Photos depict dual-lens smartphone camera possibly intended for 'iPhone 7 Plus'

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in iPhone
Photos emerged on Monday of a dual-lens smartphone camera, which could be destined for Apple's rumored "iPhone 7 Plus," expected to ship later this year.




One lens appears to have a larger diameter than the other, as seen in images obtained by Apple.club.tw. Two short flex cables extend from the bottom of the module, presumably to connect to a logic board.

Notably, the part is similar to one seen in photos from January, which were brought back to the fore this weekend by French site Nowhere Else.

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple is hoping to include a dual-lens camera in this year's iPhones, specifically the higher-end "7 Plus." While one lens might provide standard wide-angle shooting, the other will allegedly offer optical zoom, something rare in the smartphone world. Because of space and profit considerations, phones normally rely on "digital" zoom -- in reality, just magnification at the cost of detail.

Aside from an "821" part number -- Apple has in the past used components with the prefix, but this does not necessarily provide confirmation of a part bound for iPhone -- the new images don't appear to show any clear manufacturing markings. One possible supplier is Sony, which already makes the sensors in current iPhones and has promised that its dual-lens camera technology will be launched by "major smartphone players" in the near future.

Apple's next flagship iPhones will likely launch this September. At an event on March 21, however, the company is predicted to reveal a new 4-inch iPhone with specifications closer to the iPhone 6s than the 5s, including an A9 processor and Apple Pay support.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,276member
    I sure hope these rumors of a dual lens camera turn out to be true. 
    am8449
  • Reply 2 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    In another story, it was mentioned that the second lens could also create a 3D effect by fact that there is a separation of the two lenses. When I use my iPhone for shooting video/still images, I almost never use portrait mode. But consider that when in landscape the lenses would be vertically positioned which seems counterintuitive to taking advantage of a 3D feature because, like a person's eyes, they work better when side by side. Displaying virtual reality depth from top to bottom does not seem as useful to me.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Not enough information to make a judgment whether or not this is a dual lens system. As usual, these "leaks" feature extremely low-res crap-phone pictures.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    jason98jason98 Posts: 766member
    Again if it is for iPhone 7 plus/pro only, what would be an incentive for anyone to upgrade to iPhone 7 instead of just say 6s?
  • Reply 5 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    jason98 said:
    Again if it is for iPhone 7 plus/pro only, what would be an incentive for anyone to upgrade to iPhone 7 instead of just say 6s?
    The same reasons there always are. It is not just size preference. All aspects of both models should be improved over the previous devices. Both should get better cameras, better flashes, faster processors, stereo speakers, thinner, better graphics, better battery life, better modems, new case styling, etc.
    edited March 2016 netmage1983
  • Reply 6 of 17
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 311member
    Adding optical zoom takes us another step towards completely eliminating the benefits of owning a standalone digital camera.

    And before someone jumps in about image quality, optics, etc., etc., let me point out that I said "another step". While there will always be things better done with larger sensors, pixels, and optics, by and large it's questionable just how many people need those improvements.

    Professionals and hobbyists will buy 'em, of course, but more and more people will find that the smartphone cameras they already carry daily are "good enough" 99% of the time.

    Hmmm... wonder if it's too late to seriously short Nikon and Canon stock...
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 7 of 17
    jason98jason98 Posts: 766member
    volcan said:

    The same reasons there always are. It is not just size preference. All aspects of both models should be improved over the previous devices. Both should get better cameras, better flashes, faster processors, stereo speakers, thinner, better graphics, better battery life, better modems, new case styling, etc.

    These are just minor incremental improvements.
    I am afraid without major innovation this year, peak-iPhone is going to become reality.
    1983
  • Reply 8 of 17
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,276member
    hmlongco said:
    Adding optical zoom takes us another step towards completely eliminating the benefits of owning a standalone digital camera.

    And before someone jumps in about image quality, optics, etc., etc., let me point out that I said "another step". While there will always be things better done with larger sensors, pixels, and optics, by and large it's questionable just how many people need those improvements.

    Professionals and hobbyists will buy 'em, of course, but more and more people will find that the smartphone cameras they already carry daily are "good enough" 99% of the time.

