Hello everyone, one interesting talk these days is the dual rear cameraman's setup that takes DSLR quality images from smart phones. No doubt this feature has so much craze since it offers many features like lossless zoom, better quality, vibrant colours, true black and white and of course the much interesting bokeh effect (some of these features depend on type of secondary lens on phone whether telephoto or monochrome). But now a days we see a lot of small Chinese companies offering dual camera setup on the rear. Do they work as they should? Are they even real? Let's find out!
To start with, it is not surprising any more if Chinese companies bring out better hardware for price than most well know companies. The reason behind this is that hardware is not only thing that costs more. Good software is as important as the hardware. It is similar issue even with the dual camera setups!
Most YouTube reviewers says it just makes a circle around the focus and rest around the circle is blurred. It is true to some extent. But some people argue that dual camera setup in these phones is completely fake,which is not at all true. They may not work as advertised but in most cases the secondary camera is present and it works. If you have a dual camera setup that has same camera units on the rear (for example two 13 mp units). Swapping them will not effect any images you take (also most brands give some kind of notification when you close the secondary camera in SLR mode).
You might wonder why don't they work properly then. The reason is lack of proper software implementation. It is actually a complex process how the bokeh effect is created in camera. In regular SLR cameras, aperture decides the bokeh effect. It is nothing but opening of lens blades to control light that pass into the camera. But if aperture opening is set to low, shutter time should be more in order to let more light in, if there is less light around the subject. This whole process is done in phones using the secondary camera!in case of smartphone, the secondary camera is used for that purpose as It is difficult for controlling aperture like real camera. In simple words, secondary camera assists the primary camera with focal length and other data so that the area around the subject can be blurred. Just like dslr, these cameras also need more light to process this so we usually have a little more shutter lag than in normal mode.
This whole process needs to be written in code to give commands to the secondary camera and to let the camera analyze this data. But problem here is that google haven't released any API for dual camera Implementation even though older processors too support it. It means that the manufacturers have to design the camera app completely by themselves. It is not as easy as it looks. Just note the fact that even with camera2 api(it is just a piece of code that enables manual controls and better image quality) released with release of Android lollipop, it is still not implemented well in most Chinese brands and even In some of the well known brands(you can check your device compatibility with third party apps like camera2probe)! So now just figure it out how can these manufacturers design a 'perfect dual camera app' that supports dual camera setups without the api. This is the reason why even there are no third party dual rear camera supported apps in play store for dual camera phones!
This doesn't mean that these set ups on Chinese brands are just a scam. Take a look at pictures I took with cheap Chinese dual camera phone!
Understand that taking good pictures with these devices depends on various factors like size of subject, lighting, distance from subject to background and also the distance between lenses and subject. If camera app can't figure any of these things properly, it just makes a circle at focus and the rest around it is blurred. How well your camera gets this data depends on how well the app is designed!
So the finally you need to understand why they could sell these phones with great build quality and also with good hardware at such a cheap price. It is usually because it is where the good things end,the software is not well polished in most of these phones and that includes the camera app! Software is not a big deal if you have some idea on removing bloatware and cooking some ROMs and tweaking it your self but that is not the case with most users, so think twice about it. But for now, since no proper support is available for dual camera setups from google, check dual camera devices by your self to see if they match your taste.
If you want to add more comments to the article or you see any thing incorrect please write a comment below and we will surely get back to you.
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