Apple is largely expected to debut at least one iPhone with a triple-lens camera this year. We're not sure which model or models will have three lenses, and we're not sure what it'll ultimately look like. But a triple-lens iPhone is probably coming.
But aside from sounding fancier, the most important thing to the consumer is how a triple-lens camera setup is going to benefit image quality and photographic capabilities. Continue reading to learn five ways sporting three lenses will seriously upgrade 2019 iPhones!
Better Optical Zoom
There’s a big difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. But to the average consumer, it’s the quality that matters. There just are no two ways about it: optical zoom is flat out better.
Current dual-lens iPhones offer up to
The most notable difference is that users can zoom in and take pictures without any graininess or reduction in photo quality. It’s a simple but much-needed improvement.
Better Low-Light Performance
Most smartphones perform poorly in low-light or dark conditions. That’s an unfortunate fact, and even iPhones aren’t immune to shooting lower-quality photos in the dark.
Adding another sensor into the mix would allow a triple-lens iPhone to draw in more light when snapping a photo. That, in turn, would allow photos to appear brighter and simply better in darker conditions. But there’s another way Apple could boost low-light performance, too.
Apple is bound to go all-in on computational photography, so its next move may very well be a competitor to Google’s stunning Night Sight mode. With a third lens and a similar AI system, Apple’s next iPhones could give the Pixel a run for its money.
Advanced 3D Sensing and AR Capabilities
Apple has a vested interest in augmented reality. And together with a new version of ARKit, an iPhone with a triple-lens camera could seriously boost Apple’s prominence in the nascent AR sphere (and could pave the way for other AR devices, too).
A third lens could allow an iPhone to sport much better 3D spatial- and depth-sensing performance. Think about the TrueDepth camera’s AR-related capabilities — but even better. The AR possibilities are pretty vast, and although Apple is spearheading mobile AR, it’s likely just getting started.
Other reports even indicate that Apple could use a laser-assisted system to boost AR performance on its rear-facing camera. Either way, expect more advanced AR-related capabilities to hit the next generation of iPhone.
Unique Sensor Options
Most modern dual-lens smartphones sport different camera sensors. A standard sensor and a telescopic sensor is a common pair, seen on devices across the spectrum — including Apple’s recent iPhones. But a third lens brings even more possibilities.
For example, some current smartphones (like Huawei's triple-lens devices) sport a monochrome camera sensor. Monochrome sensors have long been known to vastly improve the sharpness and clarity of images. Adding it to a standard and telescopic lens setup is a great mix.
Apple could also add a wide-angle lens into the mix. While likely more useful for selfies, a wide-angle sensor would allow iPhone users to “fit” more of a scene into a particular image. That could have benefits for AR, too.
Better Quality Pictures in General
You can equate the smartphone camera sphere to a sort of “arms race” among manufacturers. Every OEM wants to have the best smartphone camera on the market.
Among the more “routine” improvements that a triple-lens camera is able to bring is a general upgrade to photo quality. That’s because more sensors mean that a particular camera is able to draw in more light and color data.
So yes, it’s not that exciting of an improvement. But it’s still an upgrade over past iPhones — and it’ll help keep Apple’s devices competitive and up-to-date in a rapidly progressing and saturating market.