- Samsung is said to be introducing two telephoto cameras for the Galaxy S30 Ultra.
- This would enable better image quality across zoom factors.
A notable trend that we have seen over the past 12 months has been the switch to two telephoto cameras that offer zoom capabilities for short and long distances. Now it looks like Samsung could offer this on its flagship from early 2021.
According to the South Korean outlet The Elec (h / t: SamMobile), citing industry sources, the top-end Galaxy S30 or Galaxy S21 will have a quad rear camera setup with two telephoto cameras. According to the socket, the Galaxy S30 Ultra model could contain a 10 megapixel 3x zoom camera and a 5x periscope lens.
It is also believed that the Galaxy S30 series will eliminate the need for 3D ToF sensors, as we saw in the Galaxy Note 20 series, to make room for the additional telephoto lens. The rest of the cameras are said to be the same shooters seen on the S20 Ultra, namely a 108-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 40-megapixel selfie shooter.
How could two telephoto cameras benefit users?
One challenge with only one telephoto camera is that the image quality tends to suffer above or below the native zoom factor. The Huawei P30 Pro, for example, only has a 5x periscope camera, but combines images from the main camera and the periscope shooter for zoom shots below 5x. A side effect of this solution is that when taking pictures below 5x, there are often fewer details at the edges of the picture. So while 5x zoom shots should look great, everything underneath looks great in detail.
We’ve also seen phones with just a 2x or 3x telephoto camera use hybrid zoom and other software tricks to get better 5x or even 10x zoom. The image quality with this zoom factor is better than with normal digital zoom, but still not quite as good as with a second 5 or 10x telephoto or periscope camera.
Because of this, recently we’ve seen phones with two telephoto cameras that essentially closed a gap in the zoom coverage. The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 was one of the first (with 2x and 3.7x sensors), and since then the Huawei P40 Pro Plus (3x and 10x), the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (2x and 3.7x) and the Vivo X50 have been added Pro Plus (2x and 5x).
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