Apple arguably uses one of the best cameras in the mobile tech industry in the 5s with their 8MP iSight camera, but they may be looking to improve it for its next iteration. Rumors indicate that Apple will retain the same number of megapixels for the 6’s shooter but increase the pixel size instead. From 1.5 micrometers in the 5s, the 6 might see a jump to 1.75 micrometers, which will allow more light to enter each megapixel, providing improved low-light image quality. Drunken bar selfies will look better than ever.
Patents shouldn’t dictate what we predict new technology will provide as Apple has many patents that we likely will never see in fruition, but one of the latest filings published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has many photo junkies salivating. This patent is called “Super-resolution based on optical image stabilization” and from the looks of it, it will incorporate a process similar to the Oppo Find 7/7a’s camera to produce high-resolution images from a lower-resolution camera.
If you’re unfamiliar with Oppo’s Super Zoom setting, it essentially takes 10 burst shots in succession with its 13MP sensor and combines them together to create a 50MP image. Of course this is a software feature and won’t actually create a real 50MP shot, but the resolution ends up being much higher than the original with Super Zoom on.
This is an interesting patent for Apple, and one that I am reluctant to believe will be available for the iPhone 6. The 5s currently uses software-based image stabilization for their iSight camera for two possible reasons: they believe that software-based image stabilization will become better than OIS once the software is better optimized or Apple could not fit OIS in their current camera because the phone was too thin. I’m inclined to believe that both factors play a part in the decision, but the latter being the main reason OIS was left out of past models.
As compelling as this feature could be, don’t expect anything to come of it. If the rumors hold merit of Apple unveiling a phablet sized 5.5” model to go with the 4.7” one, it may include more features similar to this to provide a more premium experience without compromising hardware (ala the iPhone 5c). But considering Apple’s struggles fitting a battery inside the 6’s thin design, don’t keep your fingers crossed on this one.