'High-end' lenses for 'iPhone 12' to start shipping in July, Kuo says

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2020
Apple's next-generation "iPhone 12" will incorporate "high-end" lens arrays in its rear-facing camera design, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone 12 Render
iPhone 12 render via Tokar Designs


Existing manufacturing partner Largan is said to begin shipments of camera lenses bound for iPhone in mid-July, Ming-Chi Kuo said in a research note published Friday.

Compared to past years, Largan's estimated production window for the second half of 2020 has been delayed by four to six weeks, meaning peak iPhone lens shipments will fall between September and November. Previous years have seen the firm ship product to Apple assembly partners between August and October.

Though not mentioned in the note, the ongoing coronavirus is likely to blame for the manufacturing setback. Recent rumors claim the ongoing pandemic will force Apple to push its typical September iPhone launch event to October.

Kuo fails to specify the lens type Apple intends to adopt, though in prior notes the analyst pegged "iPhone 12" to integrate 7P, or seven-element, lenses. The adoption of a 7P lens design would yield slightly improved image quality over current iPhone models like iPhone 11 Pro, which uses a five-element ultra wide lens stack and two six-element arrays for wide and telephoto photography.

Which future iPhone model or models will benefit from the "high-end" arrays is also unclear. Kuo in March said 7P would find its way to at least one camera module.

Apple is widely anticipated to introduce 5.4- and 6.1-inch "iPhone 12" models this fall with dual- and triple-lens systems akin to last year's lineup. A top-tier 6.7-inch "Pro Max" model might also be augmented by a LiDAR scanner borrowed from iPad Pro. A new iPad Pro-inspired design, updated "A14" processor, 5G connectivity, 120Hz ProMotion display technology and smaller TrueDepth notch are also rumored.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    CheeseFreezeCheeseFreeze Posts: 1,118member
    I’m hoping - but not expecting - for advancements in optical design. How great would it be if multiple smaller sensors can collaborate to offering what a larger sensor normally would bring? E.g 1” sensor or even closer to a four-thirds size. Combined with Apple’s computational photography advancements it would lead to a huge leap in photo and video quality and essentially remove the need to use any external camera, except professional high-end cameras.
    swat671doozydozen
  • Reply 2 of 11
    swat671swat671 Posts: 132member
    I’m hoping - but not expecting - for advancements in optical design. How great would it be if multiple smaller sensors can collaborate to offering what a larger sensor normally would bring? E.g 1” sensor or even closer to a four-thirds size. Combined with Apple’s computational photography advancements it would lead to a huge leap in photo and video quality and essentially remove the need to use any external camera, except professional high-end cameras.
    You're not the only one hoping that... Of course, the one big thing I'm looking forward to is better low-light performance, especially for video and panorama shots. I have a dual lens iPhone 8+, and the regular pictures are fine in low light situations. Pano and video, though, are a no-go, which I find so odd. If the pictures come out fine, why don't the panoramas and the videos? It's the same freaking camera! I love to try to capture sunsets, and like I said, the pictures come out fine. If I try to do a pano of the whole skyline, though, no bueno. Same with video. Nada. I just don't get it... So that's a MAJOR thing for me to look forward to is low light performance. I just hope that they're able to extend the 11 Pro's Night Mode to video and panoramas. 
  • Reply 3 of 11
    VermelhoVermelho Posts: 55member
    swat671 said:
    regular pictures are fine in low light situations. Pano and video, though, are a no-go, which I find so odd.
    You should read how apple managed to get that lowlight performance to understand. I don’t think the 8 has the incredible performance of the 11 I have, but that matches my dslr with a 2.8 lens handheld.
    It’s fascinating actually. Taking a still in the dark entails dozens of images in a burst which are analyzed for blur and combined with AI.
    Obviously, this multi-image can’t be used for video or pano.  They manage to build the advantages of a longer exposure aided by stabilization and these tricks to avoid blur. 
    toysandmeStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 11
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Sensors can only get so large, or backfocal distance will be too great. How many smaller sensors can they have? I don’t see it. A modest increase in sensor size could be accommodated, but nothing like 4:3 total area size. That’s just impossible. Even a 1” sensor is high.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,019member
    I love my iPX’s camera.  Under perfect conditions, the quality is stellar.  That being said, given the same conditions it comes nowhere near close to my Canon 5DM3.  When the photo matters, my Canon is my first choice, but everything else (and convenience) goes to my IPhone.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    PezaPeza Posts: 198member
    Looking forward to seeing the new 5.4” model in person, after having a heavy bulky XS and refusing to pay a grand for a phone, it should be very interesting. The camera will be fantastic I think.
    spock1234
  • Reply 7 of 11
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,286member
    I misread the headline to mean that they will start shipping iPhone 12 in mid-July. It's not clear. 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,218member
    swat671 said:
    I’m hoping - but not expecting - for advancements in optical design. How great would it be if multiple smaller sensors can collaborate to offering what a larger sensor normally would bring? E.g 1” sensor or even closer to a four-thirds size. Combined with Apple’s computational photography advancements it would lead to a huge leap in photo and video quality and essentially remove the need to use any external camera, except professional high-end cameras.
    You're not the only one hoping that... Of course, the one big thing I'm looking forward to is better low-light performance, especially for video and panorama shots. I have a dual lens iPhone 8+, and the regular pictures are fine in low light situations. Pano and video, though, are a no-go, which I find so odd. If the pictures come out fine, why don't the panoramas and the videos? It's the same freaking camera! I love to try to capture sunsets, and like I said, the pictures come out fine. If I try to do a pano of the whole skyline, though, no bueno. Same with video. Nada. I just don't get it... So that's a MAJOR thing for me to look forward to is low light performance. I just hope that they're able to extend the 11 Pro's Night Mode to video and panoramas. 
    Yes, it's the same camera, but you can't have the same kind of exposure times in pano and video you have with a still shot in low light. Night Mode in the newer iPhones require you to hold still for 2-3 seconds to get the amazing results you get with that. I'll leave it as an exercise to figure out why that's not currently possible with video or pano.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,218member

