The back cam is just one of one of the most hotly-contested (and also ruthlessly-promoted) functions in today’s premium smartphones — a fact owned home by the continuous jousting for top place in DxOMark’s renowned ideal mobile cam positions. The competitors has actually come to be so close that, even when vendors like Apple, Google, Samsung or Sony release a brand-new phone that secures top place, that ‘winner’ frequently has to share the lead setting — and also ultimately, nearly all of them have their short regimes overthrown within a few months, or less.

Over the last pair of years, twin rear cameras have slowly come to be the standard for flagship smart devices, yet this year’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus bucked that fad by sticking to the very same 12-megapixel, single-sensor video camera specification that was used in their 2016 precursors, with simply a couple of enhancements to enhance total photo top quality and efficiency. That’s made the new Note 8 the initial device from Samsung that includes a dual-camera selection, which — as always — brings with it a raft of much-touted brand-new digital photography features. 

In a recent visit to Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, we chatted to Dr. Yoon Youthful Kwon from the company’s Advanced Camera R&D Group about the job that goes into constructing one of the finest mobile phone electronic cameras on the marketplace, and why the electronics large determined to transform a winning formula for the Note 8.  Addressing the bigger picture, Dr. Kwon clarified that the company’s ultimate goal with its cameras is relatively straightforward.

“Our major focus is to make certain the individuals feel pleased with the pictures that they take, ” he told us. “Samsung started to look into the double camera because our companied believe it had the prospective to use functions that were hard or impossible to provide via solitary lens cameras.”

The not so ‘mega’ pixel

Mobile device

 According to Kwon, Samsung started researching dual-sensor and also lens cameras between 4 as well as five years ago, however the factor it’s just initially appeared in the Note 8 is due to timing. The Note 8’s launch has associated a time when there’s less require to raise megapixel counts just for the exact same of doing so, come with by a new passion in optical zoom – a feature that’s widespread with dual electronic camera ranges. Kwon explained that “the megapixel is simply among the variables that influence the photo top quality of cams. If you have a greater megapixel matter, that’s much more helpful for printing and also large displays, nonetheless this also suggests that the image’s pixel size drops, which causes lower resolution and lower colour accuracy.”

“We believe that the smartphone user trend is shifting toward on-device picture consumption, where increasing the individual pixel size is helpful for image top quality. Presently, most of consumers take the pictures on the gadget, view them on the device and afterwards share it on the gadget, ” said Kwon. 

Bokeh in full bloom


One of the essential attributes that the dual back camera brings is an impact called ‘bokeh’ where an image has a particular item in emphasis, but anything behind or before the subject is blurred into obscurity. 

“In order to create the bokeh effect, you require to measure the distance between the camera and the item that you are shooting. Utilizing the dual cameras you get 2 point of views and, based upon the differences between both images, you could remove the depth info and also produce the bokeh result, ” Kwon explained.

Single lens cameras could produce this impact making use of dual-pixel sensing units, however Kwon kept in mind that this strategy is generally as well ‘noisy’ to offer consistent results. “The objective of the twin pixel electronic camera that we’ve had given that the S7 is not to produce the bokeh result, but to increase the autofocus, ” said Kwon.

“ [In double pixel video cameras] , behind one lens there are two various image sensing unit pixels, so you have light coming from the left and also light coming from the. You compare the various strength of the light coming from the left to that of the right, and based on the distinction you can estimate the depth and also you could estimate the required focus, ” explained Kwon. “In DSLRs, there is the face distinction innovation, which gauges the distance between the electronic camera as well as the object based upon face information.” Further iterating his position on solitary lens setups, Kwon mentioned that ”these techniques just supply partial details of just what we require and are much more noisy than the dual-camera modern technology. They do not give enough information to develop the bokeh effect.” He explained that “even in the future, it will certainly be hard to produce the bokeh impact using a single lens double pixel technology.”   

That claimed, the Pixel 2 smart device, which launched quickly after the Note 8, has manage to rack up greater in DxOMark, despite its solitary lens camera. Google’s taken a left-of-field strategy nevertheless, relying upon device learning algorithms for discovering refined patterns in dual-pixel readings, which permits it to obtain a convincing bokeh result with a simply a solitary lens. It’s a novel breakthrough that defies the former understanding of the limitations in dual pixel technology. 

Through another lens

The Note 8’s 2 cameras contain a 12-megapixel, 26mm, f/1.7 dual-pixel broad angle electronic camera with a 1/2.55 ” sensor size and 1.4µm pixel size, alongside a 12-megapixel, 52mm, f/2.4, telephoto lens with a 1/3.6 ” sensor size and a 1.0µm pixel size. In and also of itself, merely having two cameras should be sufficient to provide a photographic advantage, yet the specific mix of video cameras can substantially move the feature established from one double lens video camera array to another. 

“We picked the combination of a broad angle lens and also a telephoto lens because we thought this would have the ability to provide a very crisp and also clear long range optical zoom that nothing else smartphone has actually been able to provide yet, “ said Dr. Kwon. 

For customers, the brand-new video camera variety brings new attributes like 2x optical zoom, Live Focus (with realtime bokeh result) and Double Capture settings while reducing history noise as well as enhancing the low-light high quality of video capture. Both video cameras have optical picture stabilisation as well as an improved collection of image processing attributes, amounting to a significant bump in the cam top quality on the Note 8, as we noted in our review.

Moreover, despite Google throwing its significant AI advantage behind the Pixel 2’s camera, the Note 8 still produced great outcomes — also outshining the Google in some locations. Have a look at our video face-off where we contrast the 2 (alongside the apple iphone 8 Plus as well as Huawei Mate 10 Pro) as well as see for yourself.

Joel Burgess flew to Seoul politeness of Samsung Australia.