Code discovered in the latest version of Samsung’s camera app suggests that the South Korean electronics giant is working on a host of new camera modes for its phones, XDA-Developers reports. These include a new Director’s View mode that could let you quickly preview and switch between different lenses as well as a new Night Hyperlapse, Vertical Panorama, “Single Take Photo,” and Custom Filter options.
The Director’s View mode sounds particularly interesting. XDA-Developers speculates that you’ll be able to preview or even film from multiple camera sensors simultaneously and then tap on thumbnails to the left and right of the screen to switch between different lenses and subject close-ups.
Meanwhile, the oddly named “Single Take Photo” option seems to be a kind of automated filming and photography mode. You pan your camera for 15 seconds, and the app responds by filming a series of pictures and short videos. There’s also a Vertical Panorama mode, which could encourage you to pan vertically rather than horizontally to photograph especially tall subjects. Night Hyperlapse sounds like it could combine Samsung’s existing night and hyperlapse photography options into a single mode.
Finally, there’s an option called “Custom Filter,” which, in Samsung’s words, lets you “select a picture you like the look of from your Gallery, then save it as a filter.” We’re not sure whether this means it will save any edits you’ve done to the photo so you can quickly apply them elsewhere or otherwise extract its camera settings, but both would be interesting ideas.
Over the last couple of years, Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Pixel phones have traded blows for the title of best smartphone camera, while Samsung has struggled to compete in terms of raw image quality. Extra camera modes are unlikely to change this single-handedly, but combined with rumors of a 108-megapixel sensor and 8K / 30 fps video recording, they could signal a more fundamental shake-up of the smartphone camera leaderboards.