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Friday, December 17, 2021

Brighter, Steadier, Smarter: The Future of Smartphone Cameras in 2022

The future of smartphones looks good, and it keeps on improving year after year so that every one can have that perfect selfie or video. 

In 2021, smartphones with multiple lens became mainstream but it has gone a long way in such a short span of time. So what will the new smartphone innovations for 2022? 

OIS technology, the steadying effect.

This feature is definitely a game-changer as most smartphone camera produce that unwanted blurry and shaky photos especially in low light areas. With OIS system, the image or video becomes steady because the "lens" shifts to counter the movements.

Jimmy Hsu of TECNO Mobile explained that the trend for OIS before 2019 was only a degree of stabilization but in 2021, it has greatly increased to three degrees because of pan-tilt OIS. For year 2022, TECNO Mobile will innovate further to create the first Android phone with sensor shift, setting its sight at up to 5 degrees stabilization. "Compared to conventional Optical Imaging Stabilization, TECNO's sensor shift technology can achieve a response frequency of 5,000 adjustments per second." 

Meanwhile, Tarun Pathak, Director of Research said that about 40% of all smartphones in Q2 2021 had 48-64 MP sensors, and 3% had 108 MP sensors. For 2022, there is a chance that smartphones with 200 MP sensors will be made available. 

"The smaller the pixel, the less light you can capture in each pixel, and the harder it is to get a good image quality in darker environments," said Pan Xuebao, VP and Head of R&D, Samsung Electronics. 

Another smartphone feature that keeps on changing is aesthetics. Phones are getting sleeker and periscope lenses that allows for 5x or 10x optical zoom are being used in smartphone models during 2021. 

Low light camera feature has seen a vast improvement. We all agree that most people take photos indoors, with less than ideal light conditions. 

Low light feature is the holy grail of mobile photography, according to Herve Macudzinski, Image Science Director and Product Owner of DXOMARK Image Labs, that tests camera, audio, display and battery quality. 

As cameras improve, we can see ourselves more clearly. New technologies allow our portraits to be more accurate, especially for people of colour. 

"We need to have a very good processing- that is, to understand what the user's intention was and modify the image adequately," said Macudzinski. 

With TECNO's TAIVOS signal processing technology, it recognizes and accurately reproduces dark skin elements. According to Hsu, the company uses a large dark skin database to produce more than 6,120 Evaluation Scenarios spanning 115 countries. 

Cameras also need to adapt to the details of the environment. With traditional photography, professional photographers use their experience and training to make adjustments that highlight not just the subject but also background scene elements. They also typically spend significant time in post-production that brings images to life. 

"Smartphone cameras need to provide all these capabilities in the default mode," explained Macudzinski. "That means the final smartphone user does not have to think through everything. They just have to press the button." That is where AI comes in, and adjust the algorithm to produce a nice shot. 

Depth is also important when capturing great photos, especially portrait shots. With smartphone cameras, it must recognize depth and subject edges. 

With Time of Flight (ToF) and Dynamic Vision Sensors (DVS) improving, smartphones will get better at generating 3D models of the scene and detecting edges. This will allow for more precise measurements and offer users features such as enhanced and gradual blurring of backgrounds. 

"ToF and DVS could be the opportunities where mobile phone cameras start to outperform DSLR cameras," added Hsu. 

These trends in smartphone technology is becoming more intricate and 2022 will witness a lot of new and improved features. These advancement, however, will not be defined just by cutting-edge features on pricey smartphones. It's a win across budget tiers- the developments result not just in technological advancement, but also trickle-down premium features to smartphones in the low and medium price bands. With the way smartphone cameras are leveling up, the best moments of your life will be remembered more clearly than ever. 


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