Apple's 2020 iPhones could introduce this big camera upgrade

Apple's 2020 iPhones could introduce this big camera upgrade
Apple has an extensive list of upgrades planned for next year’s iPhone 12 series including a redesigned frame and updated display. The company is also expected to introduce improvements to the camera systems and, according to a new report, the adoption of new technology will lead the way. 

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.

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9 Comments

1. peschiera

Posts: 65; Member since: Sep 17, 2017

"... existing optical image stabilization technology replaced by new sensor-shift hardware" The usual game: each time the release of a new technology by a competitor is imminent or got known to Apple, Apple leaks such rumors in order to link the technology to themselves, the same cheap game as Audi plays in car industry. In Germany everyone knows: each time Audi announces or leaks a new technology for its future cars, you know that either BMW or Mercedes are going to release it very soon:)

2. Cat97

Posts: 2022; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

The sensor-shift hardware is actually present (and named IBIS - in-body image stabilization) in a large number of Sony and Panasonic mirrorless prosumer cameras.

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Oppo have released a couple phones with sensor-shift stabilisation I'm not sure if Apple would drop lens stabilization Lens stabilization still works better than sensor-shift in low-light

7. Phullofphil

Posts: 1846; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Apple is not the leakers it’s supply chain leaks.

3. Mikele

Posts: 193; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Image stabilization indeed on ultra wide angle!! When others has gone beyonds that

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

And Night Mode The UWA on the iPhone 11 is unless once the sun goes down

4. User123456789

Posts: 1345; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Actually it takes more space. Sensor has to move in axis X and Y.

5. Cat97

Posts: 2022; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Yes, but the big problem today is axis Z - meaning the camera hump which should be reduced :)

6. User123456789

Posts: 1345; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Yes. OIS makes module thicker vertically.

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