What's the deal with dual cameras?

Dual cameras are huge in the world of mobile phones right now. From Apple to Samsung and Huawei, every manufacturer has released a smartphone with a dual camera on the back - but why are they so much better than traditional cameras?

Let’s take a look at how dual cameras work, and what the differences are between dual and single-lens cameras!

How do dual cameras work?

Let’s start with the basics: dual cameras, like the name suggests, use two sensors (also known as lenses) to take a single photo. However, there are different types of dual camera technology, used by different manufacturers - so a dual camera on an iPhone will be different to a dual camera on a HTC.

The most used types of dual cameras are:

Telephoto + wide angle lens

This is the most popular setup, and it’s used by Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus. The telephoto lens allows you to take pictures in portrait mode thanks to its longer focal length, which makes it easier for the lens to differentiate between the subject and the background.

The wide angles lens lets you take, well, wide-angle photos - it simply can take in more of the scene than a normal lens can. Using both lenses at the same times allows the phone to take photos in higher quality and with more detail.

Monochrome + RGB lens

This type of dual camera is used by the likes of Huawei and Motorola., and it’s often considered to be one of the best, alongside telephoto/wide-angle. The monochrome (black-and-white) lens takes pictures in higher detail, with better contrast, while the RGB (red, green, blue) lets in more light and takes photos in full colour.

Together, these lenses produce very vivid photos, with amazing contrast, lighting, and realistic colours. They also produce a great bokeh effect in portraits and close-ups of inanimate objects.

What are the advantages of dual cameras?

So, we know what dual cameras do, and how they work - but why are considered better than plain old, single-lens cameras? Two isn’t always better than one, but dual-lens cameras do perform specific tasks better than regular cameras. There are a few things you’ll prefer to use a dual camera for, and these things are:

Portraits: Like we mentioned above, both types of dual cameras allow you to take better portraits by creating what’s known as a bokeh effect. “Bokeh” is a Japanese term which refers to the blurry background that makes the subject pop out.

Zoom: Telephoto lenses also allow you to zoom in much closer to your subject without losing too much resolution, unlike normal cameras which usually make your photo blurry and dark.

Wide-angle: Perfect for holiday snaps, dual cameras are the masters of wide-angle photography. They’ll allow you to take amazing photos of landscapes, city skylines, and more.

Do I need a dual camera phone?

If you’re an avid portrait photographer or a travel fiend looking to share professional-looking snaps on Instagram, then a dual-lens setup could be perfect for you. Just remember the price of a dual-camera phone may be a little higher, so you might want to opt for refurbished handsets!

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