    netrox said:
    I misread the headline to mean that they will start shipping iPhone 12 in mid-July. It's not clear. 
    It is.

    Subject: 'High-end' lenses for 'iPhone 12'
    Predicate: to start shipping in July, Kuo says
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 11
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,325member
    swat671 said:
    I’m hoping - but not expecting - for advancements in optical design. How great would it be if multiple smaller sensors can collaborate to offering what a larger sensor normally would bring? E.g 1” sensor or even closer to a four-thirds size. Combined with Apple’s computational photography advancements it would lead to a huge leap in photo and video quality and essentially remove the need to use any external camera, except professional high-end cameras.
    You're not the only one hoping that... Of course, the one big thing I'm looking forward to is better low-light performance, especially for video and panorama shots. I have a dual lens iPhone 8+, and the regular pictures are fine in low light situations. Pano and video, though, are a no-go, which I find so odd. If the pictures come out fine, why don't the panoramas and the videos? It's the same freaking camera! I love to try to capture sunsets, and like I said, the pictures come out fine. If I try to do a pano of the whole skyline, though, no bueno. Same with video. Nada. I just don't get it... So that's a MAJOR thing for me to look forward to is low light performance. I just hope that they're able to extend the 11 Pro's Night Mode to video and panoramas. 
    It's always been this way. In a nutshell, because of motion. A still camera image can sit there for a moment and soak in the light. Video and panos are moving and require much more light to avoid blur. You'd be amazed at how well-lit movie sets are even for final footage that doesn't look like it. That being said, these get better each time....The current iPhones do low-light video better than your 8, for example.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 11 of 11
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,120member
    I’m hoping - but not expecting - for advancements in optical design. How great would it be if multiple smaller sensors can collaborate to offering what a larger sensor normally would bring? E.g 1” sensor or even closer to a four-thirds size. Combined with Apple’s computational photography advancements it would lead to a huge leap in photo and video quality and essentially remove the need to use any external camera, except professional high-end cameras.

    That was ever the promise rumored with the first multi camera iPhones, and what Light tried to do, and recently gave up on. Would be cool if Apple could implement this really well, but I'm not counting on it any time soon. They do however do some stuff like getting metering information from the wide lens for the tele. 

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/12/21289574/light-camera-company-exits-smartphone-business
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