The Future of Smartphone Cameras: What Can We Expect?

Smartphone cameras have evolved tremendously in the last few years, adding features and new lens technology that have improved the quality of pictures so much that they are starting to look professional. While digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras still have significant technology advantages over smartphone cameras, new smartphone technologies are narrowing that gap in exciting ways. DSLR phones aren’t possible yet, but these innovations are a huge step closer.

More Megapixels Than Ever

In an age when double-digit megapixels in the low teens in a smartphone camera are something to seriously crow about, the thought of a 52-megapixel smartphone camera is almost unimaginable in the near future. But that future might just be nearer than we think. Photography startup Light has a new camera concept that will introduce 52-megapixel cameras into smartphones, and their goal is to do it in 2016.

Light is adapting lens technology to create a small camera that can capture high numbers of megapixels without adding bulk to current smartphones so that phones can be slimmer and lighter than ever before. It involves several lens modules arrayed next to each other and a camera smart enough to know how to switch between them based on what a user wants to capture.

Phone Cases with Camera Lens Adaptations

Built-in cameras aren’t the only smartphone technology that’s changing how we take and share photographs. AppBanc, LLC recently created the WoW Lens smartphone case, which combines slim protectiveness with a lens apparatus that allows you to switch lenses on your smartphone camera similar to the way you would swap lenses on your expensive DSLR.

The case has a wheel that sits over the lens of your smartphone. When you turn the wheel, you access different lenses specifically formulated to work with the tiny smartphone camera. The addition of macro and wide-angle lenses makes the smartphone camera work more like a DSLR without actually having to upgrade your device. It’s a great option when you’re in between smartphones or not ready to upgrade just yet.

Britecell Technology for Low-Light Photos

Samsung has recently invested in the latest smartphone camera technology.
This innovation, called Britecell, will enable Samsung users to take better low-light photos. Britecell has better light sensitivity than the phone cameras currently on the market, which will make night-time photos brighter and sharper than ever before. Britecell is also slimmer than other phone cameras, which reduces the lens hump on many devices by about a millimeter. In something as slim as a Samsung phone, that’s a big difference.

Britecell uses a quick phase detection autofocus, which is the technology DSLR cameras use to get the fast, sharp focus they’re known for. Britecell is rumored to be appearing on the Samsung Galaxy S7, but current Samsung users are already familiar with the company’s camera ingenuity. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5’s camera innovations are already some of the best a smartphone has to offer. An improvement on the Galaxy’s already powerful photography capabilities is indeed grand to imagine and exciting to anticipate.

Image Processing and Power Requirements

Image via Flickr by r.nial.bradshaw

With Samsung and Apple going head-to-head developing better smartphone cameras, and small startups fueling the fire with new, exciting technology, the phones themselves may have to change to incorporate these great new cameras. Dual camera technology, which is one way to make a small phone camera act more like a DSLR, will allow the smartphone to create composite images that are overall better in quality.

Dual cameras, however, require more power and more RAM to run. As camera technology improves, that means the devices themselves need to be able to handle it. Phone manufacturers have more on their plates than just implementing better cameras, and it will be exciting to see how the devices are adapted to handle camera improvements.

Smartphone cameras take the average person closer than ever to taking DSLR-quality images. With photo editing apps and a creative eye, you can make photos that are beautiful enough to capture your fondest memories. Imagine how much better your images will be with these smartphone camera innovations.