The year 2017 was the year of dual lens camera setups on smartphones. The iPhone 7 plus popularised the dual camera setup when they were launched in September 2016, and the last year and a half we have seen dozens of Smartphones adapting that’s Trend.
While the dual lens camera has got many benefits such as lossless optical zoom, ability to switch between narrow and wide camera frames. One of the features that were popular than others is the Portrait mode.
In Plain English, it is a photograph with the subject clearly visible and the background is a little blood something that he sees in photos clicked with DSLR cameras.
Google also brought these portrait mode feature in their pixel 2, what’s the pricing and that they kept the single camera module on both their pixel 2 and pixel 2 XL.
How did Google bring Portrait Mode in Pixel 2 with Single Camera?
While other Smartphone manufacturers used the dual lens setup to create a shallow depth of field (those blurred background photos), Google used its artificial intelligence power to differentiate between the background and the subject in a photograph taken using a single camera, it creates a layer for the subject and then blood the background giving uses the same effect.
And since it is software based, and more importantly from Google, it can very well be implemented on other phones as well.
A lot of folks were already hoping that this technology will be rolled out to other Android smartphones as well since Android is also a part of Google.
And it also makes sense because they have already done it with Google Assistant which launched as an exclusive feature for pixel and then later rolled out to other Android phones as well
Google has open sourced a similar technology used in Pixel 2 for segmenting the background with the subject. The technology is called Semantic Image Segmentation, which labels every pixel in a photo that helps in determining whether it belongs to the subject or the background thus making the magic of blurred backgrounds.
Does that mean every camera can be as good as Pixel 2 camera
Well, not really, because the pixel 2 has got a specific hardware in 8 for making photos better, so while the technology can be implemented on other cameras it will be within the reach of the hardware on the camera
Third party camera app developers can get access to the open source code, on Github and bring the Portrait Mode feature to other cameras as well. Maybe then you won’t need to find the Pixel Camera Mods for your smartphone to get the same effect.
Looking at several moded apps of the Pixel 2 camera, and having used one for Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as well as Xioami Redmi Note 4, I know it will work on other smartphones as well.