IEEE 1858-2023: Camera Phone Image Quality

Woman taking photo of pumpkin soup with smartphone that has a camera that adheres to IEEE 1858-2023.

Smartphones capture 92.5% of all pictures, leaving just 7.5% to conventional cameras. Camera-equipped mobile devices have become ubiquitous, displacing dedicated digital cameras as many users’ primary tools for photography. IEEE 1858-2023: IEEE Standard For Camera Phone Image Quality (CPIQ) establishes a uniform means of evaluating the quality of cameras in mobile devices.

What Is IEEE 1858?

IEEE 1858-2023 addresses the fundamental attributes that contribute to video and still image quality. It defines a standardized suite of objective and subjective test methods for measuring camera phone image quality attributes. IEEE 1858-2023 specifies tools and test methods to facilitate standards-based communication and comparison among carriers, handset manufacturers, and component vendors regarding camera phone image quality. The standard allows for objective comparison between devices, models, and manufacturers, using a variety of metrics that are relevant to consumer photography.

How Do American Consumers Use Their Phones?

Almost all Americans (97%) own a mobile phone, about 330.8 million people. The average American spends 5 hours and 24 minutes on their mobile device each day, and they use it for a variety of purposes. Nowadays, there are dozens of social media apps that require the use of powerful front and rear-facing cameras. As such, over half of Americans use their phones to take pictures (55%). Just as popular as taking pictures is sending and receiving emails (54%). Two-fifths of Americans also use their phones to browse the internet on a regular basis (39%). The United States is the only market where checking weather forecasts (38%) is a top five daily mobile activity.

Psychological Perspective of Why We Use Our Phones So Often

On average, cell phone users look at their phones 144 times a day with the most activities being checking email, taking photos, and surfing the internet. Research shows smartphone use triggers dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure zones. Dopamine is the same chemical that is released while eating, after exercise, or playing video games.  When we check our phones, our brains release a small amount of dopamine, motivating us to take action and each time we hear a notification, we check our device. The problem is that this dopamine boost is temporary and leads to a letdown. Our brains want more dopamine, which triggers the habit of checking our phones constantly throughout the day.

The Triple Camera System in Mobile

The triple camera system of the phone combines the capabilities of multiple camera sensors to enhance the overall photography experience. Each camera sensor in the triple camera setup serves a specific purpose:

  1. Main Camera: handles various photography scenarios, including landscapes, portraits, and everyday shots and is responsible for capturing photos in most lighting conditions
  2. Wide-angle Camera: allows the user to capture more of the scene in a single shot, reducing the need to physically move farther away from the subject to capture a wider perspective
  3. Telephoto Camera: provides optical zoom capabilities, allowing you to capture close-up shots of subjects that are far away.

The phone’s software and image processing algorithms combine the data from all three cameras to optimize the final image. By combining the strengths of different camera sensors, users can capture a wider range of subjects, achieve better low-light performance, and enjoy optical zoom capabilities, resulting in a more immersive and enjoyable photography experience. In short, the more lenses you have, the more pixels are being captured. 

IEEE 1858-2023: IEEE Standard For Camera Phone Image Quality (CPIQ) is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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