The new iPhones are official, and one the biggest talking points (besides the missing 3.5mm audio jack) is the dual-camera setup at the back of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. With smartphone cameras quickly reaching their physical limits, an increasing number of smartphone companies have found a solution in putting a dual-camera setup at the back. The iPhone 7 Plus is the first device in Apple’s portfolio to come with such a camera setup, so let’s take a close look at how it works. Also Read - Apple shines in June quarter, posts record sales for iPhones, Macs and iPadsAlso Read - Friendship Day gifting ideas for your young tech-savvy besties under Rs 5,000
Apple describes the setup as ‘two cameras that shoot as one’. The dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus includes a pair of 12-megapixel cameras — one is a 28mm wide-angle lens that is the same as the one on the iPhone 7 and the other is a 56mm telephoto lens. Additionally, the camera comes with a quad-LED True Tone flash and supports a wider f/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilization (OIS), RAW image and 4K video recording. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus hands-on and first impressions roundup Also Read - Apple releases important iOS 14.7.1 update: iPhone users must download it right now
How Apple iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera works
Apple says that both cameras work together to let you click good photos even when zoomed in. The cameras are of shooting photos with up to 2X optical zoom and up to 10X digital zoom. On the updated camera app, users will now see a small circle with 1X written in it, and you will be able to slide it up to 10X. After 2X the zooming is done using software, so you can expect a bit of noise in the photos.
Another talking point of the dual-camera setup is what Apple will be introducing via a software update. The camera app will then have a Portrait mode, which will show portrait shots with bokeh effect in real-time. Using machine learning and a feature Apple calls ‘Depth’, the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera will be able to recognize a person’s face, do a depth-map of their position, and then blur the background to create a DSLR-like portrait shot with bokeh effect. Apple says all these functionalities are possible thanks to its upgraded Image Signal Processor.
How other dual-cameras work
Now Apple isn’t the only company to have come up with the idea of adding a dual-camera setup on the back of its flagship device. HTC was among the first companies to do so with the One (M8), and since then we have seen such setups on the LG G5, Huawei P9 and the Xiaomi Redmi Pro more recently.
The Huawei P9’s cameras are widely considered as one of the best available on smartphones these days. It has developed the cameras in collaboration with Leica, and the setup includes 12-megapixel snappers with a Monochrome and a RGB sensor. Along with the Picture Quality Algorithm developed by both the companies, one sensor calculates the color information, while the other picks up light. The result is a photo that has relatively better colors, details and sharpness, even in low light conditions. While the P9’s camera comes with features like laser auto-focus, hybrid auto-focus feature, contrast focus and depth focus features, it surprisingly misses out on optical image stabilization (OIS).
The dual-camera setup on the LG G5 includes a 16-megapixel snapper with 78-degrees lens, and an 8-megapixel snapper with a 135-degrees lens. For all purposes, the 16-megapixel snapper is main camera, but the 135-degree 8-megapixel sensor kicks in when you zoom out to capture a very wide photo with a slight fish-eye effect.
The dual-camera setup on the Xiaomi Redmi Pro employs a primary 13-megapixel camera and a secondary 5-megapixel camera. The primary camera is tasked with clicking the photo, while the secondary camera calculates the depth. For Xiaomi, the aim is to achieve real-time hardware-level bokeh effects in photos, which is close to what you get when using a DSLR.
With people just getting their hands on the new Apple iPhone 7 Plus, it is too soon to say just how good the dual-camera is. We must admit the photos that were showcased on stage by Apple looked fantastic, and we can’t wait to test it out ourselves. We will reserve our judgments till we have tested Apple’s new iPhones.