A new patent emerged and has been gaining attention from Apple that may shed light into future iPhone camera design. The patent, numbered 20140125825, deals with capturing super-HD images via an "image capture device."
Some speculate that the iPhone 6 cameras may have this potential because of the timing of the patent, rumors and comments from an analyst.
These rumors suggested that Apple could be adding Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) tech into the iPhone 6 and that InvenSense may supply the required hardware.
An analyst from ESM China, Sun Chang Xu, also said that Apple would be adding an improved sensor module and an image stabilization system into the iPhone 6 giving further credit to the rumors.
The patent describes in detail the way the camera system will work and make super-HD image capture possible. It will be done with OIS processor adjusting the optical path to the electronic image sensor. A second optical sample will also be captured and be offset from the first optical sample by less than a sub-pixel. The process is repeated and the optical samples can then be combined to create super-resolution images.
This is the jist of it. However, for those of us not super camera-savvy, the important thing is to know that the images will have amazing quality if this camera becomes a reality. It is using various techniques to basically offset the fact the hardware cannot compete with standalone non-phone cameras to produce similar images. The OIS CPU is also the important difference maker that will make this possible.
The thing that keeps iPhone and other smartphone cameras from becoming really good photo tools and useful for professionals is the lack of stabilization and ghosting and distortion present on images due to too much shaking or movement from the photographer. Professional cameras are often used with tripods and shots taken at a standstill.
Phone cameras, on the other hand, rely on the user holding it still while movement occurs and without shaking it too much as the photos are taken. Without stabilization supplementation, images may become blurry hence why phone cameras are generally seen as devices for amateurs and not professional photographers.
The OIS system can compensate for camera motion during image capture and add stabilization to it, the patent description states. This means it could be useful as a stabilization tool along with helping to make the capture of super-HD images possible.
It will be interesting to see if the iPhone 6 and other phones start implementing OIS into the cameras because it seems like the technology has multiple benefits for smartphone users. If the iPhone 6 becomes the first or even exclusive phone to have such a system, it could definitely become the hottest iPhone launch ever once it hits store shelves. Because this patent comes from Apple, it could definitely become an exclusive tech in its current implementation.