From custom imaging chips to RGBW camera sensors and beyond, here are eight smartphone camera trends we expect in 2022.
What can we expect from smartphone cameras in 2022?
2021 is almost over and it has been an interesting year for camera phones. We’ve seen mid-range devices that include features like 108 megapixel cameras and astrophotography modes, flagship phones that are ultra-wide cameras almost on par with primary lenses, and more brands. in the camera industry. Even Google updated its hardware with the Pixel 6 series after years of 12MP sensors.
In this context, what does 2022 mean for mobile cameras? We’re taking a look at some potential smartphone camera trends to look forward to next year.
the cameras at the bottom of the screen are boosted
We launched the first commercially available phone with an under-screen selfie camera thanks to ZTE in 2020, but several other phones joined the battle in 2021: Xiaomi’s Mix 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 both featured shooters under the screen, while ZTE launched its second-generation Axon 30 series. And again, the difference in quality between these cameras and traditional front shooters is remarkable. We also have haze in the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s camera viewing area, so it’s not exactly perfect.
However, we expect sub-screen cameras to improve a lot in 2022, as some of the big manufacturers get to grips with the technology in 2021 and undoubtedly improve the hardware and algorithms for new businesses. However, let’s bet that all major flagships have this feature.
Cinematic mode arrives on Android
One of the main selling points of the iPhone 13 series is Cinematic Mode, which is actually a smarter portrait video mode. Of course, portrait videos aren’t new as we’ve seen from Huawei and Samsung. They already offer this option, but Apple’s version includes autofocus on a subject when its face is detected, subject tracking, and more.
We have no doubt that some Android OEMs will copy the Apple version of Cinematic Mode. But will everyone have a cinema mode in 2023? It is far from guaranteed. After all, 3D Touch has been copied by different brands and we know how it ended up.
We will see RGBW cameras again
When Huawei launched the P8, we first saw RGBW camera sensors in 2015. Oppo followed suit in 2015 and 2018 with phones with these sub-pixel sensors. However, RGBW sensors add white subpixels to the mix, which promises better light irradiation and less noise.
It looks like this technology could be relaunched in 2022, as both Oppo and Vivo have announced their own RGBW camera sensors for future devices. In fact, Oppo says it will launch a commercial device with an RGBW sensor in Q4 2021.
There were also rumors that the Galaxy S22 series might get 50 MP RGBW camera sensors next year. Even if that S22 claim doesn’t work, it looks like RGBW sensors are sure to be one of the many smartphone camera trends in 2022, from devices like the Lumia 920 to smartphones for years, but we’ve seen that various companies in recent years have gone further. like Vivo with its micro gimbal stabilization technology and Apple with sensor displacement stabilization. The
Vivo is expected to continue the micro gimbal momentum next year as Samsung brings OIS to its mid-range Galaxy A series. Oppo also showcased its five-axis OIS technology earlier this year and said it will hit the market in the first quarter of 2022. In other words, it looks like better stabilization, especially on cheaper phones. , could be another big trend over the next year. .
The variable telephoto lens will become more popular?
Sony experienced one of its most notable technological advancements in 2021 when it released phones with a variable camera. The feature of the Xperia 1 III and 5 III shows that you don’t necessarily need two separate TV cameras if you want good zoom performance.
Typical telephoto and periscope cameras take photos at a fixed zoom factor, everything else with a software-supported hybrid zoom. Sony was better, however, with a telephoto lens that can natively record at 2.9x and 4.4x for the best quality (although Sony’s implementation has not been perfect).
The downside to this solution is that it is still based on hybrid zoom for interstitial zoom factors, but offers a more flexible and better zoom experience on paper than a telephoto or periscope camera.
We expect Sony to continue to perfect this technology in 2022, but we also know that Oppo will raise the stakes with it.