+ Thursday December 12th, 2019

You mightn’t realise it, but most smartphone cameras have a fixed aperture and make their adjustments using a combination of shutter speed, ISO setting and AI magic. Aperture is the third angle of the photography triangle (the the others being ISO and shutter speed), and allows adjustment of the diameter of the aperture (or hole) through which light passes. By adjusting aperture, you can adjust depth of field (using light only, no AI needed), restrict the amount of light getting in (so you can take longer exposures without washing out your images) and more.

Until very recently, variable aperture in smartphones wasn’t really a thing. Samsung pioneered it last year in the Galaxy S9 which had a dual aperture camera; you could actually see the aperture blades close and open when it adjusted. However, it offered just two settings – f/1.5 (or wide open) and f/2.4 (a little bit less open), whereas your average (non-smartphone) camera offers any number of settings between say f/1.5 and f/22.

Smartphone cameras aren’t there yet, but Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 will offer a step up, with three variable aperture settings, according to a leak published on SamMobile.

The Galaxy Note 10 will offer an f/1.5 setting for letting lots of light in, for better photos and low noise in low light. A mid-range f/1.8 will dial things back just slightly, for good all-around performance, and there’ll be a third – f/2.4 – for use in brightly lit scenes where the amount of light can be less, so you can dial back overexposure – a common complaint for Samsung cameras.

It’s unclear if both Galaxy Note 10 models will feature this or if Samsung plans on limiting it to the Galaxy Note 10 Pro. Nevertheless, this is an exciting possibility, one that would make the Galaxy Note 10 quite a unique device.

 

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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