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Five DSLR technologies that have made their way into mobile phones

Mobile phone cameras have improved a lot in past couple of years and a lot of features are being equipped in smartphones these days that weren’t even imaginable some years ago. Let us have a look at five such technologies which were available in high end cameras and DSLR cameras but they have made their way into smartphones these days.


Larger Image Sensors

Sensor size
Image credit: SoyaCincau

One of the best things to happen to mobile phone cameras was the use of larger image sensors. Nokia, who is generally known to produce one of the best mobile phone cameras, introduced the larger sensor trend with the release of Nokia N8 and there was a lot of hype about it. Later, this trend continued with the release of high end smartphones such as Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC One which are equipped with a 1/3 inch sensor. But the biggest camera sensor in a mobile phone is used in Nokia 808 PureView which has an amazingly larger 1/1.2 inch CMOS FSI sensor. As we all know, larger sensors mostly result in better image quality and better per pixel quality.


Optical Image Stabilization

OIS in mobiles
Image courtesy of HTC

Optically stabilized lenses were only available in DSLR cameras and later in point & shoot cameras. But starting last year, yet again first from Nokia, the OIS system was used in a mobile phone camera for the first time. Even HTC used the OIS in their latest flagship model, the HTC One. OIS comes very handy in reducing the shaky effects of unstable hands, especially in low-light conditions. During low light conditions, the lens is open for a longer period of time to let in more light but the device needs to be stable.


HDR Images

UI settings Android
Image credit: AndroidPIT

Some photographers don’t buy the whole idea of High Dynamic Range photography but they come in very handy, especially in some situations when using a mobile phone. It is very useful in situations where the frame consists of different lighting conditions such as bright sun and shadows. What HDR photography does is, it takes 2 or 3 images with different exposure levels and superimposes them on top of one another to create an end result that comes out with higher dynamic range overall. Devices like HTC One, LG Optimus Pro and Sony Xperia Z have real-time HDR video recording but it is not as effective as expected.


Stereo Audio Recording

Image credit: Phandroid

With more processing power in smartphones, manufacturers are able to employ multiple microphones to record better voice. HTC even has included very high frequency microphones which can record audio with noise cancellation technology. Almost all the smartphones in the medium and high end price range are equipped with stereo noise cancelling microphones.


Faster Shutter Speed, Minimal Lag & Dedicated ISP Chip

Image credit: ePHOTOzine

Like DSLR cameras with faster Image Processing Chips, the newest smartphones have a dedicated image processing chip that makes the camera much faster. This splits the image processing load from CPU and keeps it free for other tasks. This kind of arrangement was first used in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus which also introduced the ‘Zero-Shutter Lag’ feature in the camera, which results in almost no lag in between shots. It also allows simultaneous video recording and clicking of images.

Recent flagships such as Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG Optimus G Pro can record from both front and rear camera at the same time which is quite an achievement. Phones like HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z use this ability to click a large number of high resolution images to either stitch them into a Panorama image or remove unwanted objects from the frame.

This article was contributed by Asif Iqbal from MySmartPrice.com

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda is an avid reader of science-fiction novels. A long-time Arsenal fan, his other interests include gaming, basketball and making music. He also likes tinkering with hardware in his free time.

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