What is the purpose of each camera on your mobile phone? We display all available types

Discover the purpose of each camera on your mobile phone and distinguish them from each other.

Nowadays in the markets we can find mobile phones with two, three, four and even five cameras. Marketing does a lot. The number of cameras or the size of the megapixels makes it possible to sell more mobile terminals.

We have the idea that our station cameras perform different specific functions. We know we have a primary camera and a secondary one, but… do we know what cell phone cameras do? Below we will explain the purpose of using each camera in our station.

Different types of modern portable cameras

master bedroom

The main camera is the one that the mobile phone uses by default to take pictures. AI integration allows scenes to be recognized and adjustments applied automatically to get the best shot possible. On some mobile phones, this AI makes it possible to highlight a specific color and leave the rest of the scene in black and white.

What is the purpose of each camera on your mobile phone?  We display all available types

Xiaomi 12 Pro sensors

If we go into more technical details, the main camera usually has a wide viewing angle. This angle makes it easy to capture the background of the scene being photographed. It is usually around 60°C. The focal aperture can vary from f/1.5 to f/2.8 on cheap phones.

telephoto cameras

Telephoto lenses have a larger zoom function. While most smartphone cameras allow you to zoom in by cropping the image and enlarging the result, devices with separate telephoto lenses do so optically.

What is the purpose of each camera on your mobile phone?  We display all available types

The photo was taken with a telephoto lens, with 3X zoom applied

Thanks to the telephoto lens, we get the opposite effect of the wide-angle, because the telephoto lens brings the image closer to what we want to photograph without losing focus. The difference between this camera and digital zoom is that digital zoom cuts the image to enlarge the result using software, which results in a lower quality result.

Wide angle cameras

As its name implies, these are cameras that have an increased viewing angle. They are usually used in circumstances where what we want to photograph does not fit into the scene. Thus, wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle cameras move the image away, thanks to its wide angle of view.

Ultra Wide Angle Samsung Galaxy Z fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Ultra Wide Angle Photos

Therefore, these cameras are ideal for shooting distant landscapes or tall buildings where we want the entire building or landscape to appear in the scene. These cameras offer focusing capabilities using fixed focus.

monochrome cameras

In an effort to improve the amount of detail and sensitivity in photos, some manufacturers are including monochrome cameras in mobile devices. By not including a color filter in the sensor of these cameras, the sensors create different images that are combined thanks to the algorithm used by each image manufacturer. With this we achieve different perspectives for the pictures and we can, at first, achieve better results when taking pictures.

Huawei black and white photos

Monochrome images can help improve the quality of the resulting images

infrared cameras

Infrared cameras are those that allow to obtain thermal images. The uses of these cameras are generally varied. It is most commonly used to improve the face unlock feature. Apple uses this technology to be able to better unlock the face lock.

Change iPhone 13 FaceID Lock Screen (2)

iPhone infrared cameras are used for Face ID

Time of Flight (ToF) cameras

Time-of-flight cameras or time-of-flight cameras contain an infrared sensor to measure depth. They calculate the time that elapses since the light reaches the object we are photographing and returns to the sensor again, and they analyze the depth of each element of the image.

Huawei P30 Pro, Screen and Software

Huawei P30 Pro was one of the mobile phones that offer ToF camera

What we get with this camera is improved 3D scanning. They are used for facial recognition because they are cheaper and do not require external lighting, and have moved to the back of our stations to capture 3D images, improve virtual reality and create a more accurate bokeh effect.

macro cameras

Macro cameras make it possible to quickly capture small details at very short distances, without losing focus. With this kind of camera and a bit of practice we can get very good pictures of everything we could miss with the naked eye. We can take pictures of water droplets, plants and animals, among other things, to see the smallest details of our world.

Samsung Galaxy A33 Macro Camera

Galaxy A33 Macro Camera Photo

As we can see, there are many types of cameras in our mobile devices today. Most importantly, sometimes the number of cameras we have isn’t the most important. The most important is the work behind. Big companies usually do good post-processing of captured images to improve capture and enhance images.

At the time, Google used quite a few cameras and took very good pictures. This was all due to the algorithm used to combine the images and get a good result. Let’s also not forget that more megapixels does not mean better photos, because everything depends on the processing, as they say, that they make from the obtained image.

Related Topics: Cell Phones

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Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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