Since smartphone cameras are powered by tiny sensors (at least compared to dedicated cameras), they can get nowhere near the low-light performance and dynamic range of a mirrorless, DSLR—be it crop or full frame—or а film camera. And since manufacturers are not going to start cramming bigger sensors in smartphone cameras anytime soon, for obvious reasons, one way to partially alleviate this issue is to implement wider apertures.
Without going into too much detail, the aperture is basically an opening that lets light travel through the lens of the camera and reach its sensor (or film plane in the case of film cameras). The larger the aperture, the more light can go through it. Aperture sizes are denoted by an “f” number—e.g. f/4.6, f/2.0 etc.—and most flagship smartphones these days have apertures in the range between f/2.0 and f/1.7.
Simply put, a smartphone with a wider aperture, especially if backed by OIS, can take sharper, more detailed shots at night, although the camera software would also need to do its part in the equation in order to reduce noise and apply other enhancements to the final image.
The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ and the S7/S7+ have f/1.7 apertures which is considered very wide for a smartphone camera, and it’s part of the reason why they perform so well in low-light conditions.
But new reports are suggesting that the upcoming LG V30 may have a f/1.6 aperture, which is just massive (for a smartphone). Although it’s just one…
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