The race for the best camera on the mobile market slowly shifts into the absurd category. LG apparently thinks that quantity is the key to having the best snapper ever. We thought that five cameras on LG’s V40 ThinQ were too many, so you can imagine our reaction when we found out that the Korean company is working on a smartphone camera with sixteen lenses. LG’s apparently looking to escalate things dramatically. According to a recently filed patent, the lenses will be arranged in a 4×4 matrix, designed to capture the scene from multiple perspectives in a single shot. What does that mean? Well, basically you could shoot 3D movies or manipulate shots by moving someone’s head or replacing it completely.
LG’s patent also describes combining the different camera angles to create a miniature film, sort of like a superpowered version of things like Apple’s Live Photos or Lytro’s adjustable light field images. The patent also claims that it’d be able to use the different datasets from the different lenses to cut out things from the image (say, for things like portrait mode or even replacing a background entirely).
LG even shows the example where it presents how you can select the best photo in the series, or create a single picture from multiple angles, so you can rotate the head of your subject in whichever angle makes them look better. You will also be able to draw around someone’s head using your finger, with a little help of AI which recognizes the heads and keeps them from drawing over them. The patent also reads that you will be able to use the main camera to take selfies by equipping the rear camera with a mirror, but we wouldn’t dare to say that’s something innovative, because mirrors were present even in the old flip phones.
Of course, for now, this is just a patent, with no indication that LG is actually planning to put this into a phone, but it is quite apparent this patent is an LG’s attempt to stay on top of the camera game. Most of you still remember the megapixel race a few years ago, which was pretty similar to the current contest to one-up numbers of lenses on the camera. Except for aforementioned V40 ThinQ, Samsung’s Galaxy A9 has four lenses at the back, and Nokia will soon release a model with five. At this rate, we will soon have the phones with more lenses than a city with a surveillance system. The entire backs of the phones will be covered in lenses, and honestly, we can’t wait to see how far they are planning to go with this ridiculous camera arms race.