Secret Why iPhone Camera Is One Of The Best Cameras: 800 Engineers, 200 Individual Parts


The iPhone's camera has been lauded by many smartphone enthusiasts as among the best snapper on a handset, but have you wondered why it is among the top-end ones in the space?

The secret as to why the iPhone's camera is top notch has been revealed by none other than Apple Senior Director of Camera Hardware, Graham Townsend. Townsend spilled the beans in an interview with 60 Minutes' Charlie Rose.

One of the contributing factors for the iPhone's camera being among the best in the business is the battalion of people working on improving the technology. Apple deploys over 800 engineers to develop and improve the camera's technology.

The iPhone 6s Plus, Townsend revealed has over 200 individual parts in a single module and also demonstrated to Rose how the company simulates varied conditions such as terrible lighting indoors to sunsets, to test the performance of the camera in the lab itself.

While the company's rivals may also be conducting such tests, the factor working in Apple's favor, and giving it an edge over competitors is the massive size of its teams who specialize in the field and make the feature a priority.

The lab is where Apple assesses the output of the iPhone's camera, a driving feature of the product. Its engineers also test out the photographs taken from the camera in a slew of lighting scenarios. They then make the necessary calibrations to get the best shot possible.

Townsend also shared that the iPhone's camera has four wires that are miniscule and are able to generate a "micro suspension" which basically shakes off and offsets the disturbances which can arise from the user's hand movements. These wires are even thinner than human hair.

"This whole sus-- autofocus motor here is suspended on four wires. And you'll see them coming in. And here we are. Four-- These are 40-micron wires, less than half a human hair's width. And that holds that whole suspension and moves it in X and Y. So that allows us to stabilize for the hand shake," said Townsend.

For those wondering about the extent of effort Apple puts in to make the iPhone's camera unmatchable — for capturing a single image — "24 billion operations going on," per Townsend!

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr

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