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The iPhone 6's camera could be coming with Electronic Image Stabilization and larger, 1.75μm pixels

Posted: , by Chris P.

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The iPhone 6's camera could be coming with Electronic Image Stabilization and larger, 1.75μm pixels
Sun Chang Xu, the analyst in chief at ESM-China, has taken to the Chinese Twitter-equivalent, Weibo, suggesting that the upcoming Apple iPhone 6 could ditch Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) in favor of Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), and also pack a camera with larger, 1.75μm pixels (versus the 1.5μm ones on the iPhone 5s).

The reason for this could be quite simple -- an OIS module means moving parts, which, in turn, equals a larger camera unit that could easily put a stop to Apple's slim-sizing efforts, if such exist. In comparison, EIS simply leverages smart software algorithms that try to compensate for movement -- an approach that can actually be quite effective, as we've seen with the Galaxy S5. Not to be under-appreciated, the EIS road would also mean lower production costs. 

As for the second claim, a spike in pixel size is also a reasonable expectation, though, again, none of this falls down into the 'confirmed' pile of iPhone 6 rumors. We won't entertain the notion and take it too far, but instead will just point out that the theoretical advantage behind larger pixels is in the capacity of the sensor to capture more light, all things being the equal. 

These are just two new claims that we can now add to the rapidly-growing battle chest of rumors the iPhone 6 has already accumulated. Quite frankly, unless Apple has tightened security around its new product, we wouldn't be surprised to see a reasonable portion of those transform into reality. That said, it's probably best to keep a cool head and not let your imagination get the better of you in the coming, rumor-filled months.

source: Weibo [1], [2] via MacRumors

27 Comments
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posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:07 6

1. TisaTsir (Posts: 65; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) sounds gimmick....but iphone 6 look promising.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:26 6

3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5490; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) sounds gimmick...."

Could you please explain why you think that EIS is a gimmick? Because in my opinion EIS is not a gimmick.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 08:58 8

15. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5912; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


How is EIS different from digital image stabilization? If Apple goes with larger pixels and a larger (lower f-number) lens, the need for OIS compared to their previous gen iToy is reduced (low-light pics with the new iToy look better than with the 5S). However, they won't look as good as they could with OIS + lower f-number lens + larger pixels.

If digital image stabilization was so good, it would be in the DSLRs. But it isn't. Even under MS, a Lumia may be my next phone purchase.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 09:41 1

17. Kamehameha (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)


A DSLR doesn't have space or price limitations like smartphone cameras do. Why do you think a 150$ camera like the Canon IXUS 255 HS can knock the socks off any smartphone camera in existence (except Lumia 1020 and 808)?? There is a lot of space and enough money is used to put quality lenses (Carl Zeiss Tessar Optics etc.).

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 10:50

21. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5490; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Everything that you have wrote, how does that makes EIS gimmick?

OIS and EIS both are image stabilization techniques just works in different way. Both of them does the job and each of them has own advantages and disadvantages.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 10:58

22. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5490; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I don't say that EIS is better than OIS or opposite. But if someone says that EIS is a gimmick then OIS is also a gimmick since both of these functions are meant to do the same job.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 13:38

25. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5912; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


The problem I have with EIS is in the algorithm(s) impact on the resulting image (kind of how noise reduction algorithms have differing levels of success reducing noise in pics, where large sensors with large pixels are pretty much able to avoid the problem).

I realize there is a trade-off between compact size and image stabilization. I am less interested in thin form factor if it comes with having to give up a preferred feature (OIS).

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 13:34

24. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5912; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Did I post that EIS was a gimmick? I am under-whelmed that Apple seems to be going with digital stabilization instead of OIS.

Personally, I am more willing to deal with limitations of WP to be able to get quality pics from a smartphone. Which is why a Lumia may be my next smartphone.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 16:33

27. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5490; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Did I post that EIS was a gimmick?"

