Apple's 2020 iPhones could introduce this big camera upgrade
Image stabilization could be headed to all cameras
Citing sources familiar with the matter, DigiTimes claims Apple is looking to implement a more advanced image stabilization solution inside the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max that’d see the existing optical image stabilization technology replaced by new sensor-shift hardware.
This implementation certainly isn’t new in the world of photography but it’s not very common in the smartphone industry. It’s also fundamentally different from the optical image stabilization (OIS) tech Apple has used on its devices for years, and that’s probably why the company is looking to adopt it.
Whereas OIS works by shifting around the lens to compensate for external movements, sensor-shift hardware works by moving the camera’s sensor. The differences in image quality are understood to be minimal but the latter can sometimes be cheaper and smaller, allowing Apple to potentially free up valuable space and reduce costs.
These probably aren’t the motivating factors for adopting sensor-shift hardware, though. Enabling OIS requires a compatible lens and, while this isn’t an issue with the main and telephoto cameras, it means a stabilized ultra-wide-angle shooter is hard to achieve on a phone.
Sensor-shift hardware, on the other hand, depends solely on the sensor and can be combined with any lens. This will, therefore, make it easier for Apple to move ahead with its plans to add image stabilization to the ultra-wide-angle camera.
The upgrade could highly benefit the camera in question when it comes to shooting video and taking low-light photos, which also means Apple may choose to enable its built-in Night Mode on the camera next year.
Apple is planning a range of other upgrades
Upgrades to the individual sensors that’ll improve the output quality of photos should join the change mentioned above. A new 3D sensing system that’s reportedly more powerful than the existing Face ID setup is also expected on the iPhone 12 Pro duo.
This system will apparently be previewed on the 2020 iPad Pro in March and should be at the center of Apple’s AR push. If rumors are true, it could also benefit Apple’s popular Portrait mode.
The physical package on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max looks set to be completed by a revised stainless-steel frame that’s similar to the one featured on the iPhone 4 and upgraded OLED displays. These panels will measure in at 6.1-inches and 6.7-inches respectively and should feature slimmer bezels and a smaller notch.
Lastly, consumers can expect to find an even faster Apple A14 Bionic chipset on the inside paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. 5G connectivity and bigger batteries are also possible.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro announcement timeline
The premium iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are expected to go official at an event in early September 2020 ahead of a release during the third week of the month. If rumors are to be believed, the flagships will be accompanied by the slightly cheaper iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Plus.
Apple’s lineup following the announcement next year should consist of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Plus, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, and iPhone 9/SE2.