Leaked components suggest Apple is looking to reinvent iPhone 6s camera

“Sometimes even the best-kept secrets can leave a trail of clues, and when the world’s biggest tech companies start buying components in unexpectedly large quantities, it’s a sure sign that something significant is about to happen,” Paul Monckton writes for Forbes. “This is exactly what seems to be happening right now in the world of high-end smartphones, with both Apple and Samsung reportedly buying up much larger than usual quantities of camera sensors.”

“According to a report in ETNEWS, components such as autofocus actuators, filters, memory and semiconductors are also seeing increased demand, fuelling speculation that both companies are incorporating additional camera modules into future handsets. Yes, that means more than one rear-facing camera per phone,” Monckton writes. “So what does all this mean? A strong hint comes from April this year whenApple bought LinX Imaging at a price of around $20 million. LinX Imaging specialises in “multi aperture imaging technology”, which essentially combines multiple lenses and sensors into single camera modules.”

“Multi aperture cameras offer many possible benefits including 3D imaging, artistically blurred backgrounds and the ability to re-focus images after the fact,” Monckton writes. “More importantly, they offer the possibility of vastly improving bottom-line image quality without the need for bulky DSLR-style lenses which simply wouldn’t fit into a smartphone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Already the iPhone wannabes can’t come close to iPhone’s imaging quality – just wait until iPhone 6s/Plus!

SEE ALSO:


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

23 Comments

  1. Yes, the Apple iPhone will continue to have by far the best camera of any phone, and yes, the Android crowd will pretend that the cameras on Android junk are better. (And there’s no telling them otherwise.)

    1. It really is the photographer. And Samsung’s camera is still very, very good. It’s really a toss-up if you put a good photographer behind the glass. And I’m not just talking about Megapixels.

      1. Megapixel counts are the first and last refuge of the Android crowd. All else being equal, more megapixels will result in a higher pixel count at the cost of picture quality.

        All else being equal again, the Apple iPhone camera is markedly better than anything found on Android junk – whether the photographer is good, bad, or in between.

        1. Not to mention, the data size of those photo files ballooning with those unnecessary megapixels.

          The quality of the software composing those images matters more, and especially the person actually taking the shots.

        2. ALL else being equal (if you really mean ALL), more megapixels mean… more pixels and higher resolution, that’s it. The argument is that most of those pixels are dropped when displayed and when printed. The only advantage of more MP is in cropping. Instead of a 3MP image of a bird you took, it’s still 8MP as it was cropped from 16MB. (Those are just examples, I didn’t bother doing the math).

          The Apple iPhone camera is NOT “markedly” better. It’s better in many ways, but not markedly so. Android cameras are also not junk and calling them so shows a touch of ignorance. There are photographers that are still producing great images on iPhone 5c cameras, which if we measure them by the standard of current Android phones or iPhones would be considered junk. Yet, a good eye and hands behind the lens of an iP5 can produce better images than an iPhone 6+.

          1. I’m not ignorant. You just have a problem with logic.

            Stop saying shit about good photographers. I already know that a good photographer will take a better picture than a bad one. That’s kind of obvious is it not. After all, WHAT ELSE would make them a good photographer?

            You write in your last sentence:

            “Yet, a good eye and hands behind the lens of an iP5 can produce better images than an iPhone 6+.”
            __________

            So you’re saying that, all else being equal, the iP5 has a better camera than an iPhone 6+?

            Please explain.

            1. You’ve got things in reverse, bereanbob. I’m saying it’s all about the photographer, not the camera. I’m glad you realize that it’s the photographer that makes the shot, not the device, though! The difference maker is the human, and the margin of quality between a high-end Android phone and an iPhone is small enough not to affect the shot.

              Calling Android cameras all “junk” by extension is also calling iPhone “5s” and “5” cameras junk.

              Perhaps they’re not as good, but they’re far far from junk.

              Although the whole megapixel war is silly, there are still use cases for higher megapixel counts. ONE example (that should be easy to understand): Photographing birds in the back yard with good light. I’d take a higher MP count anyday over digital zoom. Once you crop the 80% of the photo you don’t want, you end up with a much better quality picture.

          2. You’re all hung up on comparing megapixels – while the actual image processing done by the respective smartphones matters far more — ie what the respective phones *do* with those pixels, to turn them into a photo.

            Apple is significantly better at that.

            1. Actually, I’m not hung up on MP at all. I recognize that image processors are important. Even more important is the actual lens and physical components. In the end, it’s the light coming in where the information lies. And the physical components of many Android phones are very good. I didn’t believe it either, but I took a friend’s Android phone for a test drive and ended up with excellent results.

              I’m in no way saying that iPhones don’t have a better camera system. That is well known. However, I completely disagree that Android phones have junk cameras. They’re close enough to not make much of a difference in the hands of most photographers.

              My point about megapixels is only applicable when dealing with extensive cropping. For regular photos that are framed properly at the right distance it’s not an issue.

      2. Exactly “blue”, the cameras on all the smart phones at present are decent enough that it really is the person behind the lens that makes the difference. I’m often amazed at the work of those who have the skill and vision to create beautiful and intriguing works with anything at hand.

      3. Really the photographer has something to do with how good the image turns out. I know I always get the “Your camera takes great pictures”, it has nothing to do with the 3 years of schooling or the 35+ years of experience.

  2. A dual prime-lens system (full-frame SLR equiv. 28 mm and say 85 mm) makes perfect sense. Long shot- and low light noise are the weakest links in current phone cameras. (It’s certainly not the number of megapixels)

  3. This is where the 64bit can show some strength. Faster processors will let the phone control both lenses, combine the information and still shoot at high speed. Now that Android has 64bit Samsung can do the same. However when they start promoting 64bit the Android fans will have to dance around the fact they are years late to the game.

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