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Samsung’s dual-camera module will bring portrait mode to cheaper smartphones

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Samsung announced image sensors and software yesterday that are supposed to give smartphones of any tier the ability to shoot in Portrait Mode or in low light. Previously, those features have been mainly seen in flagship smartphones, like the Galaxy Note 8.

But the new Isocell Dual image sensors and accompanying software are meant to enable “even mid- to entry-level mobile devices” to re-create the blurry backdrop “bokeh” effect or gain more visibility in lower light, according to the announcement. Samsung’s new technology will be available to other smartphone companies, adding to the giant’s range of products that include memory and flash storage. Since Samsung has already done all the coding and picked out the hardware, the package should make it easier and cheaper for companies to incorporate Portrait mode or low-light shooting in their phones, which could bring the features down to less expensive models.

The portrait effects and low-light improvements are actually split across two separate dual-camera modules that Samsung has put together. The image sensors to be used with the Portrait Mode module are 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors, while the sensors for shooting in low light are dual 8-megapixel sensors.