Phones with dual camera setup have become very popular. The trend is still rising and more flagship products are shipping with the feature. But what exactly is the big deal about dual cameras?

If you look at the back of a smartphone, you would surely find a tiny camera lens, which is a part of the phone’s rather tiny camera module. Unlike the really dedicated cameras, smartphone cameras have to be small, to keep the phone slim. But this brings up quite a number of issues for manufacturers. They have to fit in multiple lens elements,  an image sensor and things become tougher when you can’t shrink more quality parts into the camera modue without compromising on thickness.
In a dual camera set up, you’ll find two separate lenses, and each lens has its own image sensor. Usually the lenses are placed side-by-side horizontally or vertically and are actually independent. The set up usually has a main primary camera, and a ‘secondary’ primary camera. There are several applications for the dual camera set up but these are the three main applications, and these three are based on one thing:

Two are better than one.

Primary camera(with large sensor) coupled with secondary camera (with depth sensor): 

This is probably the most common approach. The primary camera is equipped with a powerful, large sensor which takes the actual photo. While the depth sensor on the second camera picks up details from the background behind the object. The details gotten from the second camera is used to treat the image from the main camera, resulting in a photo that potrays the main object in sharp detail, blurring the background. This approach is used in creating the Bokeh effect. Phones with this feature: Leagoo, Cublot, HomTom.

Cameras with RGB sensor and a separate monochrome sensor:

Hauwei P9 dual camera

This is another popular approach and is used in the Hauwei P9. In this setup, the main camerahas full sensor that picks up colors, while the second camera has a monochrome sensor that only picked up just two colors. Usually black and white. The upside for the second camera is that it focuses more on capturing more light, enabling the main camera to ‘see’ more of the object in focus.

Telephoto Zoom:

Apple iPhone 7 plus dual camera

This combination is also used by Apple iPhone 7 plus, iPhone 8 plus, iphone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 plus, and Xiaomi Mi.
The main primary camera is coupled with a second camera that is equipped with a telephoto lens. This gives it powerful zoom capabilities. Usually the second camera has a slightly larger aperture . The approach is also more efficient than any other approach for achieving spectacular Bokeh effects. With this combination, its easier to focus on the object in view, or focus on multiple objects in a snapshot and apply blur effect to other background elements. The set is also efficient for selfie cameras.


Another camera combination which isn’t so popular yet is the wide angle combination. This combination involves a camera with a regular ‘field-view’ and then another camera with a ‘wide angle view’. The combination is very efficient for taking group photos, landscaping and capturing interiors with a single shot. A very good device thay showcase the beauty of this feature is the LG G5.

Dual camera setup may be trending,  especially for budget smartphones,  but there other factors that affect your photo quality to a large extent,  aparture size,  sensor quality,  and post processing(for effective and enhancement)  are all important too. And that is why big budget phones with single camera setup are still rated higher. Not all smartphone manufacturers have switched sides. Google Pixel,  one of the top rated phones still retains its single camera setup,  Nexus, Nokia Android and injoo too. Until recently with Zero 5, infinix still maintained the single camera setup. So the question still remains: are two better than one? Have you used a phone with a dual camera setup? What do you think. Don’t get swayed by dual cameras. If you’re in the market to buy a phone, consider your budget,  your photographic needs,  and other important stuff too like the display.

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