Apple Patent Hints At How Optical Zoom Could Work On Dual-Camera iPhone 7

If KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo says it will be, then it mostly likely will be in Apple's upcoming iPhone 7.

Apple's next flagship is set to be released in September of this year, and according to Kuo, it will indeed ship with a dual camera setup that will be exclusive to the bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.

The analyst has a near perfect track record when it comes to predicting what Apple will come up with.

Kuo was the first to break the news about what we know now as the 12-inch Macbook, the iPad Pro, the upsizing of the iPhone screen from 4.7 inches to 5.5 inches with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and of course, the downsizing of the iPhone back to 4 inches with iPhone SE.

Now, Kuo's prediction of a dual camera iPhone just got backed up by an Apple patent recently uncovered, which describes a "folded telephoto camera lens system."

The technology, which would allow for a compact optical zoom to fit inside an even more compact body, had been similarly incorporated before in another product, the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Xg. That was 10 years ago.

Today, Apple's version is formulated around a lowercase "r" setup that closely resembles a miniaturized old-school periscope. Light is captured through the primary lens. That light is then channeled down and bounced off a mirror, which then gets redirected to a secondary lens where it finally gets focused on the image sensor.

By moving the secondary lens up and down, even by micro increments in the fractions of a millimeter, Apple would be able to achieve a true telephoto capability in the iPhone. Currently, Apple's iPhones are using digital zoom to close in on subjects in photos and videos. That method, unfortunately, degrades the quality of images.

Kuo's predictions, this latest patent discovery, and of course, leaked images of what Apple's dual camera setup may actually look like, are adding even more steam into the rumor that the next iPhone will be having its biggest camera update just yet. We'll be fidgeting on our seats while we wait until later in the year to find out.

Photo: Omar Jordan Fawahl | Flickr 

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