Report: Apple's next iPhone to sport 3.2-megapixel camera

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has placed orders with a local component supplier for new parts that suggest it will upgrade the iPhone's camera to 3.2-megapixels when it introduces new models a bit later this year.



Citing its usual 'market sources,' Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes claims Apple has tapped Sunnyvale, Calif.-based OmniVision to supply it with 3.2-megapixel CMOS image sensors for the next iPhone, which is expected in the coming months.



The report adds some corroboration to an earlier AppleInsider report, which similarly cited sources as saying the iPhone maker was due to include a higher-resolution camera with its upcoming handsets that would also be capable of capturing video.



Both the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G shipped with a 2-megapixel camera and neither version supports video recording.



There has also been some anecdotal, albeit unintentional, evidence provided by Apple that hints at iPhones with new video features. In particular, a MobileMe control panel that shipped as part of the first beta of iPhone Software 3.0 included a screen labeled "Publish Video," presumably to facilitate uploads of videos captured with the upcoming device to users' MobileMe websites.



Separately, DigiTimes claims that OmniVision "is also said to have secured 5-megapixel CIS orders for another Apple product expected to be launched later in the year." The fabless CMOS image sensor designer reportedly beat out STMicroelectronics and Aptina Imaging for the orders.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 189
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Need iSight! (please)
  • Reply 2 of 189
    tazinlwfltazinlwfl Posts: 117member
    Oh man, I can't wait. really looking forward to the new iPhone.



    Can anyone tell if these have already been used in other applications that capture video? Like other phones or cameras?



    edit: Looking at their website, it seems that they have been used in webcams and such. I guess that answers my question.

    edit2: it also appears that a few support LED flash and programmable controls. Maybe with a better sensor comes better controls + video.
  • Reply 3 of 189
    I'm so ready for this new iPhone to come out. I've been waiting to get an iPhone since they were first announced. It seems like this will be worth my 2 year wait!
  • Reply 4 of 189
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post


    I'm so ready for this new iPhone to come out. I've been waiting to get an iPhone since they were first announced. It seems like this will be worth my 2 year wait!



    I know! I've only really been waiting for a phone that could meet my 5G video iPod in terms of storage ... looks like we're almost there. Of course, I'd rather have 64gb though.
  • Reply 5 of 189
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Was it delayed due to the limitations of the old camera (was it that inferior) or Quicktime, a real power consumer?
  • Reply 6 of 189
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post


    I'm so ready for this new iPhone to come out. I've been waiting to get an iPhone since they were first announced. It seems like this will be worth my 2 year wait!



    I agree- this may finally be th iPhone version to push us fence sitters over the edge. Video, MMS text and pics - all things I've had on my phone for the last 3-4 years.
  • Reply 7 of 189
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    Omnivision means...... TrueFocus!!



    Infinite focus. Quite neat. Everything is in focus at all distances.
  • Reply 8 of 189
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by retroneo View Post


    Omnivision means...... TrueFocus!!



    Infinite focus. Quite neat. Everything is in focus at all distances.



    Can you post a link reference for this so we can include it in the story?
  • Reply 9 of 189
    stashmanstashman Posts: 90member
    Not not really much an update and still won't make the iPhone camera replacement. It's a shame as I use the camera on the iPhone quite a bit but would also like to to take good shots in all conditions, from skiing, walking about town to party photos in bad lighting.
  • Reply 10 of 189
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Bring on the new 7" Mega Touch w video iChat!
  • Reply 11 of 189
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I agree- this may finally be th iPhone version to push us fence sitters over the edge. Video, MMS text and pics - all things I've had on my phone for the last 3-4 years.



    Maybe so.



    But I would venture to say that the iPhone does, oh, 1 or 2 things that your phone does not do.



    Maybe I am stretching it but thats what I think.
  • Reply 12 of 189
    kerrynkerryn Posts: 87member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Can you post a link reference for this so we can include it in the story?



    Well here is the link:

    http://www.ovt.com/products/truefocus.php



    But I would not assume that this means it will end up on the new iphone.
  • Reply 13 of 189
    Can we also get flash please with the new camera?
  • Reply 14 of 189
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Maybe so.



