Sony has started a separate platform to support dual-lens cameras. The company has long been a provider for smartphone camera components, but this move indicates that they believe dual-lens cameras are going to be increasingly mainstream going forward.
This seems to line up with some recent rumors trickling through the grapevine that the iPhone 7 Plus will be using a dual-lens camera module. However, Sony was quick to point out that they don’t believe this new form of camera will be anything close to mainstream for at least a year. The high-end smartphone market is slowing down globally. As a result, the demand for smartphone components is slackening, so Sony is banking on this new technology getting a start a little later than we may prefer. Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida put it this way:
Well, for next year, our so-called dual lens – dual camera platform will be launched by, we believe, from major smartphone players. However, as I said previously, recently, our smartphone market is growing and particularly, our high-end smartphone market is now slowing down. So, that may impact the demand or production schedule of dual camera smartphones by the major smartphone manufacturers. So, we believe the real start, the takeoff of smartphone with dual lens camera will be in the year of 2017.
The extra lens may seem a little unnecessary, but dual-lens modules actually bring a lot of functionality to mobile devices. Some handsets have used this technology to create wide-angle lens effects, but it can also be used to amplify low-light performance. Furthermore, making the lenses have different zoom levels can let your phone’s camera actually zoom. Currently, the zoom feature on your camera, digital zooming, is no better than cropping the image down.
What are your thoughts regarding dual-camera technology? Is this the way of the future, or just a gimmick that appeals to a niche demographic of photography enthusiasts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!