The cameras continue to be the defining traits of phones in 2019, and manufacturers are indeed struggling a lot to get this one part right. Well, a lot has changed in the past few years, and just as everything smartphone, camera trends too keep changing.
This progression has been a gradual process but the first major incremental change happened in 2016 when Apple decided to embraced dual cameras. Even today, most OEMs struggle to get the portrait mode right and, thanks to Pixels, the true value they add remains debatable, but still, the trend has caught on. Dual cameras are now smartphone staples and something consumers factor in their buying decision.
In the year 2018, Chinese smartphone makers like Vivo and Oppo dolled out their own flavors of innovations with elevating and slider cameras. This tech makes sense if we are to progress towards a clean, bezel-less and, most importantly, a notch-less future – but we are just getting started.
2019 will should see a whole new level of camera crazy, and if you like to keep your self on top of current trends, these are a few things you might want to watch out for before you buy your next phone.
Last year Vivo pioneered the concept of cool elevating cameras with their Apex concept that finally made it to India in original Nex phone. With elevating cameras, Vivo was able to offer early on what other smartphones are now delivering using punch hole cameras – a clean uninterrupted display.
The good news is that pop-up cameras are going cheaper and relatively more accessible. Vivo has already confirmed the launch of its V15-series phones with pop-up selfie cameras on February 20.
Display hole camera
Though, Samsung was the first to present a punch-hole camera screen last year, more and more phones are likely to follow the suit in 2019. What’s so special about the display hole camera you ask? Well, one clear advantage of having a punch hole display is more usable status bar space. And now that notches have perhaps grown on us, we have to admit the design looks enchanting too.
Moving Beyond Dual Cameras
Samsung, Huawei, and Honor are already offering phones with more than two cameras. In fact, Samsung’s Galaxy A9 (2018) boasts off quad rear camera setup. And HMD global is reportedly working on a five camera Nokia 9.
With new age chipsets like Qualcomm 675, 855, and Kirin 980 getting support to handle feeds from more than two cameras simultaneously, we expect multiple camera sensors to become more common on our phones in the coming months.
We thought the megapixel rat race was over for good, but it looks like manufacturers would once again be brandishing towering megapixel counts across all price segments.
We already have a bunch of phones with 48MP rear cameras! These sensors still mainly capture a 12MP image. The idea here is to collect more light using more pixels just so the image processing software has more data to work with.
This practice of combining pixels into one big pixel, or pixel binning, has been there for ages but has now gotten quite efficient and has consequently emerged as a viable solution to improve lowlight performance without inflating the price.
Lossless Zoom to get Better
Optical Zoom on phones has mostly been 2X lossless, save for a few exceptions like Mate 20 Pro that include 3X zoom. That’s because Zoom assembly takes a lot of space and is also difficult to stabilize. But looks like Oppo has found a workaround for the problem.
Earlier this month Oppo confirmed that it is set to bring this technology in a smartphone really soon. If recent reports are to be believed the Oppo F11 series will be the first smartphone to feature this new tech and it is likely to debut in February.
Smartphone camera Trends for 2019
Smartphone phone camera will be once again the center of innovation in 2019. With each brand investing heavily in research and development of smartphone cameras, there is a lot to look forward to. Apart from the aforementioned trends, you will hear a lot more about things like 3D TOF sensors, HDR in Portrait mode and other magical software enhancements. All in all 2019 will be an exciting year for smartphone cameras.