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Sony sees dual-lens cameras on major smartphones by 2017

iPhone 6S Plus
Apple's next phablet could be the first phone to sport a dual-lens
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There's only so much you can do with a single camera lens, particularly when it needs to be compact enough to fit comfortably into a smartphone. So how can manufacturers continue improving smartphone photography?

One answer is to use dual-lens cameras – and Sony reckons that's something we'll start seeing over the next year.

In a recent earnings call, as reported by Xperia Blog, Kenichiro Yoshida, CFO of Sony, claimed the company's dual-camera platform would be adopted by "major smartphone players" in 2016.

However, he went on to say that because the high-end smartphone market is thought to be slowing down "we believe the real start, the take-off of smartphone with dual lens camera will be in the year of 2017".

Apple and LG could be the first

So don't expect to see dual-lens cameras becoming a standard feature for at least a year yet. But it's already been rumoured that the iPhone 7 Plus and LG G5 could have one, so these may be among those major players Sony is talking about.

Adding a second lens to the mix could have a couple of significant benefits. For one thing it could improve low-light performance, as there would be two separate sensors to take in light – something we've already seen on the HTC One M8 and Honor 6 Plus.

A dual-lens camera would also likely improve zoom capability, as by having a different focal length on each lens you could switch to the one with a longer focal length when you want a zoom shot.

These are both major issues with smartphone photography, so overcoming them would be a big deal.

Hopefully Sony is right, and we'll see the beginnings of the dual-lens revolution this year – 2017 still feels an awfully long way away.

James Rogerson
James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps.