Back in late August, we heard some rumors about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 as sources from China claimed that Samsung's next flagship device will boast a dual-camera setup with sensors supplied by the company's camera division and Sony. While that report obviously won't be officially confirmed or debunked anytime soon, latest developments in the Far East lend it some credibility. Namely, the contents of a patent that Samsung filed in its home country of South Korea earlier this month seemingly support the aforementioned rumors. On September 13th, Samsung filed a 15-page document related to some camera technology. Among other things, the documentation shows a camera interface featuring single-finger zoom control which is basically identical to the way the current Samsung Camera app handles exposure. You can check out the set of images from the patent application below or continue reading to join us in the land of speculation.
As it turns out, several outlets are already speculating that the main reason Samsung is trying to improve its digital zoom control scheme is because the upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship will sport a dual rear camera. As such a system has many advantages—significantly improved zoom being one of them—it's possible that Samsung is finally overhauling its camera interface to better complement the capabilities of the upcoming flagship device. Possible, but far from confirmed.
For the uninitiated, a dual-camera setup relies on combining images from two separate sensors in order to alleviate the effects of optical distortion in a single lens. It's a complicated scheme that isn't really viable for use in actual dSLR cameras because they aren't limited by their form. In other words, optical distortion is a lens error and there's only so much you can do to deal with it when you're designing a lens that has to fit into a case that's thinner than 10mm as most contemporary smartphones tend to be. However, with two lenses and some clever software tricks, the effects of optical distortion can be compensated for which consequently results in better-quality images. As this technology seems to be getting more and more popular among smartphone manufacturers who are looking to improve their device's shooting capabilities without making them thicker, it wouldn't be surprising if the next Galaxy S flagship ends up utilizing it.