2018 will surely go down as the best year yet for smartphone camera quality and innovations. Computational photography, triple cameras and AI capabilities came together to deliver some beastly smartphone shooters.
There are clear manufacturers who have an excellent basis for 2019. But what will these brands work on when designing next year's smartphone cameras? We asked our colleagues about this exact question.
Low Light or Bust
This was certainly the most popular choice, with five colleagues indicating low light output as a focus area for the 2019 smartphone cameras.
"Night mode is a truly brilliant quality of life improvement. Every compatible phone should have it," replied Scott Gordon. It is difficult to argue otherwise, as both Google and Huawei's night modes are capable of creating some amazing results compared to cameras from 2017.
 "I feel that Google is pulling ahead of the package because of Night Sight alone," said Jimmy Westenberg. "For me, it's a feature I use almost daily on Pixel 3, and I can't see myself owning a phone without it or a similar feature."
Google and Huawei's modes have since been merged with night mode from OnePlus and Xiaomi, and we have also heard murmurs that Samsung could join the party in 2019. Either way, it hopes that these modes will come to far more units next year.
Less to definitely be more
Another popular answer (with three colleagues calling this) was for manufacturers to improve the quality of existing cameras rather than simply adding more. It's an approach taken by Google since the 2016 original Pixel, with the Mountain View company somehow squeezing better and better quality from its single camera setup.
"It's safe, it's easy to use multiple cameras instead of advanced cameras, but on these $ 1000 + price tags they can make better cameras. Larger sensors, better lenses, zoom lenses (actual optical zoom), better vibration damping and more work on the OIS / EIS, says Jonathan Feist, adding that he could do without selfie cameras.
I don't know My other colleagues could go without self-image cameras, but Jonathan certainly gives a good point for better camera hardware, especially larger sensors are one of the tested ways to get better picture quality, especially in low light conditions.
"Quality: Lenses have no meaning, I just want high quality, consistency, and features like Night Sight to enhance versatile performance, "says Tristan Rayner, adding the voice to the low light calls.
At the same time, native istemester Joe Hindy also have better primary cameras: "I'm worried that OEMs are starting to lean too heavily on the multi-camera setup to add more functionality and flexibility, but we haven't seen a real jump in the main quality for some time. "
Nevertheless, Joe points to Sony's new 48MP sensor (as seen on Huawei and Xiaomi's upcoming devices) which have the potential to deliver a better main camera experience. And improved low light performance, our team members also had a few more desires for the 2019 smart phone cameras.
Luka Milnar wants more manufacturers to deliver wider blender selfie cameras, saying Samsung was one of the few brands that offer f / 1.7 front-facing cameras We've seen a move to self-resolving high resolution in 2018, often using pixel binning to generate better light with low light, but a wider aperture can definitely help in these situations.
David Imel asks the brands to call their processing in 2019, saying that today's cameras tend to "oversharp and translate images." t is a tough demand for manufacturers, as some consumers seem to prefer the overlooked killing and boring realistic alternative. Perhaps user-selectable color modes can be available on multiple phones?
Finally, CEO Kris Carlon believes that manufacturers should give us greater control over AI functions.
"Photographic photography is undoubtedly great, but the all-or-nothing approach now taken by most OEM users needs to put some control back into the user's hands," Kris says. "Not everyone is a good enough photographer to do everything themselves, but they are still good enough that they don't like the machines that do everything for them either."
It's a pretty good point, as the AI functionality largely works down to aggressive hand holding instead of something really personal and / or robust. No wonder someone prefers to shoot with AI mode disabled.
Me? I'd like to see meaningful secondary cameras come to cheaper smartphones. Why settle for a depth sensor like the secondary camera on a budget phone when a telephoto or ultra-angle angle is more useful? In any case, 2018 was a great year for smartphone cameras, so it's hoped that 2019 is even better.
What do you want to see from 2019's smartphone cameras? Give us your thoughts below.
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