When shopping for an affordable smartphone, one of the main features you’ll want to pay close attention to is the rear-facing camera, which may come with multiple lenses. Manufacturers have been tweaking and improving smartphone camera technology for several years, and the cameras now included on flagship devices like the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Samsung Galaxy S10 allow you to take professional quality photos with relative ease.
If you look at the back of your phone, you’ll see a small camera lens. In a smartphone, the camera module is quite tiny, since the phone itself has to be slim. Inside this tiny module are multiple lens elements, including an image sensor and sometimes even motors for optical image stabilization.
Each camera has a lens for directing light and a sensor for capturing it, both of which affect the quality of the finished shot. In recent years, manufacturers have added more and more lenses to the back camera, spawning designations such as “dual-lens” and “triple-lens.” As an example, the Samsung Galaxy S10 includes a 12MP wide angle lens, a 16MP ultrawide sensor, and a 12MP telephoto with 2x optical zoom, in addition to a 10MP front-facing “selfie” camera.
Multiple lenses give the device independent camera modules that work together to produce sharper, richer images. Typically, the primary lens does the main work while the additional lenses adds fine detail by capturing additional light, increasing the field of view, or adding background effects.
The breakthrough in lens technology is augmented by built-in editing options to give you even more precise control over the finished look of your photos. For iPhone users, just a few clicks in the Photos app allows you to use the auto-enhance feature to automatically adjust exposure, contrast, saturation, and more. You can crop and straighten the photo, and even add filters and adjust the light and color. The camera app for Android phones includes numerous options depending on the type of phone, including a host of interesting filters for adding different textures or colors to your photo. Some even feature Beauty Mode, which gives you tools to touch-up a subject’s facial features.
Best of all, manufacturers are continuing to refine camera technology, so these formerly “high end” features are now available on an even wider selection of smartphones than before. It’s already possible to take beautiful, pictures with most smartphone cameras, and that functionality just continues to get better!