Dual cameras could be just the start, suggests CNET, as it references 16-camera device [Poll]

The move by Apple and other smartphone manufacturers to dual cameras could be just the start, suggests a CNET piece. It argues that future smartphones could have three, four, five or more cameras …


There is, it points out, already one smartphone on the market with three cameras, though one of those is an infra-red camera used for Google’s Project Tango, to scan 3D space.

And to illustrate just how crazy things could get, it references the L16, an upcoming phone-sized device with no fewer than 16 cameras. Each time you take a photo, the L16 uses up to ten of these cameras simultaneously to generate an incredibly high-resolution image of up to 52 megapixels.

Each scene captured by the Light L16 Camera is shot by up to 10 of 16 individual 28mm, 70mm, and 150mm camera modules firing simultaneously. The individual shots are computationally fused to create an incredibly high-resolution, low-noise photograph, up to 52 megapixels in size.

This combines an approach taken in the iPhone 7 Plus – more than one focal length lens – with multiple cameras whose images can be seamlessly joined to boost the resolution.

As you zoom in or out, the L16 intelligently chooses the best combination of 28mm, 70mm, and 150mm camera modules to use for the job. So you can get beautiful close-up photos with no quality degradation at over 5X optical zoom.

Gathering more light through multiple cameras also reduces noise, and multiple images allows you to choose the depth of field after the shot has been taken.

We’ll see how well the L16 lives up to its promise when it launches later in the year, but the approach certainly makes sense, and that’s why CNET‘s Patrick Holland believes phone makers may adopt more than two cameras.

For example, the iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras: one with a 28 mm lens and the other with a 56 mm lens. But if it had four cameras, there could be a 24 mm lens, a 28 mm lens, a 56 mm lens and a 70 mm lens. The result would be a phone with the coverage of an 24-70 mm zoom lens, one of the most common and versatile lenses sold […]

Over time, two cameras will turn to three then four then five and so on.

Do you think he’s right, and future iPhones might have three or four cameras? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

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