Some iPhone 7 camera rumors (dual lens camera, curved sensor)

iPhone-7-Dual-Camera-rumors
Here are few rumors on what kind of camera tech we can expect in the iPhone 7 Plus (Apple usually introduces camera improvements in their "Plus" versions):

iPhone 7 plus likely to have dual-lens camera based on LinX technology:

"The rumored iPhone 7 Plus model with a dual-lens camera system would take advantage of imaging algorithms that Apple acquired through its purchase of Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging last year."

Dual camera iPhone 7 plus could offer 'DSLR-like' quality, 3D depth mapping:

"LinX's multi-aperture cameras pack impressive image quality in a smaller size than single aperture cameras, meaning the iPhone 7 Plus may lack a protruding camera lens and be able to take SLR-quality photos — think Canon or Nikon. The camera modules are also capable of very interesting technology called 3D depth mapping and more."

Apple invention uses spherically curved photosensor for smaller, better iPhone camera:

"In some embodiments Apple describes a photosensor that is spherically curved to receive incoming light, refracted through specially crafted lenses, onto a concave surface. An apt analogy would be a bowl filled with water; the bowl represents a spherically curved image sensor and the water a fitted lens system."

Image credit: ComputerBild

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  • Hardcore_Fanboy

    “DSLR like quality” in phone cameras…. I do hear that since Nokia started go beyond 5mpix (that was more than 10 years ago) since then every new phone generation claims that. and yet – phone camera 2016. will not even come close to DSLR from 2006… not to mention dslr from 2015.

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      Phone camera’s offer better looking pictures for most people than a dslr would ever produce with them using it.

      We are a bunch of weirdos that like, spend time learning how to use a camera and don’t just dump a bunch of filters on to the output

    • Sakaphoto Graphics

      Many people can’t see the difference between photos taken with a point-and-shoot camera and a dSLR with a kit lens, so if a phone camera takes exceptionally clear images, maybe it works for them.

      • I think this is what they mean

        • Eric Calabros

          No, they mean it can reach DSLR quality, literally. because it can, theoretically 🙂
          With more modules, you get more samples, its like having the same SuperRaw feature DxO used in their iOS connected camera, but with the advantage of all samples being taken at the same time. The quality of cooking this kind of raw depends on how state of the art your deconvolution algorithm is.

      • Mike

        The irony is that an iPhone 6s+ is more expensive than a Nikon D3300 + kit lens.

        • EcoR1

          But you can’t play XCOM with Nikon.

          • CRB

            I wonder how many real photographers are worried about playing xcom with their cameras…

          • Mike

            1. I don’t know what XCOM is lol. So I’m not worried. 2. iPhone is great if you want everything shot at 24mm f/13 equivalent, under ISO 200, and want to watch glaciers move by while it figures out where to focus in low light. 🙂

          • peevee

            It’s about 30mm equivalent.

      • Hardcore_Fanboy

        yes – and 5mpix nokia did work for them too… but these new phones 2016 will definetly give them DSLR… but here is my problem – if phones in 2016 are finally DSLR quality, then what about phones 2017? should those be PR-ed as medium format quality then?

        • Sakaphoto Graphics

          They won’t be changing anything for probably 3 years once they get it the way that they want it.

    • peevee

      “phone camera 2016. will not even come close to DSLR from 2006”

      Actually, Panasonic CM1 is close and probably better in many regards (resolution and DR for sure) than at least APS-C DSLRs from 2006.

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    This is good news for Sony,, maybe LG will start making a 6 camera phone, 2 in front 4 on the back

  • Mark

    DSLR quality….LOLLL Every claim of that so far couldn’t be further from the truth, I expect this to be no different as long as the sensors are as small as they always are.

    • EcoR1

      One of the most important factors in DSLR-cameras is the big sensor size compared to most mobile phones. The more photons you can capture, the better the signal/noise- ratio. Thus the bigger the sensor the better. But there is a small catch you know. You can have a one big sensor or multiple smaller ones, it does not really matter. The amount of captured photons can be the same with either approach. And multiple smaller sensors is an ideal solution for mobile phones as the lens modules can remain still small.

      So yes, if we ignore the lens quality, the mobile phones will eventually have a DSLR-quality dynamic range, low light capability and color reproduction.

      • Piooof

        Which will be great. Nevertheless they won’t have the possibility to visually isolate a subject from the background thanks to a thin DOF, something which will remain an essential advantage given by (comparatively) large sensor cameras.

        • Eric Calabros

          Yes, but thanks to depth estimation, they can add fake defocus effect. They’re working on it very seriously.

          • Piooof

            Haha, I didn’t think of that. My experience from playing with a Lytro is that it doesn’t seem simple to calculate a correct depth map. But granted, thay’ll have many more pixels to work with. And if depth estimation becomes reliable, you could even cheaply simulate tilt-shift lenses, or create even weirder (to our eyes) effects like double focus planes.

            If they do well then I don’t see much that could keep our current large equipment from fossilization.

        • mma173

          Depth can my captured using 3D tech as in HTC One. Captured depth data (map) can be used to create bokeh.

      • Glorfindelrb

        How many of those little sensors do you need to cover a 24*36 area? I can help, it not 2.

    • Mike Gordon

      Have you read up on what the LinX SW/HW can do? I have and it is surprisingly great.

      Today out in good light, nobody I know cannot tell the difference between my D600 and iPhone6. Even low light unless you print over 8×10 they cannot see the difference. Web size the only way to tell the difference is DoF in the shots.

