Technology Convergence Clicks in Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone cameras have become an integral part of everyday usage and one of the most desired features users look for. Therefore, smartphone makers in collaboration with the camera ecosystem have been striving to level up the mobile photography performance with breakthroughs in both hardware specifications and ai-backed software and algorithm development.
Hardware Upgrades in Smartphone Cameras
Ever since the introduction of camera phones in 1999, there has been constant development and improvement in mobile camera performance and specifications, ranging from resolution and pixel technology to multi-lens combination.
• High-resolution Trend
Through the past 20 years, the resolution of handset cameras has increased nearly thousandfold, which represents a major trend in camera upgrades. In 2020, smartphones adopting 32-108 megapixelsbased rear cameras made up more than onethird of global shipments, and we expect this high-resolution trend to continue.
• Big-pixel Trend
The smartphone market has also seen the increasing uptake of big-pixel, large-area sensors in mid-to-high-end smartphones from huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Tecno and other brands. Thanks to the enlarged optical sensing area, each pixel can take in more light, leading to excellent performance with extremely low noise, greater dynamic range and super-clarity.
• Multi-camera Trend In addition to the advance in camera resolution, multi-lens deployment in smart phones has become another ir reversible trend. In 2020, average CIS contents per smartphone reached over 3.7, with the quad and above camera setup accounting for 29% of the smartphone market. as the multi-camera trend penetrates deeply into lower price segments, the composition ratio of multi-rear cameras is expected to reach over 90% in 2023.
AI is Transforming Mobile Photography Experiences
along with the constant development of camera specs, smartphone brands are also embracing ai to further enhance and enrich mobile photography and videography experiences. Tecno, for instance, with its flagship camera phone camon 17 to be launched this month, has been a leading player in combining ai with mobile camera innovations. It has developed an advanced image signal processing system TAIVOS (Tecno ai Vision Optimization Solution), which can enhance photography effects under complex light conditions.
“ai has enabled a series of exciting camera features such as dynamic object and facial recognition, light recognition and lighting effects, night mode enhancement, ai-based anti-distortion, ai-based stabilization, as well as an intelligent combination of multi-camera lens. With the support of ai, a camera can capture every moment with optimum clarity and richness in detail and colors even in the most challenging environments,” said Ethan Qi, Senior analyst, counterpoint research.
ai now sits at the heart of portrait and landscape beautification. On top of massive data analysis of human features and life scenes, ai allows a camera to better recognize and understand different scenes and subjects, and deploy adaptable algorithm and optimized camera settings to enhance the image quality. Personalized beautification is also enabled to reflect individual variation with more natural effects.
moreover, new lines of thinking like aipowered 4K time-lapse video-shooting, “single take” and cinema mode have sprouted to make shooting of photos and videos more fun, flexible and personal, greatly enriching the experience of mobile photography.
We expect the high-resolution and multicamera trends to continue in 2021, with more sensors featuring 100 million-plus pixels, said counterpoint in a report. meanwhile, ai is also bound to bring massive innovations and new features to smartphone cameras. regardless of whether mobile phone manufacturers prioritize high-resolution or ai-backed algorithms, or both, consumers can always enjoy an everimproving user experience. ■