Speak to the geek

1 min read
12 Mar 2018
1 min read
426 words
Speak To The Geek
Our resident geek explains what different aperture in the new Samsung Galaxy S9's new body actually means and how it is useful for different lighting conditions

Dual Aperture?

I recently read that the Samsung Galaxy S9 has been unveiled, and that its camera has a 'dual aperture lens'. Can you please elaborate on what exactly that function actually means?-- Supriya Rai

At the Mobile World Congress, which was recently held in Barcelona, Samsung unveiled its most-awaited smartphone series--the Samsung Galaxy S9 series. The phone series--unlike its predecessor (the Galaxy S8
series), which received a major visual upgrade with its 'Infinity
Display'--doesn't have much of an upgrade visually; but it has levelled up its specifications, and the new'dual aperture lens' camera system has left everyone in awe.

Before I tell you what the 'dual aperture lens' actually is, let me remind you that this is not the first time a mobile phone camera has seen such functionality. Nokia had triple aperture options on its N86 model way back in 2009. But it is safe to say that this one sees the best implementation of the feature, and is topped with another feature called 'Optical Image Stabilisation'.

What exactly is the 'f' in aperture count?

For a geek, the 'f' count matters a lot. The 'f' is the 'focal ratio', which refers to the size of the hole in a camera lens through which light passes to the sensor. The wider the size of the lens's opening, the smaller the count of aperture. And the bigger the size of the opening, the more light passes through it; which means, when there is limited light, wide aperture helps a lot.

Let's get back to the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera, which can switch to f/1.5 in low-light conditions to catch more light. And when you are outdoors, in areas of sunlight, the lens will adjust to an f/2.4 aperture. You can also take control of lens-aperture settings on the camera app's pro mode. But aperture alone is not sufficient to take a perfect shot; other factors like the ISO, shutter speed, auto-focus, etc, also play a huge role. For now, weĆ­ll just have to wait till March 16 to try the phone's camera functionality first hand, to see how well this added feature actually works.