Leaked images of HTC’s upcoming M8 have shown a smartphone with a dual-lens camera (shown below). The camera is rumored to have features that exceed the usual expectation of 3D imaging.
Corephotonics is a company which has made a dual-lens camera concept for smartphones (though they do not work for HTC). The main reason why the dual-lens camera is so amazing is the fact that each of the two lenses has a different focal length. One of the lenses is wide-angle, while the other is at 3x zoom. This allows people to take pictures of distant objects without using digital zoom (which distorts picture quality).
A test setup involved taking a picture of a card set a fixed distance both from a traditional smartphone camera lens and the new dual-lens concept. The system developed by Corephotonics always gave a clear 13 megapixel image regardless of 1x or 3x zoom. Nokia’s famous PureView cameras also rely on digital zoom, due to which a 3x magnified picture results in a drastic drop of quality down to only 5 megapixels.
The dual-lens concept also has advantages in video recording as it provides a smoother zoom by using a mix of digital zoom and lens-switching. Another benefit is that low-light performance can be improved by adding separate sensors to each lens. The dedicated software for the dual-lens camera has also been developed by Corephotonics and works in real-time to match corresponding pixels from each lens. The lens then uses scene analysis to recognize which pixel is closer to reality. This produces a clearer image.
The most amazing advantage, though, is the fact that the dual-lens provides a degree of depth analysis much like a 3D image. This provides extra control over images, such as automatically blurring out the background in portrait shots, quicker autofocus and augmented reality.
With benefits like these, it makes sense why HTC would want to introduce such a camera in their upcoming M8 model. Let’s just hope that this technology will be in the reach of tech geeks when it is released to the masses, because with so many advantages, the price for such a device is sure to be high.