Smartphone camera technology is continuing to advance

Photo illustration by Elijah Hickman | Banner | Many cellphone cameras are now equipped with virtual reality capabilities.

As phone technology advances, so do their photographic capabilities. Some people may have noticed that the cameras on many newer smartphones may have dual, triple or quad rear cameras, meaning they have more than just one camera lens, some as many as four.

Having multiple lenses on cameras allow for a better change of distance, a clearer image when you zoom in and the ability to switch to a wider field of vision for wider shots. One new feature on certain smartphones is the 360 “photosphere” images and the capability of converting that into augmented reality or virtual reality (VR).

Samsung discussed the ways multi-rear facing cameras help improve users’ photo-taking capabilities in a press release about the multiple rear-facing cameras in its new Galaxy phones.

“Now you can utilize optical zoom for a clear close-up, or switch to a wider field of vision to capture even more of the scene,” Samsung said in the press release. “Sometimes the cameras can work together to make your photos better. The recent addition of the DepthVision Camera to Galaxy phones goes beyond photography to bring in Augmented Reality capabilities as well.”

The Pixel 4a 5G, for example, has this feature, as well as the newer Pixel models including the new Pixel 6. iPhone models from iPhone 11 to the newest iPhone 13 have these capabilities.

The Pixel’s camera features the ability to take images all around the user, in 360 degrees, so users can see all around the image by scrolling, or by moving their camera around as if what is in the photo is right in front of them. Also, they can hit a button and make the photo a dual-display for easy use in VR headsets.

Irene Ramirez, freshman pre-nursing student, has a phone with dual-rear cameras. She uses the panorama feature, but her phone does not have the photosphere option. She said she would like that feature to be added to all phones.

“I use the panorama feature for things that are wide,” Ramirez said. “(But now phones) have the 360. That’s what everyone wants.”

Rebecca Stucky, senior psychology major, reminisced about her first phone and how far camera phone technology has come, and she said she would love to have this technology on her phone.

“I was pretty young when I got my first phone because my parents both work and I had activities to do after school, so we just needed to (be able to) contact them,” Stucky said. “I remember just taking photos and they weren’t very good probably because of the quality of the camera. Now it’s much better comparatively. I don’t have my old phone anymore but if I had access to just compare them, there would be a big difference.”

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