The Apple iPhone 7 Plus
is the first mainstream smartphone to come with a secondary telephoto lens and this turned out to work out great for it: early reports say that people are buying more iPhone 7
Plus devices than the smaller iPhone 7, and the camera is one significant reason to pick the larger one for many.
While this new dual-camera system with a secondary telephoto lens is new for the smartphone world, dual-camera systems per se are not: even the cheapest Chinese phones from Xiaomi these days feature a secondary sensor that helps with computational photography, and the higher-end Huawei P9
has a monochrome sensor that works great in low-light.
LG's G5 brings a super wide-angle, 10mm additional lens that captures stunning images
These are all great ideas, but probably the most impressive and useful implementation of the secondary camera idea in the Android world comes from the LG G5
. Its secondary rear camera is a wide-angle one, or should we say super wide-angle one? It features a 135-degree view that is not only impressive, but also genuinely useful for a ton of video and image enthusiasts out there. Ask vloggers who record their videos in a small room, those who need to sell their car or brokers that want to take pictures of various rooms and need the widest angle camera, fitness and dance instructors trying to showcase their routines in tight spaces. The list just goes on and on, and not least reason to have a wide-angle camera is to get that extremely cool wide view for landscape shots.
Apple's iPhone 7 Plus offers a 28mm and a 56mm, telephoto, lens
So yes, it might be a bit too early and there certainly are technical intimidations to make this a reality: but the idea of a triple camera system, one that combines a regular lens, something similar to the iPhone's telephoto lens, and a super wide-angle lens a-la LG G5, would really make for an extremely versatile photographic tool. Imagine a camera that would allow you to shoot at 10mm, 28mm, and 56mm, a versatility that even DSLRs can only achieve using two separate lenses and requiring lengthy and tiresome lens swaps.
So who will be the first company to actually be this bold and make such a smartphone? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, let us know: do you think that this would be a valuable feature?