OnQ Blog

Snapdragon camera features add DSLR effects to your mobile phone

12. Jan. 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Nearly two billion photos are uploaded and shared online every single day, according to Mary Meeker's 2014 Internet Trend Report. Considering that less than 100 million traditional cameras were sold in 2014, it’s very likely that most of those photos were shot with a smartphone or tablet. Devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processors are designed to make it easier than ever to capture, edit, and share the moments that make life so special.

A Flash of Genius

Have you noticed that when the flash is on, the image you get is either washed out or somehow bright in all the wrong places? It’s enough to never want to turn on the flash again. So we came up with the Qualcomm ChromaFlash camera feature. When you tap the screen, ChromaFlash is engineered to kick in and quickly snap two photos—one with flash, one without. The final image will take the brightness from the one with flash and the color accuracy from the other, leaving you with a single, well-balanced shot.

OptiZoom

Up Close and Personal

Optical zoom is usually one of the things that gets left out of smartphones because large lenses are just too big to stuff into such a compact package. And digital zoom is a poor substitute, with pixelated images as a result. When you’re zooming in on something, it’s probably because you want to see it more clearly, right? Snapdragon processors are designed to handle that for you by capturing 12 images in a burst capture, and then creating a sharper image (by comparing the differences and similarities in the micro movements of the pixels you’ve captured). We expect the Qualcomm OptiZoom camera feature to be a real crowd pleaser.

A Focus on Everything
Another cool technology is  the Qualcomm UbiFocus camera feature, designed to make it much easier to take pictures of a scene where different objects are located at different depth positions—also known as real life. Traditional autofocus, while convenient, has trouble bringing the correct objects into focus in the final image. With UbiFocus, the camera’s autofocus is disengaged and five distinct images are taken at different focal points. These are then processed and combined into one final image that you can selectively focus however you’d like. Whether that’s keeping everything in focus, or choosing to emphasize either the foreground or background, UbiFocus gives the photographer the final say on their shots.

(L) No HDR, (C) HDR, (R) ghost-free HDR

No Such Thing as Ghosts

HDR stands for high dynamic range, which just means that the scene you’re taking a picture of has both very bright and very dark areas. These days, pretty much any smartphone can handle that by shooting a few rapid images at different exposures and combining them. But even some high-end smartphones seem to ignore the fact that there can be moving objects in the scene, as well. The result is that those objects will be combined with themselves at slightly different positions, causing distortion that looks a bit like ghosts. Enter our ghost-free HDR solution. Before each rapid image, any object in motion is identified and recorded throughout the series. Once the background is set, the ghost-free HDR solution is designed to select the best version of that object and add it back in, ghost-free.

In less than a decade the cameras in our smartphones have become so advanced that many people choose not to buy traditional cameras at all. Of course, people still want high-quality images. These days nobody wants to settle for less than great. Neither do we.

Read an overview of how Snapdragon processors are transforming photography, or dive deeper with the Breakthrough Mobile Imaging Experiences white paper. 

Some of the features are only available on specific Snapdragon processors. Consult processor specifications for feature availability. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm ChromaFlash, Qualcomm OptiZoom, and Qualcomm UbiFocus are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.