Why smartphone cameras stick out?

Many do not like the protruding camera in the smartphone. It really is the scourge of the modern devices of this gadget. As well, when the smartphone was able to lay still on the table and swinging from touches, as a passenger minibus on the turns. Apparently, those days are gone and we can only remember. Or not? See why bulging camera smartphones.

iPhone X and 20 Honor Pro

The contents

Terminology photographer

First and foremost is to decide the main concepts. In this article we will talk about the diagonal of the matrix, focal distance and image resolution. Understanding these concepts, we will understand why the camera of a modern smartphone needs to bulge. It may not bulge, but you do not want.

The first camera in the phone

The first phone that was equipped with a camera, was a device released nearly 20 years ago. It was in October 1999. Phone manufacturing Kyocera had the designation VP-210. The camera had a resolution of only 0.1 MP (about 370 points on the wide side at a ratio of 4:3). A year later, in late 2000, the market of Japan came the model Sharp J-SH04, also equipped with a PV panel. The development went on more rapidly.

Sharp J-SH04 with a built-in camera

At one time in one of the themed editions, I met an article in which the author called mobile photo the mutated descendant of a smiley. Then it was true, but now everything has changed.

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How the smartphone camera?

I detail painted, how does a smartphone camera, but shortly stop again on the main points.

In simplistic terms, and that we need to understand what we are discussing today, the chamber consists of the following elements:

  • matrix
  • RGB filter for the colors
  • optical elements
  • safety glass

Device camera smartphone

There are also moving elements, a processor, a plurality of substrates and the technical layers, but the basic elements listed above, so focus on them more.

Matrix smartphone

It is not difficult to understand what the matrix is responsible for ensuring that we got ready the. In modern smartphones, its size is only a few millimeters.

For example, a very popular sensor Sony IMX586 has a resolution of 48 megapixels and a physical diagonal 8 mm (1/2 inch). The physical size of each pixel in the matrix is 0.8 µm. It’s so little, reduce a matrix to be no more. Even at this size the pixel is very difficult to get a normal amount of light. All this leads to noise on the image.

Therefore, matrices with a physical size less than 1/3 inch hardly available. If they are, the resolution of these matrices will be very low. Not everyone is willing to put up with it. Moreover, the camera resolution was for the buyer the main criterion for selection smartphone. Marketers actively cultivate this opinion in the minds of the population and are constantly trying to show that they have the “clear” camera. Announcement matrix with a resolution of more than 100 MP, about which we recently wrote — another proof. Write in our Telegram chatthat I think about it.

How does a camera work?

There is little to distract and to draw a parallel with big SLR cameras. Classic the size of the film, which is the standard for full-frame matrix is 35 mm. This figure characterizes the width and the diagonal in this case is approximately 42 mm. By simple calculations one can understand that the difference between the matrices of a full-fledged camera and smartphone (8mm) is a 5.25-fold.

Camera focal length

In this case, the focal length for a full frame camera is about 28 mm. Without complex calculations mentally reduce the design and get the focal length for smartphone is 5.3 mm. At the same time, we are not talking about the distance to the end of the lens, and the distance from the matrix to the point of convergence of the rays. That is, until the lens, which is closest to the matrix.

In addition, do not forget about the need for accommodation in a module focusing lens and the overall lens design. This will require another 2-3 mm. Plus safety glass — a few fractions of a millimetre. As a result, “sandwich”, which occupies in the housing of the smartphone is not less than 8 mm.

How to install a camera in a smartphone

When Apple released the iPhone 6 with a protruding camera, a very indignant and said that it was not worth to do so. This event became the trigger which set off a chain reaction, all the manufacturers began to use in the flagship protruding camera. Some initially resisted, but then also broke under the onslaught of modernity.

Here only the trends of these was not a designer, as many thought, and think still. In conditions of strong competition on the market, manufacturers need to produce camera is not worse than the competition. Since the laws of physics are the only thing that can not be broken, they have to make certain technical compromises.

As mentioned above, the module modern smartphone camera has a thickness of at least 8 mm. At a thickness of 7-8 mm smartphone it becomes clear that to fit in the camera without bulging almost impossible. Do not forget that the chamber is not the whole thickness of the smartphone. At least, it is necessary to subtract the thickness of the screen which covers the entire surface of the smartphone.

Sony Xperia 1 with a protruding camera

The output is still there. The first of these is the use of a thicker hull. In this case we even obtain the advantage of higher capacity battery, but it is not the flagship.

The second solution would be to install a smaller sensor. But, if you reduce the diagonal have to reduce the resolution. It is ready not all manufacturers. Of course, some of you will say that the iPhone or the Sony Xperia 1 the resolution is small, and the camera still sticks out. There is already included another point.

How to improve the camera quality?

The example above was with a thickness of 8 mm. camera That was minimum value for a module. At the same time, nothing prevents the manufacturer while maintaining the diagonal of the matrix and the size of the sensor, to change the physical size of the pixel. To reduce their number and increase the size. It will severely affect the quality of the picture the better.

You can reduce the number of pixels, while maintaining their size. This will lead to reduction of the sensor. Minimum focusing distance is also reduced, but by maintaining the thickness of the module, the manufacturer can apply more optical elements, which also can improve the picture quality or focusing.

Main camera 20 Honor Pro

Could the smartphone replace the DSLR?

From the above examples it becomes clear that protruding camera is not a whim of the manufacturer, but a real necessity. We all demand better pictures, but forget about physics.

Returning to the coming sensor with a resolution of more than 100 MP, it can be concluded that the chamber will bulge even more. In fact, it has stated that the increase in the number of pixels is achieved due to the physical increase of the matrix.

As a bonus from the above calculations, we can see why the phone cannot be set a full ZOOM lens. Even for the possibility of a small increase in, the module should be at least two times more. That’s all physics.

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