In recent years, multi-cameras have already become the standard configuration of smartphones. No matter what kind of multi-lens combination scheme is adopted, smartphones priced at more than 1,000 yuan are already equipped with more than two rear cameras.

However, with the increase in the number of smartphone cameras, many users also began to question the practicality of the rear multi-camera of the mobile phone.

On the one hand, the imaging effect of the rear camera of most mobile phones mainly depends on the imaging level of the main camera, and most of the other cameras can only play an auxiliary role;

On the other hand, there are also many people who believe that some of the lenses in the multi-camera modules of some models are count-up lenses. These lenses can neither complete high-quality independent imaging but also increase the difficulty of designing the rear camera module of the mobile phone.

And in the near future, it can also be found that the flagship new phones of major manufacturers no longer pursue the number of multiple cameras. For example, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is only equipped with three cameras. So what kind of bottleneck has the development of multi-camera modules of mobile phones encountered, and where will it go in the future?

Development of multi-camera technology

Before discussing this issue, let's briefly review the development of the rear multi-camera module of mobile phones.

At the beginning of the multi-camera technology, it was mainly to solve the focal length problem of smartphones when shooting. Compared with professional cameras that can replace lenses or optically zoom through telescopic lenses, the inability to change the focal length once became a problem that hindered the progress of mobile phone photography capabilities. .

In order to solve this problem, some models have tried to add a retractable lens structure to the rear camera module of the smartphone, but this kind of heavy and complex structure is obviously not suitable for increasingly thin and light mobile phone devices.

Therefore, the multi-camera solution on the smartphone has become the mainstream solution to this problem, which is why the early dual-camera mobile phones mostly consist of telephoto and wide-angle lenses.

In the development process of multi-cameras on the rear of mobile phones, there have always been various routes and technical solutions, such as synthesizing a photo through simultaneous imaging of multiple cameras, or assisting the main camera in imaging through a dedicated auxiliary lens, etc. The camera implements a multi-camera solution design that covers multiple focal lengths.

Although different multi-camera imaging solutions have their own advantages, from the perspective of practical application, more and more flagship models are now designed with multi-camera solutions with multi-focal length coverage.

In the traditional photography field, it is customary to divide the focal length of the lens into wide-angle, standard, medium and telephoto. If the rear camera module of a mobile phone covers these focal lengths, the user can think that it has achieved full focal length coverage.

The application of multi-lens technology in iPhone focal length diagram can be said to have a breakthrough impact on the improvement of mobile phone photography capabilities.

It not only allows smartphones to have ultra-wide-angle and telephoto lenses, but also can use auxiliary lenses to achieve macro, ultra-long-distance shooting, portrait blur and other shooting effects.

Users can switch to the focal length or effect they want with just one tap on the phone. The Dilemma of Multi-Camera Technology

With the development of technology and products, the design of multi-camera solutions has also exposed many problems.

For example, the image quality of the main camera of many models is much higher than that of lenses in other focal lengths, which leads to large differences in the image quality of the same mobile phone under different focal lengths;

Although the multi-camera design greatly expands the focal length that the mobile phone can shoot, because each lens is a fixed focal length, the image quality is still poor when the user shoots the middle focal length of the two lenses;

Moreover, the camera also brings great challenges to the design of the back of the mobile phone. The arrangement of the back of the rear camera has become the core factor in the design of the current mobile phone.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max camera module is actually the core of the various problems facing the current development of the multi-camera solution is the issue of "space". At present, the lack of internal space of the smartphone body has become a key problem restricting the development of smartphones. , the rear camera of the mobile phone is no exception.

For example, if you want the rear camera of the mobile phone to maintain the image quality of the main camera at different focal lengths, it means that each lens must be equipped with a sensor of the main camera level, which is very important for the internal space of the current mobile phone. It is obviously very difficult.

The future of multi-camera technology

So in the context of limited space, if you continue to develop the multi-camera technology of mobile phones, it has become a problem for major manufacturers to think about.

Judging from the recently launched new phones, under the existing technical conditions, reducing the number of mobile phone cameras and improving the imaging level of each lens is the current mainstream development trend.

OPPO Find X2 Pro ultra-wide-angle lens The OPPO flagship model OPPO Find X2 Pro launched in 2020 adopts the design of two "main camera" level lenses in three cameras, which effectively improves the imaging of ultra-wide-angle focal lengths;

The Pro versions of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 are equipped with three lens sensors with basically the same imaging level to ensure the same imaging quality at different focal lengths;

The newly released Mi 11 also adopts a triple-camera design to achieve a smaller rear camera module volume.

In addition to the iPhone 12 Pro camera module, there are many technical solutions that are still under development.

For example, the internal zoom solution represented by the liquid lens can make the mobile phone use only one main camera to cover multiple focal lengths; or the miniaturized telescopic lens design can also help the mobile phone to achieve more rear cameras Design.

However, these new technologies are still under research and development, and mass production is not expected in the short term.


For most users, smartphones are the most commonly used shooting devices. The smartphone industry equipped with multiple cameras provides more possibilities for users' photographic creation.

When using smartphones to create, users are no longer limited to the focal length limitation of the wide-angle main camera, and can obtain similar flexibility to professional cameras in focal length selection.

However, due to the limited internal space of mobile phones, the rear multi-camera design of smartphones is expected to adopt a technical route that does not have too many lenses and focuses on improving image quality in the future.
Editor in charge AJX

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