LG Smartphone with 16 Cameras at The Back, In The Works?

How many cameras do we really need to have on our smartphones?

Earlier this year, Chinese tech giant Huawei released P20 Pro with 3 rear shooters enabling 3X and 5X lossless zoom -- and this model was eventually superseded by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with a Quad Cam set-up supporting macro and landscape modes.

Around October, Samsung released the Galaxy A7 also with a trio of cameras all while hinting at the imminent arrival of Galaxy A9 2018 with even more snappers at the back.

In November, OPPO Mobile announced the high-end R17 Pro also with a triad of optics lined neatly on its frosted back panel. This model - replete with TOF 3D and Night Mode shooting modes - was official released in several key markets in South East Asia just a few days ago.

And of course, rumors about the Nokia 9 Android smartphone by HMD Global with a mysterious 5 camera module are still circulating the net.

LG 16 Cameras

Well, as if all those models aren't enough to keep mobile imaging enthusiasts excited, Korean company LG recently filed a patent in the United States for a future smartphone that sports a whopping sixteen rear camera set-up! Believe it!

LG envisions this future handset's multiple lenses to be arranged in a 4 x 4 array forming a square with each optic having a different curvature for capturing various angles of the subject in one go. This configuration supposedly aims to allow the user - through the software - to choose which angle looks best in the final shot.

Interestingly enough, however, I think we've seen something similar to this before from Nokia and their handsets then didn't have multiple camera modules. Do you remember those Lumia models?

Another purported application of LG's 16 rear cam system is that it allows the user to swap faces in photos or to use a face from a previously taken image.

Image and Story Source: Let's Go Digital

While I'm sure that many of you will find these two rumored features rather fun and entertaining, frankly, I don't find them all that impressive especially when I think about the number of cameras that will be used to achieve them.

Personally, I would prefer LG to use all those 16 cameras to enable a more powerful lossless zoom capability, to get wide-angle landscape shots or close-up macro images with better dynamic range, to provide a more natural looking shallow depth of field effect in portraits or product shots, and to capture ultra-clear and crisp photos in low light conditions. For me, these are more practical and useful applications of a camera module that has so many lenses.

Anyway, going back to the question that I posted at the beginning of the article, I think that manufacturers should feel free to put as many cameras on smartphone as they want -- for as long as the unique imaging features of these multi-cam modules enable can actually benefit consumers, especially those who use their smartphones for content creation. But if companies will put so many lenses at the back of their handsets merely for "effect" or as a superficial embellishment for 'wow factor', I think consumers would be better off just getting a handset with one rear camera that performs well in various lighting conditions with no unnecessary "extra" features.

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