The year 2021 saw many flagship phones display great capabilities with their cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max got rave reviews for their introduction of cinematic mode to their phone cameras, while the Samsung S21 ultra was praised for its zoom lens and dynamic range.
But it is not just flagship phones getting great cameras as even much cheaper phones have seen improved camera modules over the past years. Indeed, cameras are becoming a critical part of any new phone and thus, is one of the main battling points when deciding which phone to buy.
So, then, what further phone cameras improvements should we expect in 2022?
Improved portrait mode
The social media takeover means that many of us want phones that take the best selfie cameras that they can. Most selfie cameras will often then take these photos in portrait mode.
Unfortunately, portrait mode has been a place where even the best flagships have struggled. Thus, there is no doubt that phone companies will do their best to improve this feature.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra got praise for its improved 10x zoom lens, while iPhone 13 Pro improved its zoom lens from 2x to 3x.
Thing is, many people are turning to phones for many of their photographic needs and this year could see companies experiment with even higher optical zooms.
Not only that, but we also expect companies to enhance the digital zoom technology, allowing for clearer images even when zoomed in to the smallest grain. Speaking of small grain –
Macro lens to continue
Many phones from 2018/19 now come with macro-cameras that take photos of subjects that are very small or very close to you without sacrificing image quality.
Unfortunately, many of these cameras are still experimental and often come with major flaws. Either the macro images are not sharp enough, or they aren’t even macro at all and could easily be mistaken for images taken on the normal lens.
I expect major improvements from phone companies on these so that it goes from a gimmick to a useful lens. Who wouldn’t want to capture a clear close-up image of the ladybug crawling on that flower in your backyard?
Better image processing
The flagship phones will always have great cameras but they also back it up with incredible AI that aids in image processing. Apple had the A15 Bionic chip, while Google had the Tensor chips, both of which are the gold standard for AI and machine learning in photography.
The Google Pixel 6 set the standard with its Tensor chip AI that could enable improving details in photography such as opening eyes that were closed when the image was taken. It can only get better from here.
Companies have been experimenting widely with camera layouts and that will only get better in 2022. With more phone cameras packing bigger and more lenses, we hope to see a lot of different, perhaps even experimental, camera layouts and designs.
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