Oct 8, 2019

Patents Reveal Apple's Plan To Shrink The Camera Bump On The iPhones

Mobile photography technology is advancing each and every year. While the scale of the sensor is increasing and the processing power is escalating, the lens in front of the sensor is not much better than last season. For instance, iPhones use of irritating camera bump on the rear panel has widely received criticizes from its users. However, Apple may have found a way to solve this particular headache...

In the latest camera patents granted to Apple, the company plans to further enhance the image quality of future iPhone cameras. All patents are referred to as "Folding lens systems" and have three to five "refractive lenses." These patents indicates that the refractive lenses that are positioned 90 degrees away from the camera sensor and the back of the smartphone,
The advent of small, mobile multipurpose devices such as smartphones and tablet or pad devices has resulted in a need for high-resolution, small form factor cameras for integration in the devices. However, due to limitations of conventional camera technology, conventional small cameras used in such devices tend to capture images at lower resolutions and/or with lower image quality than can be achieved with larger, higher quality cameras. Achieving higher resolution with small package size cameras generally requires use of a photosensor (also referred to as an image sensor) with small pixel size and a good, compact imaging lens system. Advances in technology have achieved reduction of the pixel size in photosensors. However, as photosensors become more compact and powerful, demand for compact imaging lens system with improved imaging quality performance has increased.
When positioning the lens in this manner, smartphone manufacturers may extend the distance between the sensor and the lens while at the same time reducing the size of the camera bumps required to house all the necessary components, including the optical image stabilizer and the autofocus sensor, in other words, there will no longer be a camera bump on the back of the phone.

The three-lens configuration has a focal length of 80mm to 200mm (equivalent to 35 mm) and has field of view of 18 to 28 degrees, making it ideal for telephoto lenses At the same time, the triple-lens settings can be used as a standard wide-angle camera with a field of view of between 28 and 41 degrees and an equivalent focal length of between 35mm and 85mm.

In spite of other companies already use side-mounted camera sets, they are mostly for long focal lengths. Apple is planning to adopt a similar model for its wide-angle and telephoto lenses, at least from what we see in their patents. This is only a patent at the moment, of course, and it does not guarantee that it will become a reality.

Image Via Macworld

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