The smartphone camera is now a leap forward compared to what we had two years ago, thanks to improvements such as 3-camera system, periscope zoom and Night Mode night mode.
Modern smartphones also have many smart algorithms to improve image quality, overcome what hardware can do, with machine learning (AI) and pixel multiplexing are the two latest features. One technique is also important, will also play an important role in the future is the high-resolution shooting mode (Super Resolution).
What is super resolution?
Simply put, Super resolution is a technique to combine many low-quality thumbnails into a single high-resolution image. By pairing, superimposing the details together, we can make the image sharper as well as minimize noise. This technique has been used a lot in professional cameras, by astronomers. We can use a 16MP camera, but after the jigsaw, we can create high resolution images up to 40MP.
Super resolution works based on the components of an image that are pixels (pixels) and small pixels (sub-pixels). At each low resolution image, these points are set apart even at a very small distance. By comparing images, then comparing small pixels we can create high quality points, hence better images.
Which firms have used this technique?
This is not entirely a new technique, first applied to the OPPO Find 7, can produce 50MP images with 13MP sensor. Asus also has a Zenfone AR, which can create up to 92MP resolution images with 13MP sensor, which is impressive!
Huawei has applied this technique to enhance the zoom image quality of its high-end models, typically the Huawei P30 Pro. By superimposing images from the main sensor onto the potential camera, the zoom image becomes clear and reduces noise significantly.
Normal snapshot (Pixel 2) compared with image overlapping (Pixel 3) when zooming 2x
The most recent company to adopt this technology is the OnePlus with the OnePlus 7. The company explains its algorithm possible "get the necessary information from multiple photos, then pair to create a sharpest, boldest image" – This is essentially Super resolution.
The future of Super resolution technology
With many companies already using Super resolution, we can confirm that this is an indispensable feature in smartphones in the future. On the market today, there are also smartphones with sensor resolution of 40MP or even 48MP 'real', so having to apply a stack of images for high resolution is no longer necessary.
But we still need Super resolution to 'save' in the purpose of zooming away. Like the Huawei P30 Pro, thanks to this feature, the zoom image increases the resolution from 8MP to 10MP, and can zoom as far as 50MP and still have acceptable detail. Google's Pixel series still has no secondary cameras so far, so Super resolution is needed to avoid losing quality when zooming.
Super resolution is really necessary, but it's not the only thing that can improve smartphone image quality; With techniques like Night Mode night photography, handling smart HDR is equally important. Anyway, the new smartphones also have superior image quality compared to the models of 2, 3 years ago thanks to the advances in this software.