Qualcomm camera technology and computer photography raise the bar for smartphones


There is a common misconception that sensor size and megapixel count are the most important considerations when evaluating camera specs and image quality. While both of these things are undeniably important to many photography professionals and enthusiasts, they are far less relevant than consumers realize, especially when it comes to cutting-edge smartphone photography. Smartphones simply don’t have the physical size and space to accommodate large sensors and there is only a limited number of pixels you can cram on the smartphone’s camera sensor before the image quality is seriously degraded under less than optimal lighting conditions. The smaller individual pixels on a camera sensor simply collect less light than the larger pixels, which can negatively impact many aspects of image quality, especially when the lighting is off. is not ideal, but smartphone photography is everywhere. To combat the limitations inherent in smaller camera sensors, quality optics, intelligent image processing, and a number of computer photography techniques are paramount in achieving high quality photographs and video. Qualcomm knows this and has systematically strengthened its mobile platforms over the years with some of the best image processing capabilities in the industry.

Qualcomm Camera Tech takes Android phone imaging to the next level

While its partners do not always showcase all of the photography or videography-related features available on its Snapdragon mobile platforms, it is clear that Qualcomm’s Spectra Image Signal Processor and its associated software are capable of produce excellent photographs and videos, especially when combined with modern sensors. . Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon platforms featuring the Spectra 580 CV-ISP feature Triple Image Signal Processors – or Triple ISP – capable of processing 2.7 gigapixels per second, allowing devices to leverage up to with three independent cameras simultaneously. This capability opens up interesting possibilities, such as smooth zooming between three different cameras, simultaneous triple image captures (up to 28MP each), multi-capture HDR composites or even the integration of front-end video footage onto the video of the rear camera, among others. It’s even possible to capture up to three 4K HDR videos simultaneously on devices using Qualcomm’s triple ISP. High-quality 8K video is also available on many of today’s flagship devices powered by the Snapdragon 888.

Just look at the photos produced on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or the Google Pixel 5 to see what kind of high quality images can be produced on a current generation smartphone powered by Snapdragon. However, it is the ASUS-built Smartphone for Insiders Snapdragon which really shows what Qualcomm’s cutting edge imaging technology can do.

Qualcomm and ASUS Create Killer Photography Tool

Despite a few camera-related specs that seem to follow some other flagship smartphones (at least on paper), the Smartphone For Snapdragon Insiders produces better images than most. In fact, with its latest OTA update, Smartphone For Snapdragon insiders are realizing a DXOMark score of 133, which is currently the best of all smartphones designed for the US market and among the best smartphones in the world. For those who are not familiar, DXOMark Image Labs is a privately held company specializing in measuring camera, audio, display, and battery quality for a myriad of consumer electronics.

The smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders has an exceptionally high resolution 24MP front camera, with a focal length of 27mm (full frame equivalent). The front camera captures better quality images than most other smartphones with low resolution sensors and it is also capable of capturing FullHD videos which is ideal for video conferencing, live streaming, video chats, etc. . As good as the front camera is, it’s the world-facing rear camera array that really shines.

The For Snapdragon Insider Smartphone’s rear camera line is well thought out and can meet a wide variety of photographic needs. The rear camera array is equipped with three separate shooters: a standard main camera, an ultra-wide camera, and a telephoto camera with hybrid optical + digital zoom. The main camera is powered by a high-resolution 1 / 1.73 “Sony IMX686 64MP image sensor with a pixel size of 0.8 µm. And its lens features a large and fast f / 1.8 aperture.

The main camera also offers 4-axis optical image stabilization, dual LED flashes, 78.3 ° field of view, and phase-detection autofocus on the 2×1 lens. In most lighting conditions, quad-bayer pixel clustering technology is used to produce high-quality 16MP images from the 64MP sensor, which is similar to other flagship smartphones with image sensors. ultra-high resolution like the IMX686. A full resolution mode that produces 64MP images is also an option.

The f / 2.2 aperture ultra-wide camera, which also supports 4cm macro photography, uses a 1 / 2.55 “Sony IMX363 12MP dual pixel image sensor with pixel dimensions of 1, 4 µm The telephoto camera – which also features 4-axis optical image stabilization – uses an 8MP sensor and adds 3x optical zoom, with a total zoom of up to 12x.

Qualcomm worked closely with ASUS to optimize all cameras on the smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders in order to get the most out of its software and Spectra ISP features and capabilities. As you might expect, the device offers a range of computer photography features, like night mode, portrait mode, HDR, and AI zoom. AI Zoom is one of the features that specifically leverages Qualcomm’s triple ISP; AI Zoom seamlessly switches between the three rear cameras to zoom in or out, while being able to simultaneously track a subject.

Great photos and videos, with great user experience

Beyond the computer photography features, configuring the camera on the smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders simply provides a great user experience. The cameras autofocus particularly well and produce excellent tones and textures. The sound performance is also good, even in Night Shot mode. The camera also offers waterfall noise reduction in video mode, for sharper video captures in a variety of lighting conditions.

The For Snapdragon Insiders Smartphone Camera App is simple and clean, similar to what you’ll find on devices running “pure” Android. Users of any skill level should be able to easily navigate its menus and manage camera settings or switch between modes. While there are many options available to change the image quality to suit a user’s individual needs, Auto Mode takes great photos with minimal hassle.

A wide range of editing options are also available once an image (or video) has been captured. There are simple auto-enhance and white balance buttons available, in addition to a myriad of sharing options. As you delve deeper into the options, everything is available from shadows / highlights adjustments to skin tone manipulation, hue, artistic filters, saturation and everything in between.

As we mentioned and DXOMark confirms, the camera performance of the Smartphone For Snapdragon Insiders is some of the best you will find on any of today’s flagship devices. When there is adequate lighting, the phone is able to capture excellent detail, with pleasing sharpness and crisp colors – that is, images that don’t look too saturated or processed as they can. on lower quality smartphones. The primary shooter is particularly good, but the telephoto lens with optical zoom is also excellent.

The dynamic range you’ll get with a small smartphone sensor is limited, but even with the window backlight with the sun shining directly above your head, the For Snapdragon Insiders Smartphone’s camera performed admirably. The colors and tones of the main subjects are visible and the detail is good, whereas they would normally be almost completely silhouetted on smaller cameras.

Portrait mode also works great on the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders. The artificially blurry background bokeh is smooth and pleasing to the eye, and users have full control over the simulation (this simulation is that of an f / 0.95 lens). Typically, using Portrait mode can result in artifacts in fine detail around the edges of the subject, but with its latest update, even with a complex subject, with many slanted edges to deal with, the camera shines.

Close-up macro photography is also an option with the wide angle shooter on the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders. Even when positioned virtually over the subject, the camera is able to focus correctly and capture fine detail. In this sample, individual hairs and pollen grains are resolved by the camera.

In terms of video recording, the For Snapdragon Insiders Smartphone also performs well. Slow-motion, normal, and time-lapse recording are available (along with adjustments for each mode). Video quality is comparable – or better – than any other smartphone currently on the market, and users have extensive control over which video modes they want to use. The smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is capable of capturing videos at resolutions up to 8K30 or 4K60, with various Full HD and HD modes also available.

There is a common saying that “The best camera is the one you have with you”. With the ubiquity of smartphones, the point-and-shoot industries and, to some extent, DSLR and mirrorless cameras have been wiped out over the past decade. With camera performance being such an important consideration for smartphones, it makes sense to strive for the best quality possible, and many consumers do that when they buy a new device. As it stands, if you are an Android user, devices powered by Snapdragon are the best choice if you are looking for the highest performing, most feature-rich mobile photography experience.

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