One of my very first so-called smartphones was a Sony Ericsson-something from way back in the day. It wasn’t so smart. I tried Treo, Palm, Windows, and others, and Steve Jobs was correct. They were not so smart.
Yet, here we are, in the iPhone is King era, and Sony still sells smartphones– now based on Android– and aims to build yet another iPhone killer. Add the word hexacam to your vocabulary because it won’t be long before iPhone falls behind again.
Some of us still use our iPhones more for making calls than we do for taking photos, but Apple’s smartphone flagships are good at both. iPhone XS Max has three cameras. Word on the streets says iPhone 11 could– and probably should; just to keep up with competition– have four cameras.
Four? One selfie camera, of course, and a package of cameras on the back to handle wide angle, zoom, and something in-between.
Four cameras? Meh. Pffft. Killian Bell explains the trend:
New Sony Xperia could have twice as many cameras as iPhone 11
OK, let’s do the math. Four cameras on iPhone 11, due in a few months, vs 5, 6, 7 and then 8. Eight cameras?
Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t Sony supply the same cameras for most high end smartphones, including iPhone?
Sony has been regularly criticized for its dismal cameras on its own phones while providing competitive imaging sensors to its competitors.
Man, if you want to sell more phones, put a better camera in it, right? So, how complicated could it get to have up to eight cameras on a smartphone?
The rumor mill knows. Two selfie cameras, and six on the back.
Of the six, one is a 0.5 megapixel ToF sensor while the other five have 20, 8, 48, 12, and 16 megapixel sensors. All of those have f/2.4 aperture lenses but the 48 and 12 MP cameras have dual apertures, allowing them to switch between f/1.2 and f/2.4.
OMG, I love a good rumor.
Omar Sohail loves them, too.
Sony Xperia’s Hexa-Lens Camera Specifications Allegedly Leaked, Coupled With Significantly Taller Display
Just how leaky are those rumors?
The rear camera of the new Sony phone will have the sensors stacked in two vertical rows. The first row will have a 20MP sensor with a F/2.4 aperture, a 48MP sensor with apparently a variable aperture of F/1.2 and F/2.4, and a 16MP unit with F/2.4 aperture. The second row will have an 8MP sensor on the top with an F/2.4 aperture, followed by a 12MP camera with an aperture of F/1.2 to F/2.4, and a 0.5MP ‘Time of Flight’ sensor.
OK, officially, we have gone full circle from SLRs and lenses of yesteryear– where it matter which lens and which box and what kind of film you bought– all the way back around to how many lenses and how fast there are and how many pixels they carry all stuck on your smartphone.
Here’s the problem from an inveterate professional photography wannabe.
Already it is difficult to tell the difference from a decent photo from iPhone XS Max vs. a Samsung Galaxy-whatever or Google Pixel 3 XL or any other smartphone with a good camera from a decent DSLR photo. Yeah, they’re that good. Sure, photographers can tell the difference between such photos, but most of us– even those of us with a few decades of experience shooting tens of thousands of photos, and who fell on our knees and thanked the digital gods who decreed ‘no more film for you!‘ cannot tell.
Good photos are good photos, regardless of which device captured the image, and regardless of how many cameras were used to do the deed.
Trust me, a Sony Xperia with eight camera will be a decent Android smartphone and the camera may be one of the best, but it won’t kill iPhone.