      This is why the general
      masses have spoken with their wallets and the p-n-s market is already on
      is last leg. DSLR was down 10+% each of the last few years.
      Mirrorless is flat and only so because of the Sony A7 series. A7 is starting to get saturated (based on fleabay/KEH) so mirrorless will likely join in the decline for 2016.

      The curved sensor is good for two stops over today. With two lenses
      you will get a 28/85 combo. This will finish off the p-n-s market.

      Wait until Apple gets out the 3 sensor periscope (zoom) phone camera module. Patent about a year ago. 3-sensor will fix low light. (Last patent was for a 24-105 zoom)

      DPR has a funny war between Mirrorless and DSLR, they are both going to
      be toast in a few years, except for pros and hobbyists.

      • Spy Black

        There a a difference between DSLR quality and not being to tell the difference between cellphone camera quality and DSLR quality…

        • EcoR1

          Not for a person who can’t tell the difference. And with each year the amount of people who can’t tell the difference will become larger.

          • Spy Black

            That’s not the point. We all know that. Its the “DSLR-like quality” rap that’s the point.

        • Mike Gordon

          Re-read what I wrote you clearly did not understand. Sure we can tell as .001% of earth’s population gear heads, but go ask the general masses. They cannot tell a difference until you are over 8×10. Now ask you self, how often you print even that big?

          Face reality 99.99% of the pics today are shared over social media. At web size, it just does not matter, people look for emotion in the pictures. They look for 20 seconds and move on, they are NOT worried about the corners or a bit of distortion…

          • Spy Black

            Apparently you enjoy it enough to keep reading it.

          • Spy Black

            Yes, we all know that here in this website. As a matter of fact, it happened years ago, that’s why the industry is in the downward spiral that it’s in.

            It’s the claim that you’ll get DSLR quality that’s my point. There’s no doubt that cellphone sensors will continue to improve as well. But it would be foolish to believe that DSLR sensors won’t be doing the same. Hence cellphone cameras will not have “DSLR quality” so long as DSLRs continue to improve.

          • Piooof

            Nope. If cell phones go the ‘mini-plenoptic’ route, with many tiny sensors and lenses, they could well make up for the difference in sensor size. See, nobody would ever try to build a giant telescope nowadays; telescope arrays have won long ago.

            But if this technique is ok for phones or telescopes, it can’t work for large-sensor cameras (unless you’re willing to pay a ridiculous amount of cash to have the chance to lug around a few dozen pounds of gear –granted, this appeals to some, but not many).

          • Spy Black

            Because you’re thinking in terms of existing, known technologies. You’re omitting the possibility of alternative large sensor technologies not yet developed, or put into production.

          • The means of improvement here is the increase in sensor surface area through the use of multiple sensors. Since most noise in digital images is shot-noise, increasing the sensor surface area can yield dramatic improvements. In principle, this could be repeated until the total sensor surface area equalled or exceeded that of even medium-format DSLRs.

            Without a corresponding increase in sensor surface area, the gains in noise reduction available to DSLRs are comparatively modest.

            Yes, the IQ of DSLRs isn’t solely a property of sensor surface area and the ergonomics, battery life and level of control of smartphones is rubbish, not to mention the inability to interchange lenses.

            But the point stands that, through the implementation of multiple sensor / lens modules, it is possible that the IQ of phones will equal that of DSLRs in at least some respects.

      • EcoR1

        Yep, when those multisensors with a zoom-function become common in mobile devices, it’s going to be a final nail in p-n-s coffin. Also low-end DSLR with kitlens-solutions are going to take a big hit.

        So what’s going to be left? Mobile phones will eat up any small sensor and a small focal length combination in years to come. Ironically this could boost the marketshare for Canon and Nikon, because they still rule the supertelemarket.

      • Hardcore_Fanboy

        if you can not tell difference in D600 and iphone picture (even in good light) then you should:
        1) check your eyes – seriously there must be a medical solution… or
        2) you should definitely not be on photography formus – you should be on phone formus and discussing latest AnTuTu benchmarks and latest hexa-core ARM etc (oh – by the way – iphone sux on those too)

        • Mike Gordon

          Re-read what I wrote you clearly did not understand. Sure we can tell as .001% of earth’s population gear heads, but go ask the general masses. They cannot tell a difference until you are over 8×10. Now ask you self, how often you print even that big?

          Face reality 99.99% of the pics today are shared over social media. At web size, it just does not matter, people look for emotion in the pictures. They look for 20 seconds and move on, they are NOT worried about the corners or a bit of distortion…

          • Hardcore_Fanboy

            why would I care about general masses in Photography blog? should we all lower our standards and say that phone is good enough now? should we accept PR statments like “this phone quality is like DSLR” even thou we hear these stamtents every year for decade and it is no where near that? it would be like saying “my 1$ beer from Wallmart is good enoug and does the job, I am 99% of population – so you can suck my…”… in wine connoisseur blog

          • Mike Gordon

            Our cameras are going to get A LOT more expensive without the masses buying. Nikon is already starting to raise lens prices…

          • I can tell the difference at any size. If I shoot my DSLR with a 50mm f/1.4 wide open you can easily see the subject isolation and shallow depth of field versus a photo in the same spot using a phone. No big prints needed.

          • D800 vs iPhone. Maybe I need to print these big so you can really see which is which?
            http://www.photokaz.com/blog/2012/08/14/nikon-d800-vs-iphone-4s/

      • peevee

        “Today out in good light, nobody I know cannot tell the difference between my D600 and iPhone6.”

        Unless you use your D600 at something other than 30mm. Or your subjects are moving in high-contrast scenes, so HDR on the phone will not help.

  • What the two lenses will give you is shallow depth of field. The HTC M8 already has this feature. You take a photo and then choose what you want in focus.

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