The Nokia 9 PureView turned heads when it launched earlier this year, thanks to an unusual camera system that packed six cameras into a single phone (five on the back and one on the front).

Now it looks like Sony may be planning to one-up Nokia… or maybe two-up. The company is said to be working on an octa-camera smartphone that features six cameras on the back and two on the front.

Meanwhile a leaked image posted by CashKaro allegedly shows off a new Motorola One Pro smartphone with four rear cameras and a single selfie-camera.

While I’m placing both of these leaks firmly in the “rumors” category for now, they certainly seem plausible given recent developments in the smartphone space.

In fact, the most surprising thing about the Moto One Pro render isn’t that there are four cameras on the back… it’s that the phone borrows the camera bump design that we expect to see in upcoming Google Pixel and iPhone models and goes even further by unnecessarily extending the bump to make room for a Motorola logo.

I have no idea if the camera bump serves any real purpose or if it’s just an aesthetic choice. Then again, I have no idea if the pictures are legitimate.

As for the rumored Sony smartphone, it’s expected to have the following cameras:

Rear

  • 20MP F2.4
  • 48MP F1.2 to F/2.4
  • 16MP F.24
  • 8MP F2.4
  • 12MP F.1 to F.24
  • 0.5MP Time of Flight

Front

  • 10MP primary camera
  • 0.3MP Time of Flight camera

According to Max J, the phone is still in development and those specs could change. It’s also unclear what all the different cameras do, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some feature wide-angle lenses and/or telephoto zoom.

 

 



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5 replies on “Multi-camera madness: Leaks point to 8-camera Sony smartphone, 6-camera Motorola model”

  1. Even with 6 cameras Sony won’t be able to come up with decent picture quality.
    They’re hopeless, I really don’t understand why they’re still trying to sell smartphones.

  2. I’m starting to think it’s pandering to people who buy phones speculating on how people will judge them on the features they have, like kids on the playground:
    “My phone has three cameras!”
    “Well my phone has four cameras.”
    “All you guys’s phones are garbage, my dad has a phone with six cameras!”
    “Whaddya guys need all those cameras for?”
    “Shut up Timmy, you’re never going to get likes on your photos with just one camera!”

  3. It’s funny to me that companies think they can just tell me “8 cameras” and that should be sufficient information for me to get onboard with that. Tell me what the focal length is of the different lenses. Tell me what exactly the concept is behind the assortment of cameras. How do they work together?

    And its a bit of a stretch of the imagination to say include two different “Time of flight” cameras, and suggest those are usable cameras. They don’t actually take pictures, they just measure depth. If your camera requires 2 lenses to take a single picture (one to measure distance, and the other to actually take the picture), well then you can’t tell me that you’re giving me two cameras.

    1. Not only is the current generation of Multiple Camera Arrays not easy to explain… I don’t think that a blurb will capture what is essentially programmatic behavior. At this time most professional photographers reviewing cameras in this model (EG the Light camera https://light.co/camera ) say that it’s a neat gimmick to “store depth of field” for later editing, or “intelligently handle imaging to capture a scene.” In 2019 we should be at peak AI and be told about the little AI daemon inside the image processor who carefully picks paints to record scenes based on the photos we Thumbs-Up in the camera app.

      The vogue at this time is to stitch several overlapping images for some purpose. You may have a photo whose edges are captured with four separate medium-angle lenses and whose center is stitched-in from a narrower lens. This mimics human eye behavior of center-weighted reproduction somewhat with lower resolution at the edges of a photo and higher resolutions in the center, but because of JPG compression this does not save resources in storing photos. But this means that the autofocus system for each lens must coordinate very well, that the stitching artifacts are minimal, and that you don’t mind a 20-megabyte file size with the same pixel density as a 10-megabyte picture across 75% of the image area.

      And then Android will update and reconfigure the photo stitching anyway. Computers can do a good job running a camera 99% of the time. Consistent behavior lets an artist cover 100%. When have computer firmwares ever had zany edge case behavior? I’m looking forward to concert photos being even blurrier as the smart camera tries to make sense of a Mac 2k spotlight sweeping across its TOF camera and highlighting fingerprints on its lens.

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