I thought that you are also thinking that EIS is a gimmick because you replied to my comment #3 where I was asking TisaTsir why he thinks that EIS is a gimmick.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 08:13 1

12. sar44 (Posts: 275; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


Where is gimmick?
phonearena.com/news/Galaxy-S5-Digital-Stabilizatio​n-vs-LG-G2-Optical-Image-Stabilization-video-compa​rison_id55500
Smartphones now focusing and shoot very quickly (and speed only increases) therefore does not need OIS

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 08:49 3

13. NexusPhan (Posts: 528; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


The problem with EIS is that it's guaranteed to cause some form of image degradation. Even if it's minor, why would you not choose OIS, where there is zero image degradation?
As the frame starts to get very bumpy, like when running or sports or many other activities, OIS is far superior as the limits of EIS are surpassed.
With Apple charging as much as they do for their phones, they ought go all out with OIS.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 09:07

16. sar44 (Posts: 275; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)


Have not seen any degradation in comparison with the OIS
"OIS is far superior as the limits of EIS are surpassed."
In mobile cameras zero difference

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 08:58 4

14. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3156; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


No matter how good DIS is (Z2 has the best one on phones), it's not as good as OIS. OIS doesn't crop the image at all and a good OIS still stabilizes more than good DIS.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 09:44

18. Kamehameha (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)


Big pixels also have higher dynamic range and since the pixels are larger, exposure times can be lower which also helps reduce camera shake.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:19 10

2. twens (Posts: 694; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Gimmick or no gimmick if it does what's it's supposed to then it's welcomed. I don't own an s5 but my friend does and the pictures are outstanding. Abnormal detail level and u hardly get blurry shorts even though it doesn't come with OIS.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:30 1

5. JC557 (Posts: 1149; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


The EIS does very well in my Sony Action Cam and also helps deliver very good results for the Galaxy S5 (cousins) and HTC One M8 (mine). It would be cool if they could combine the use of both OIS and EIS to further iron out the shakey photos.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:32 1

6. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3156; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


My Sony Cyber-shot also combines OIS and DIS. It's IMPOSSIBLE to see any shake on the videos if zoomed out. It even takes out small movements, not just shake. And it doesn't even crop the image if zoomed out.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:29 1

4. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3156; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


So it'll probably have 8 mpx and slightly bigger sensor. I hope they would increase the pixel count. Even though 5s takes awesome pictures, they just lack the details of competition. And now what the he** is the difference between electronic and digital stabilization? Just the name?

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:49 1

10. Genza (Posts: 254; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Yeah maybe 1/2.5" just like this one
http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/cx_news/vol54/np_imx029_34_43_58.html

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:59

11. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3156; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


That might be possible!

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:35 2

7. whburling (Posts: 14; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)


My understanding of EIS is that it is based on the following assumption:
* movement of the camera is going to impact every sampled point exactly the same way.
ie: movement that is down and to the right. will create a blur down and to the right.
thus EIS is an attempt to detect the shift and make the correction to all the samples.
since one has fairly good information about a pixel just before the movement, that information will be seen in the pixels that are in the blur path. Thus one can at least make an attempt to remove that information from the pixels effected.

It is not a gimmick. it is an attempt to remove blur through algorithms.

optical image stabilization, i believe but do not know, is the detection of movement and then a physical shift in the receiving sensor. thus, in theory, the blur never happens. as long as
the movement can be detected and characterized fast enough and accurate enough then
a ray of light that reaches one pixel will not be dragged across the sensor. there will be no blur to begin with. A large movement, however, may not be correctable. I do not know about these designs, so we will have to wait for advice from others. I do point out that this approach requires moving the mass of a mirror or lense or sensor which can require substantial energy even if the mirror or sensor is extremely small and the moving mechanism is solid state (ie: piezoelectric). this poses a challenge especially with a camera claiming low power usage.

There is another approach which uses a gyro....the idea here, I believe, is to let the gryo mass keep movement from happening. if you hold a spinning gyro, you will experience how hard it is to move it. Thus the constant spin of the gyro does not demand huge power to cope with instantaneous moves, but instead requires power over the long term to keep the mass spinning at the desired rpm. I thihnk this is old technology. i think today people use
non moving gyros to characterize the entire movement and then use that information to correct the image either through EIS or through OIS

it is awesome that we have so many wonderful ways to do things. It points out the creativeness of people and the ability of nature to teach us principles. It also underscores the value of competition.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:38

8. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3156; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


OIS is movement of lens or sensor. Almost all OIS's are lens moving.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 07:45

9. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2775; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


But what about the quality as compared to OIS?

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 09:46 2

19. Kamehameha (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)


Apple has some of the best EIS algorithms in the smartphone industry. It's not much worse than a good OIS system.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 10:34 1

20. express77 (unregistered)


Put bigger battery, better specs and no restrictions please.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 10:59

23. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5490; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Put bigger battery, better specs..."

Maybe.

"...and no restrictions please."

No way!

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 13:51

26. cse.vicky (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


Stop making thinner phones .... !!
Put Bigger battery, unless you put nano fuel cells :P

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