Samsung Galaxy A9: A Smartphone With Four Cameras

The way smartphone cameras have been developing over the last few years, it may not come as a surprise that we now have a phone with four cameras. Trying to stand out in the fierce competition between the manufacturers is tough, but Samsung thinks they might just be able to make enough of a statement with their latest announcement, the Samsung Galaxy A9. 

In his latest video, Arun Maini, a YouTuber going under the name of Mrwhosetheboss, gives a brief yet detailed rundown of the Galaxy A9. Four cameras in a smartphone may seem a little ridiculous, but Maini describes how it makes sense when you actually use the phone. The A9 allows for three perspectives or focal lengths using the four cameras, which I think will probably be very useful. As far as I know, all smartphones rely on fixed prime lenses, and this creates a few challenges. The great thing is that with multiple cameras, manufacturers can offer far more versatility without compromising the overall size and shape of the phone. The way that smartphones are being developed and how cameras are improving is quite incredible. I very optimistic about how smartphones will impact the photography community. Considering the price point of the A9, I think it could become quite a popular smartphone with very powerful photography-related features. 

Check out the full video to see what the A9 is all about. 

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michaeljin's picture

Please stop... just stop. FFS

Usman Dawood's picture

Stop what exactly?

michaeljin's picture

All of these stupid articles about how many cameras the latest phone has. Seriously, it's getting ridiculous. This is like a more retarded version of the megapixel wars or the "who has the bigger screen and thinner bezel" wars. Now we're at the "who can stuff the biggest number of cameras on a camera back" war. I'm sure the images will be fine. At this point just about any phone can produce great images if you know what you're doing.

In the end, the A9 won't make an impact on photography or the mobile phone market because photographers have actual dedicated cameras and for the most part, the mobile phone market only cares about 3 or 4 models of phone at any given point regardless of what the rest of the manufacturers are doing (iPhones, Samsung S-series, and Pixel phones).

This phone won't even be a blip on the radar in terms of sales.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Not everyone knows what they are doing... :)

Usman Dawood's picture

I think you’re severely underestimating what impact smartphones are having on the photography industry and what impact they may have. The multiple camera system is a smart way to overcome many disadvantages linked to smaller sensor cameras.

Also we report stuff that’s going on in the photography industry. The A9 is one of the things going on.

michaeljin's picture

Why not report on every phone made by every manufacturer, then? It's all part of the "photography industry", isn't it?

I'm not "severely underestimating what impact smartphones are having on the photography industry" or "what impact they may have". I am well aware of both of these things. I'm just tired of manufacturers just adding another camera being news as if it's somehow groundbreaking stuff. Will they be using the extra camera in any meaningful way aside from having an additional prime focal length? Is it going to enhance computational ability? Is it going to provide better information for depth mapping? This is not a flagship phone, so it's doubtful that anything will actually come of it since nobody develops stuff specifically for the Samsung A-series. Most likely that additional camera will just be relegated to being an additional prime focal length and nothing more.

What really makes the A9 significantly different from any other multiple camera phone? If you know anything about smartphones and the change that they're actually bringing, you'll know that the progress in this arena is not about how many cameras you're sticking on your back, but how you're using those cameras and applying computational photography to allow even a single camera to mimic multiple focal lengths and perspectives without having to have dedicated optics for each focal length.

Sticking yet another lens on the back of a camera is not significant news nor is it innovative. It's just a garbage and unimaginative analog solution in a field where digital solutions are be the real key. If we're going to go down this route of analog solutions, why not just make an phone with an interchangeable mount? At least then you won't have to compromise by throwing a bunch of smaller, lower quality sensors in there for each optic. These phones are crammed enough as it is without all of these extra camera sensors taking up pointless space inside of them.

Just my two cents on the matter.

Usman Dawood's picture

"Why not report on every phone made by every manufacturer, then?" Because not every phone is super interesting from a photography perspective.

Also isn't the A9 using computational photography as a method to improve quality? Multiple lenses assist with that and also help to create depths maps that can be useful for a whole heap of things.

Having said that, computational photography may not be enough if you want different focal lengths. This is where multiple lenses can really work. Best case is if you have multiple lenses with computational photography as a means to improve quality.

michaeljin's picture

Only one of those lenses is doing the depth mapping (the one dedicated to Depth Mapping) so the three other lenses don't increase the accuracy of the depth map at all. So yes, the A9 is using computational photography as a method to improve quality, but no different from the way that any of the previous phones that employ depth mapping do it.

