New details from Apple reveal a powerful new camera tech that could power future iPhones.
A newly filed patent reveals technology Apple could soon be using to take iPhone photography to the next level.
The patent describes a new periscopic lens design that could finally bring state-of-the-art telephoto and zoom capabilities to the iPhone. A periscopic lens saves space and cuts down on camera bulges by mounting lens components laterally within the case rather than stacking them front-to-back.
More importantly, such a design would help close the large quality gap between Apple’s flagships and the many competing smartphone cameras that currently offer superior zoom performance by leveraging periscopic lenses.
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For example, Dxomark’s test results award the iPhone 12 Pro Max a Telephoto score of 87 points. However, far better performance is achieved by competing products such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (98 points), Huawei P40 Pro (118 points) and Xiaomi’s Mi 10 Ultra (133 points). All of these models already use periscopic lenses and clearly outclass the iPhone in this key area.
A new periscopic camera could, therefore, bring significant and necessary improvements to the iPhone in 2023, as predicted by famed industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple’s new design appears to be a little different from what we’ve seen in the competition. Where periscopic telephoto lenses typically offer high optical magnification factors up to 10x, Apple’s new design describes a wide f/2.4 aperture with modest 3x zoom more typical of standard non-periscopic modules.
This hints at a slightly different use case, concentrating on superior image quality rather than increased optical zoom range. It could, of course, be coupled with a second telephoto camera with a higher magnification camera for which Apple already has existing patents.
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