iPhone’s camera

Apple developed an entire marketing campaign around how amazing the photos taken from iPhone 6 and 6s are, and now the company has revealed what makes iPhone’s camera so special.

During an interview for 60 minutes with Charlie Rose, Graham Townsend, Apple’s senior director of camera hardware stated that each camera module is made using more than 200 individual parts. Townsend also mentioned that more than 800 people work on camera of iPhone. Each module contains four wires that are thinner than a human hair to create micro-suspension. This enables the camera to deal with shakes and movement. He revealed that to capture one picture, 24 billion operations are performed.

Charlie Rose was taken on a tour for Apple’s camera testing lab by Townsend. Further, Townsend demonstrated how camera’s performance is checked by simulating different types of lighting from sunset to bright noon. He added that “Certainly Apple’s competitor are also simulating similar kind of tests, but the size of Apple’s camera team clearly shows how high on priority camera of an iPhone is. After all, camera is the most used feature on any iPhone.

The iSight camera is the rear-facing camera in Apple’s handsets. It has an Apple-designed lens that will let in more light than previous models by carrying a large f/2.2 aperture. It also features an autofocus, an auto white balance, and an auto image stabilisation tool. iSight’s Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) feature takes 4 different shots and combines them into a single image. It utilizes phone’s chip, motion coprocessor and gyroscope to measure data related to motion and provide accurate lens movement. It was designed particularly to compensate for shaking hands. It captures 12MP still photos on the most recent 6s range.

Apple has also redesigned its image signal processor to make it work with iOS. It will provide better spatial and temporal noise reduction. Each pixel in the sensor was re-engineered to get rid of ‘crosstalk’ between subpixels. So, Apple could arrange more pixels for sharper and colourful pictures in the sensor.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief mentioned product cannibalization in case of Apple products. He added that “It is not a danger, it is almost by design” of Apple’s products making other Apple products less tempting. If you have an iPhone, you would not see a need to use iPad. Similarly, if you have an iPad you would not feel the need of getting a notebook. Such competition is welcomed by the company until whatever device you use, has an Apple logo on it.

However focusing on the camera even in the advertisement campaigns shows how exceptionally iPhone’s camera is made and improved over time.