How Many Cameras Are Too Many Cameras?


The year 2019 was a year of smartphone camera innovations. We have seen phones with two, three, four, and even five primary cameras with a single camera sensor offering a resolution of up to 108MP. But how many cameras are so many cameras? Are smartphone makers taking cameras for granted? Let's find out.

How Many Cameras Are Too Many Cameras?


The War Of Pixels

Until 2018, most of the smartphones came with either a 12/16MP primary camera and this changed in 2019. Now we have phones with 48MP, 64MP, and 108MP primary camera sensors. However, one thing to know about these cameras is that these sensors do not take native 48MP or 64MP images by default.

These sensors use a technology called pixel-binning where four pixels are combined into one to make a superpixel. As a result, a 48MP camera takes 12MP images and a 64MP camera takes 16MP images.

Though the phones with higher resolution cameras offer an option to capture images at the highest possible resolution, these images tend to lose detailing and clarity at a medium and low-light.

Flagships Know This Best

Amidst this pixels war, the flagship smartphones from Samsung and Apple have a different approach. These smartphones still retain a 12MP primary camera with a larger aperture that takes good images in low-light and night-light.

The War Of Multi-Cameras

If high-resolution cameras are one side of the coin, then the multi-camera array is another side. The newly launched Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro is one of the first smartphones in the world with a dedicated macro lens and a telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom.

Lately, we have seen budget smartphones like the Redmi Note 8 with up to four cameras that cost less than Rs. 10,000. This has gone out of hand especially on budget lineup where brands are including a depth sensor and macro lenses that can be achieved via the software means.


Though having four or five cameras a three-camera setup seems relevant in the modern world. In a practical situation, a phone should have three cameras with a wide-angle lens, ultra-wide angle lens, and a telephoto lens.

Having a three-camera setup does offer three perspectives. In fact, phones like the OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7T Pro can even take macro shots using the primary sensor.

Verdict - Look For The Tech Rather Than Numbers

Smartphones in-camera got to have some purpose without being there just for the namesake. Whenever you are buying a camera smartphone make sure that you know the functions of the multi-camera setup instead of buying them blindly by looking at the number of cameras and amount of pixels.

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