Inside Apple’s revolutionary next-gen iPhone camera

“I’ve got an iPhone 6 Plus, and there’s no getting around an obvious fact: The camera is pretty great,” Mike Elgan reports for Computerworld. “Because camera superiority is often a major reason why people buy a company’s highest-end phones, the industry is in a quandary: How can they dramatically improve what are already great phones, even as smartphones are getting thinner and thinner?”

“Apple this week revealed its direction: multi-aperture computational imaging. That’s photography mumbo jumbo that means using more than one camera combined with software that creates a picture from the resulting data,” Elgan reports. “The revelation about Apple’s direction came in the form of Apple’s $20 million acquisition of an Israeli startup called LinX Computational Imaging.”

“Because the LinX camera system is capturing images from more than one angle, and also mapping the distance of every object and surface in the shot, it can do amazing things far beyond simply taking great photos,” Elgan reports. “The LinX depth map can speed up and improve the quality of auto-focus. And if you don’t like the image captured with auto-focus, you can refocus the image after it’s been taken! You could replace or remove the background of not only a photo, but also a live video — in real time. It would work like a green screen, but no green screen would be required. Any background could be replaced… We could be using it by the end of the year!”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The world’s best smartphone camera is poised to get markedly better!

Related articles:
Apple’s LinX acquisition: The Israeli startup that will give iPhones SLR-quality photos – April 15, 2015
Apple buys Israeli 3D/multi-image camera company LinX Computational Imaging – April 14, 2015


  1. I’d love to hear experts chime in on whether we actually could be using this by the end of the year. My experience with Apple is when they purchase a company for tech, said tech isn’t incorporated into actual products for 18-36 months.

  2. But.. But.. Samsung camera on galaxy iPhone crappy copy edge has 16 mpx.. It captures 16 millions of blurry noise. It is the best camera because it has the higher specifications, it captures a lot of noise, no so accurate colors, it is slow, battery only last 3 hours, but hey, 16 is bigger than 8, it should be better, right? 😉

    1. Leo Laport stated on Saturday that in his opinion the Samsung Galaxy 6 camera has surpassed the iPhone camera. He is definitely an Android guy, but has generally given the iPhone camera the nod in the past. I don’t know since I am still using the iPhone 5S. Has anyone here used both the iPhone 6 and Galaxy 6 cameras? Regardless of camera hardware, the iPhone software has generally been regarded best in class, but it is highly possible for better hardware in the Samsung to overcome the better Apple processing software. I think there is little doubt that the iPhone software, paired with bigger lens and sensor wouldn’t produce better images.

  3. I would expect that the design for any iPhone being released this year is pretty well finalised by now, so I’d be surprised if the fruits of such a recent acquisition appeared in the next iPhone.

    Having said that, I like the sound of what this development promises and look forward to owning an iPhone with these capabilities.

    1. Here’s a thought.

      What if Apple has already developed their next camera using LinX technology but can’t sell it until they get the rights. Hence, new product does not have to wait to be developed until after the technology is purchased, it could be developed and ready to go a long time ago. Purchase of LinX is just detail stuff.

      1. I had initially thought along similar lines, but I know that Apple is very shrewd when it comes to negotiations and I would not expect Apple to commit itself to a new technology until it had 100% nailed down ownership or access to that technology and the price too. If LinX believed that Apple were committed to deploy their technology so rapidly, they might push for a much higher sale price.

        My feeling is that Apple can see tremendous potential in what LinX has done, but would be putting a lot of resources into further development and optimising for Apple’s precise needs.

  4. Having owned a Lytro for several years now, I can attest that the multi-field focus option is more of a gimmick than a useful tool. Great for certain types of shots, not really useful for your average snapshot.

    That said, it *can* help improve autofocus performance.

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