Apple’s next iPhone model, which until we hear otherwise will be referred to as the iPhone 6S, will allegedly come with a dual-lens camera setup, according to reports.
The word comes via Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, who, during his latest “The Talk Show” podcast claimed he’d heard from “a birdie of a birdie” that Apple’s next phone will feature the “biggest camera jump ever.”
“I’ve heard that it’s some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery,” he said.
The immediate and understandable reaction to this is something along the lines of, “what on earth is he blathering about, that’s pretty damn vague and the iPhone 6 only just came out, this is sensationalist bullcrap!” That’s certainly possible, yes; the rumour mill always starts ridiculously early and is fuelled by wild analyst speculation, and a large chunk of it is ill-informed. But there are a number of reasons to take this a bit more seriously. One, with the way the industry, and particularly Apple, works you can bet your life the next iPhone is already in development. Two, Daring Fireball has actually gone about debunking some device rumours in the past, so is not exactly in the business of sowing misinformation.
On top of this, a dual-camera setup already exists aboard the HTC One M8, though it was not very well received due to HTC’s use of a lower resolution sensor –– still, it’s not exactly fantasy at any rate. While HTC’s tech didn’t live up to expectations, it is true that it used the additional depth sensor to create a depth-of-field effect, which is what DSLR cameras do. The difference being that proper DSLRs do it at a hardware level, while HTC used spatial data and software algorithms.
Lastly, Apple’s usual sensor supplier is Sony, which has recently announced a new sensor it’ll be supplying to, well, whoever wants it really, and that probably includes Apple –– it'll also likely star aboard the new Xperia Z4 handsets said to be in development. This is a new 21-megapixel sensor with a 1/2.4-inch size, making it nice and compact enough for Apple to experiment with in terms of implementation. Apple’s known to have filed a patent inside 2014 for interchangeable camera lenses, which could also be at play here if users are able to swap fixed focal-length attachment lenses to achieve that DSLR-like depth of field.
While we're trying to be optimistic about this snippet of info, as always, do get your daily intake of sodium ready to go with it.