Apple’s next-gen iPhone to offer ‘the biggest camera jump ever’

“If well-regarded Apple commentator John Gruber is correct, the centerpiece of next year’s iPhone could be ‘the biggest camera jump ever,'” Mark Rogowsky reports for Fortune. “Gruber has a weekly podcast during which he dropped the rumor: ‘The specific thing I heard is that next year’s camera might be the biggest camera jump ever. I don’t even know what sense this makes, but I’ve heard that it’s some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.'”

“It’s possible then that these rumors refer not to 2015′s Apple smartphone but 2016′s model, which presumably would come in an entirely new form factor,” Rogowsky reports. “Or perhaps the upgrade for next year is less radical than a dual-lens design and is more along the lines of much improved video and a bump in megapixels without the noise increase that typically entails.”

Rogowsky reports, “Yes, it’s just November and iPhone 6 has been on sale for only 2 months. But with Apple, it’s hard not to look ahead to what’s coming next.”

Read more in the full article here.

12 Comments

    1. It is a fantasy; at beast, Apple could try to put giant 13 MP sensor in there (so that pixel size would not be any less than now in 8 MP).

      However, even with current 8 MP sensor Apple had to use protruding camera lens. Unless Apple will invent amazingly thin, fewer lens optics, it is not going to be possible. Now Apple uses five lens system; they had to add one lens — comparing to four lens systems many competitors use — for better resolution around the corners.

      Apple has made technical breakthroughs many times before, so I am not saying this rumour is completely without merit. But it is not very probable.

  1. It would need interchangeable lenses in order to start being compared with DSLRs. I know that Apple has applied for patents associated with that, so it may be a possibility, but there are plenty of DSLR features that will not be coming to smartphones due to the laws of physics and the laws of optics.
    However, while pros will always favour DSLRs, better cameras on iPhones will further raise the threshold above which users decide they need a DSLR.

    For many users, the biggest limitation with an iPhone as a camera is the fixed lens. If interchangeable lenses ( especially telephoto lenses ) were available and the combined iPhone and lens was convenient and practical to operate, they would not need a dedicated camera.

    1. We could start seeing high end camera lenses that connect to iPhones with the Lightning connector. They already sell detachable camera lenses that connect to the iPhone over Bluetooth.

  2. I have an iPhone 6, an iPod Touch 5 and an iPad Air, but think I’ll keep my Leicas.

    The tiny space allocated the optical path in a cell phone does not allow for a great deal of futzing around with the lenses. Maybe use of fiber optics or a prism to extend the path could yield some room for improvement, but color me skeptical.

  3. Let’s not forget camera lenses have resolution limits as well. You can throw in a 36MP sensor like found in the Nikon D800, and you won’t get any clearer images unless the lens assembly gets significantly larger.

    This is one of the main reasons apple has stuck to “low” MP sensors up until now, who needs huge blurry images?

  4. Probably the most valuable change to the iPhone camera would be a zoom lens. I know the physical space of about 6mm isn’t really much to create a workable zoom lens, but if the sensors become small enough, and optics are done well enough, there may be enough room to maneuver with that movable lens.

    Image quality has always been the most overriding concern for Apple. Chasing megapixels was others’ game; Apple’s focus was on the quality of sensor and optics in order to make whatever megapixels are in that sensor actually meaningful.

    Comparing to DSLR can only be done to the extent of the perceived overall image quality. Large sensors of the DSLRs, ability to use fast prime lenses, physical shutters, as well as many other qualities make DSLRs impossible to approach by smaller cameras, let alone phones.

  5. DSLR-quality images from a smartphone? Not gonna happen. Ever. No one would dare make such a ridiculous claim unless they thought the people they were talking to were really stupid.

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