry as a noise reduction solution in images.

The TOF (time of flight sensor) camera uses infrared light to enhance depth of images, creating a multilevel Bokeh effect. Super-fast auto-focusing solutions such as the full pixel Octa-phase autofocus technology ensures that every pixel has a phase detection photodiode, so that each of a 50-megapixel camera is used to focus on the object.

Artificial Intelligence technologies also have begun making a difference in smartphone camera. For instance, the da-Vinci based NPU combines AI capabilities with algorithm to improve image processing and support multiple types of photography scenarios.

Selfies are a rage today, and videography is increasingly gaining popularity. Noticing the trends, manufacturers are seriously focusing on front cameras, hosting as high as 32-megapixel selfie lens armed with depth camera to enable users take stunning selfies with amazing detailing and even shoot videos in 4K.

Growing Popularity and Going Forward

The growing popularity of smartphone cameras is a testament of the quality that is being delivered. Mobile cameras have been replacing photo cameras in this decade. As per a report by Japan’s Camera Imaging and Product Association, which has world renowned brands as members including Sony, Canon, and Nikon, the worldwide shipment of cameras dropped by 84 percent between 2010 and 2018. The worldwide shipments of portable photo-digital cameras peaked at 121 million in 2010. Till 2018, it slumped to only 19 million impacted by the rising popularity of smartphone cameras.

The evolution of mobile cameras will take a new leap by 2030. Smartphone 3D cameras are gaining popularity. The 3D camera market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 45.6 percent from 2017 to 2026. The time-of-flight sensor technology is another segment which is expected to show high growth. The adoption of augmented reality will have a major impact on gaming entertainment and business aspects. The next generation smartphone cameras will be armed with motion sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope and advance AI innovations to offer unbelievable outcomes and empowering the users to do much more than just photography.

The adoption of high innovation and technology in smartphone cameras is a response to consumer needs and evolving expectations. Today, these cameras have largely democratized photography, enabling trigger-happy new generation to fuel their passion for capturing the perfect images and making them the stories of their lives and sharing them with the world. Going forward, technological advancements in mobile cameras will play an important role in revamping our world view.

This article is written by Dimon Hu, Chief Marketing Officer (Huawei Brand), Consumer Business Group, Huawei.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: April 1, 2020 4:34 PM IST


You Might be Interested

Huawei P40
EMUI 10.1 Based on Android v10
HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G with Octa core (2.86 GHz, Dual core, Cortex A76 + 2.36 GHz, Dual core, Cortex A76 + 1.95 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A55)
32 MP f/2.0 Primary Camera and on the rear, there's an 50MP + 16MP + 8MP camera
Huawei P40 Pro Plus
Android v10 (Q)
Octa core (2.86 GHz, Dual core, Cortex A76 + 2.36 GHz, Dual core, Cortex A76 + 1.95 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A55)
50 MP + 40 MP + 8 MP + 8 MP
Huawei P40 Pro
Android v10 (Q)
Octa core (2.86 GHz, Dual core, Cortex A76 + 2.36 GHz, Dual core, Cortex A76 + 1.95 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A55) processor
50MP + 40MP + 12MP

new arrivals in india

Realme 8i
Realme 8i

13,999

Realme 8s 5G
Realme 8s 5G

17,999

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

12,499

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

35,999

Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G

20,999

Vivo Y33s
Vivo Y33s

17,990

Realme C21Y
Realme C21Y

8,999

Vivo Y21
Vivo Y21

15,490

Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition

25,999

Realme GT 5G
Realme GT 5G

37,999

Itel A48
Itel A48

6,399

Motorola Edge 20
Motorola Edge 20

29,999

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

21,499

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

84,999

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

1,49,999

Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)

13,999

Nokia C20 Plus
Nokia C20 Plus

8,999

Vivo Y53s
Vivo Y53s

19,490

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Best Sellers