    But I would venture to say that the iPhone does, oh, 1 or 2 things that your phone does not do.



    Maybe I am stretching it but thats what I think.



    Of course it does and does them very well- that's why I'm a proud owner of a 16g 2gen Touch.
  • Reply 15 of 189
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ayeplussjr View Post


    Can we also get flash please with the new camera?



    Now you're pushing it.

    Is flash coming to Safari with 3.0?

    I forgot.
  • Reply 16 of 189
    lictorlictor Posts: 51member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stashman View Post


    It's a shame as I use the camera on the iPhone quite a bit but would also like to to take good shots in all conditions, from skiing, walking about town to party photos in bad lighting.



    Adding more pixels will only make it worse, not better. More pixel means smaller pixels. And smaller pixels mean worse noise to signal ratio.

    Also, more pixels mean more processing power and RAM to handle the photos. Which means more latency and slower framerate.

    If everything remains the same, you will have worse results from the 3mp sensor than you had from the 2mp sensor.



    Going at or above 5mp on a sensor of the size used in camera phone is total nonsense. The sensor is so small, that it can barely collect enough photon to generate some signal. Moreover, the area per pixel becomes so small that diffraction hits at any practical aperture, meaning that no matter how good the lens is it will only be able to produce bad result.



    If you want to improve the quality on a camera phone, you need to :

    - keep the pixel count to a reasonnable value (3mp is a maximum)

    - use a bigger sensor. Bigger sensor means that the focal needs to increase to keep the same view angle. And this means that the phone must becomes thicker. Look at all the decent camera phone, all of the are either thick or have the lens on the width of the phone rather than the depth.

    - use a real lens, not a plastic doublet. This also means more bulk.

    - use a real autofocus rather than a fix focus set to the hyperfocal. Again, more bulk.

    - improve the architecture (ADC, pathways from the CMOS, CPU, RAM) to allow for faster processing (better framerate, less latency).



    For practical purpose, this means that you can't have good quality on a camera phone. You need a real camera for that. But with enough engineering and compromise (bulk), you can have a half-decent one.
  • Reply 17 of 189
    Maybe the 5-megapixel camera is the new iSight for Macs.



    I wonder if anything will come of those patents they had to embed the camera inside the screen instead of just putting it on top.
  • Reply 18 of 189
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stashman View Post


    Not not really much an update and still won't make the iPhone camera replacement. It's a shame as I use the camera on the iPhone quite a bit but would also like to to take good shots in all conditions, from skiing, walking about town to party photos in bad lighting.



    Good enough for a phone. I've seen pics from phones with 5 MP sensors, and the prints are quite crappy.



    Only if they use a larger sensor, which requires a larger lens, will it make sense. Then they need a cpu designed to do the processing. 3.2 MP is good enough for an acceptable 8 x10 for most people. More importantly, it will resolve a bar code, allowing programs that read them, and even pay for products.
  • Reply 19 of 189
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    [QUOTE=ltcommander.data;1397616]
    Quote:

    Maybe the 5-megapixel camera is the new iSight for Macs.



    I sure hope so- that is one of the main reasons why I keep delaying to buy a new one.



    Quote:

    I wonder if anything will come of those patents they had to embed the camera inside the screen instead of just putting it on top.



    Do you know what kind of screen those patents reference? LED or LCD?
  • Reply 20 of 189
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stashman View Post


    Not not really much an update and still won't make the iPhone camera replacement. It's a shame as I use the camera on the iPhone quite a bit but would also like to to take good shots in all conditions, from skiing, walking about town to party photos in bad lighting.



    HDTV is 2 Megapixels. The "megapixel number" is not an indication of image quality.



    A better image quality needs a better lens, a larger sensor, better low-light performance and some variable focus.



    And if you want to shoot video, you need to pull images off the chip faster. The current iPhone has a rolling shutter which gives jello-like movement.



    All of these things would be desirable to the I-can't-be-arsed-to-carry-a-camera brigade. Of which I am a part-time member.



    But if any of these changes causes the phone to become 1mm thicker, I'd prefer to pass.



    C.
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