Looking back on 2017, its obvious now that one of the biggest changes to hit was the advent of the dual camera when it came to mobiles. Now, the dual camera is not just spreading to ever lower price points or market segments, it is also becoming better understood in terms of its potential.
Back in 2011, when the dual camera first made its appearance, they were a tech oddity. It was only 2016 when they hit the mainstream, with high expectations on initially premium phones, and gradually, the mid-market segments too. The dual cameras tried to counter one of the last few criticisms of the camera on a mobile device. Of being poor in low light conditions, and for not offering enough 'depth' or even the advantage of effects, notably, the 'bokeh' effect.
Even as the dual camera is not quite there with its answers, there is no doubt that it has moved fast to become an almost standard feature in 2017. While not everywhere yet, consumers have started to expect it in any phone above 15K. What explains this fast acceptance, and despite for the dual camera?
In fact, a dual camera is actually not even an extra camera, but an extra lens in your phone camera.
Based on the type used, a dual camera can enable an ultra-wide angle mode, make your images sharper, or help take pictures with a shallow depth to make the main object of your focus stand out. Then there is, of course, the 'bokeh' effect, reminiscent of those glossy magazine shots, where the main subject is in sharp focus, even as the background is blurred for effect.
Currently, a good dual camera setup can also help add 1x or 2x optical zoom to the phone, which is not an insignificant achievement, especially considering how any increase in optical zoom with its lower compromise on quality as compared to digital zoom is.
But there is still some way to go. While a dual camera will definitely improve your pictures, truly great pictures depend on many other factors too. So the whole package matters. Sensor size, aperture size (which determines the light that is allowed to get in) and even post-processing matters, which is something you will see in the cameras residing in fairly high-end phones for now.
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Our prediction for 2018? Dual cameras will continue to follow the law of dropping prices and extra features, and become commonplace, or standard feature on any handset over Rs 20,000. And for any handset around that price that doesn't offer the feature, they better have a very compelling reason to do it.
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