    Hmmm... wonder if it's too late to seriously short Nikon and Canon stock...
    Anyone who cares about image quality want those improvements you mentioned. Smartphones are nowhere close to replacing standalone cameras. Even if the iPhone adds optical zoom, it's not going to be very much obviously. With that said any sort of optical zoom is a million times better than the current digital zoom. I travel a lot and there is just no way I can replace my standalone camera. If you are going to the zoo or places to see wildlife, a smartphone won't cut it. Camera improvements are my number one thing I want on new iPhones. I actually do use my phone camera a lot when I travel. The iPhone does a great job taking panoramas. I also make time lapse videos when I get lazy and don't want to carry around my GoPro equipment. 
    gizmosfmaxxe2
  • Reply 9 of 17
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,159member
    Apple needs to start focussing more on what their customers want (e.g. longer battery life, wireless charging) and less on what they want.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 10 of 17
    mejsricmejsric Posts: 149member
    jason98 said:
    volcan said:

    The same reasons there always are. It is not just size preference. All aspects of both models should be improved over the previous devices. Both should get better cameras, better flashes, faster processors, stereo speakers, thinner, better graphics, better battery life, better modems, new case styling, etc.

    These are just minor incremental improvements.
    I am afraid without major innovation this year, peak-iPhone is going to become reality.
    It will shot laser.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    If iPhone 7 turns out to be like those leaked pictures lately, I won't upgrade my 6+. I want new chassis design differentiated from current slippery iPhone 6 design. Dual camera: nice to have, not selling point for me.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    jason98 said:
    volcan said:

    The same reasons there always are. It is not just size preference. All aspects of both models should be improved over the previous devices. Both should get better cameras, better flashes, faster processors, stereo speakers, thinner, better graphics, better battery life, better modems, new case styling, etc.

    These are just minor incremental improvements.
    I am afraid without major innovation this year, peak-iPhone is going to become reality.
    Why does everyone assume that one leaked feature implies that nothing else will happen in the next rev???    Really I don't get it 
    netmage
  • Reply 13 of 17
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member
    I read on Connect (sister site to DPreview) that these modules are not a wide-angle lens and a zoom, but a wide-angle and a longer fixed focal length lens. They then use 'computational imaging' algorithms to combine the output of the two sensors/lenses to work like an optical zoom camera...though that sounds like a fancy new kind of digital zoom to me, if it works as advertised with no visible loss of resolution, then hey go for it!
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 14 of 17
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    the other will allegedly offer optical zoom

    That is incorrect.  The dual lens configuration offers two different focal lengths - both of them pretty wide.  The second lens will not be an optical zoom - a lens that changes focal length.  This is what we have seen in the LG G5 - one lens provides about a 135° field of view while the second has about a 75° field of view.


  • Reply 15 of 17
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 311member
    1983 said:
    I read on Connect (sister site to DPreview) that these modules are not a wide-angle lens and a zoom, but a wide-angle and a longer fixed focal length lens. They then use 'computational imaging' algorithms to combine the output of the two sensors/lenses to work like an optical zoom camera...though that sounds like a fancy new kind of digital zoom to me, if it works as advertised with no visible loss of resolution, then hey go for it!
    Correct. The end result isn't quite as good as it would be from a purely optical standpoint, but much, much better than the current digital zoom implementation.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,759member
    jason98 said:
    volcan said:

    The same reasons there always are. It is not just size preference. All aspects of both models should be improved over the previous devices. Both should get better cameras, better flashes, faster processors, stereo speakers, thinner, better graphics, better battery life, better modems, new case styling, etc.

    These are just minor incremental improvements.
    I am afraid without major innovation this year, peak-iPhone is going to become reality.
    Someone said this last year
    Someone said it the year before that
    Someone said this every year back to 2008
  • Reply 17 of 17
    maxxe2maxxe2 Posts: 11member
    bluefire1 said:
    Apple needs to start focussing more on what their customers want (e.g. longer battery life, wireless charging) and less on what they want.
    People seem to disagree with you. Camera is very high up for me. Battery life, wireless charging, yes, for sure as well. But there is no reason they cannot fix all three at the same time - they are independent from another.
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