The only thing that the A9 is bringing to the table is three dedicated focal lengths on the back of the camera. I guess you see it as "super interesting", but I don't. If they were all running at 24 megapixels, then maybe I would change my tune, but look at the lower resolution of the wide angle and telephoto cameras. You might as well just put a single higher megapixel sensor with a really good wide angle glass lens and just use "digital zoom" to crop down the photo if you want a telephoto image. The depth map could let you blur the background so the actual aperture is something of a non-issue.

I don't see how having the dedicated telephoto or wide angle optics are of any real use if you're losing megapixels no differently than if you just cropped an image digitally by using them. There's nothing "special" about the view that a telephoto lens gives you. It just makes you stand further away from the subject, meaning that the change in perspective is not due to your lens, but the camera to subject distance.

Also, consider how much this phone will cost and ask yourself if we're to believe that it's going to give any better results since they've had to purchase more sensors and lens elements to throw into the body vs. competitors with fewer lenses. Do you think either the sensors or the lens elements will be of higher quality? I certainly don't.

But hey, be as excited and interested as you want.

timgallo's picture

"I think you’re severely underestimating what impact smartphones are having on the photography industry and what impact they may have."

well, write about it. what impact do they have? with some statistics, facts, opinions of respected in the industry people.

timgallo's picture

also, with so many lenses being put on the smartphones... can the smartphones do pixel-shift thing? create a super resolution photo?
if not... than its not big of a deal i guess. the idea of many lenses was used since the age of old cine-cameras :)...

Usman Dawood's picture

The pixel 3 can do super-resolution on the fly which I think is very impressive.

I'm actually working on an article about smartphones and their impact as we speak, thank you for the suggestion, already on it :P.

Kyle Medina's picture

Don't click on the article

michaeljin's picture

Don't reply to comments that you don't like. See? I can do it, too.

Kyle Medina's picture

I was helping you. I came to this article to read about this phone. You came to bitch lol

michaeljin's picture

I'm sure you were. Perhaps I bitch because it's how I take out frustrations in other aspects of my life. Does it really matter in the end?

Kyle Medina's picture

Go see a therapist it'll be more productive.

michaeljin's picture

I do see a therapist, but thanks for the unsolicited advice about seeking mental health treatment as if you actually cared when in reality you're using it as an insult. Go buy a Samsung A9 and mind your own business. I think it'll be better for the both of us.

Kyle Medina's picture

Step 1. Stay off articles you don't intend on reading.

You're welcome for the advice that most people wouldn't have given. Your initial comments started off everything negative. Fix your attitude or you'll keep getting these kind of replies. Good Day, hope you get your life back on track.

michaeljin's picture

Step 1: Stay off comments sections if you don't like reading negative comments.
Step 2: Learn that people don't give two shits about unsolicited advice from complete strangers on the internet.
Step 3: If you do care about advice from strangers, then go skydiving without a parachute.

Respect that people are entitled to express their negative opinions just as you're entitled to express your positive ones or you'll keep getting these kind of replies.

Cheers. Hope you get you find a tissue to wipe Samsung's shit off your nose.

Jonathan Brady's picture

Samsung has made phones with cameras with zoom lenses in the past.

Khalid Aziz's picture

this reminds me of the Gillette vs. Wilkinson razor blade battle
who has the most blades win ;D

michaeljin's picture

I still don't quite understand the benefit of having more than one blade...

Mauro Scattolini's picture

I've been waiting since I started to have a beard for the ultimate razor blade, basically a full face razor that has enough blade to cover the whole face. Never came out :(

Alex Cooke's picture

A good safety razor (or a straight razor if you really want to go for it) and some time and investment in proper equipment and technique can make such a difference compared to a drugstore cartridge razors. Way cheaper too.

michaeljin's picture

I wish there was just a button that allowed us to stop growing beards at all if we wanted to. Shaving is just an annoying ritual as far as I'm concerned.

As for the investment in proper equipment and technique part of things, I think it's the "technique" part that most people find off-putting. "Safety razor" or not, I don't want something that can slice my face open or flay a layer of skin off my face (a razor blade) to require any technique at all because the whole idea of having to learn technique means that at some point, you will be lacking it and liable to do something wrong—namely, slicing or flaying your face. I think this is peoples' fear and a large part of the reason that we've moved on from those old-style safety razors.

It's not that people don't nick themselves with their drugstore cartridge razors, but they are about as idiot-proof as a razor can reasonably be. For a sharp object, that's a pretty good thing that they've got going for them.

andy rea's picture

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