iPhone 6 Camera May Feature Electronic Image Stabilization, Bigger Pixel Size

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple may be planning to use electronic image stabilization instead of optical image stabilization in the iPhone 6, according to new details shared on Weibo [Google Translate] by ESM China analyst Sun Chang Xu (via GforGames). Xu suggests that the iPhone 6's camera will also boast a larger pixel size of 1.75 um compared to the 1.5 um pixel size of the iPhone 5s' camera, which would result in a higher picture quality as more light can be taken in.

    While previous reports have indicated that Apple is looking to integrate optical image stabilization into the iPhone 6, adding an electronic image stabilization system would allow for the device to have a slimmer camera that does not protrude out of its body. To this point, a number of alleged iPhone 6 images, including renders posted by Japanese magazine MacFan last month, have depicted the iPhone 6 with a protruding camera.

    Xu also previously reported on her Weibo account that the iPhone 6 will add pressure, temperature, and humidity sensors, and that the iWatch will utilize optical sensors to measure heart rate and oxygen levels.

    Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 this fall in two different sizes of 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. The smaller 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will likely ship first, while the larger 5.5-inch version is estimated to ship later due to challenges with the device's display technology and battery life.

    In addition to a larger display and an improved camera, both models of the iPhone 6 are expected to include a thinner, bezel-free design, faster A8 processor, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The device will also likely debut with Apple's iOS 8 mobile operating system, which will feature improvements to Maps, Siri, and iCloud in addition to a new "Healthbook" app. Apple is also said to be negotiating with carriers to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by $100.

    Article Link: iPhone 6 Camera May Feature Electronic Image Stabilization, Bigger Pixel Size
  2. macrumors regular


    May 14, 2012
  3. macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011

    Quite a challenge I would have thought if the phone is even thinner than now. Larger pixels means a larger sensor which requires a greater distance between the sensor and the lens.
    Better camera would be welcome but hard to see how they can achieve it if they're focussing on thinness.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    if they keep 8-9MP and move to 1.75um pixels this means (if my quick math is right) that they move to a 1/2.3" sensor. If they can pull this off (the last rumors said something about a 6.5mm thin iPhone) it would be extremely impressive and probably near the limits of physics
  6. fullauto, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014

    macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2012
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    bigger pixels MEANS better low-light performance. that's why a Nikon D4 or Canon 1Dx have a huge sensor and a low MP number --> big pixels can take a lot of light.

    The Apple "middle"approach with around 8MP seems perfect. HTC has rly good low-light performance with the 4MP cameras but suck in "normal" conditions and the 16MP samsung ones suck in low light
  8. macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2013
    Increasing the pixel size is exactly the right thing to do! While all the marketing gurus are counting their megapixels, which lead to increasingly worse images with more noise, scaling up the pixels adds a lot to the image quality. More light, less noise.
    Also read this website, which suggests that 6 megapixels are enough for most photographers and more megapixels only worsens the image: http://6mpixel.org/en/
  9. macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2012
    ^ That's a very cool thing to read, I agree with what you're saying. I feel like a lot of people are still stuck in the megapixel trap, not realizing that a lot of pixels that are small and take in less light are definitely nowhere near as efficient as less pixels that are bigger and take in more light. When we can hit an equilibrium between a good sized sensor with big pixels and just enough megapixels, we'll have a real winner. :)
  10. macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2014
    I might be kidding when I say I wish for Optical ZOOOOOM.
    But no OIS? DAMN!
  11. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    Who is ESM China analyst Sun Chang Xu and what is their track record regarding Applw rumors?
  12. macrumors 68000

    Apr 22, 2008
    Yes the camera is going to get better, we all know that.

    The big question mark for me hangs over the matter of how they are going to make the 5S camera look poor in comparison during the iPhone 6 keynote, that's the bit I always look forward to ;)
  13. macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2013
    Just give us decent battery life so i don't have to dock it 3 times a day!
  14. macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2012
    Apple love challenges though, they'll pull it off alright.
  15. macrumors 68040

    Sep 4, 2009
    How about more APIs for manual control of the camera such as f-stop?
  16. macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2012
    Well, the camera on the iPhone 6 will be better. So when comparing side-by-side, the camera on the 5s will look poor anyway.
  17. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    One thing is for sure, its seems the camera is the component that most phone makers are focusing on (pun intended :p), so its natural that Apple ups its came.

    I would love to see a better camera, but also controls that match the better performance, i.e., ISO, shutter speed, WB, f-stop. I doubt it, because Apple's ethos is not about giving controls to the user but making it easier (but less flexible)
  18. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I would love some kind of RAW format (optional, naturally). Especially since we now have Lightroom available on iOS. Even 10-bit would make a big difference. Or optionally, higher-bpp JPG. People are using a lot more stacked filters with phone images these days and 8-bit JPGs can't handle much manipulation without degrading.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 31, 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    As long as the bigger quality is as good or better than the 5s, I will be happy. I don't really care about thinness anymore.
  20. macrumors member

    May 24, 2010
    Not likely, imo. They'll try and compensate digitally for a slow lens in low light, and probably add some feature to add bokah after so people will believe they can shoot whole weddings with an iPhone.
  21. macrumors 68020

    Cuban Missles

    Dec 6, 2012
    My heart is in Camagüey, the rest in the USA
    The photographer that took the pictures at my wedding had a cannon with either 5 or 6 MP. I was surprised and asked him about it, and he said that the quality was fantastic because the CMOS chip was large enough to pull in the light and provide great depth. Adding more pixels without increasing the chip size would actually make it worse. The pictures turned out fantastic.

    I understand that Apple also uses a CMOS chip and their focus (no pun intended) is on increasing quality through increasing pixel size. Unfortunately, quality can only be significantly improved if they increase the size. So although they will continue to tweak, I think they are reaching the limits of what they can do given the obsession with thinness. They can't grow the chip because then they woud need to move the lens out which woud require a thicker phone. So beyond this pixel size increase, it looks like they are hoping to use the software to clean the picture up and provide additional quality improvements.

    Looking Forward to seeing what they come up with, but I am skeptical that they can do anything amazing at this point given the physical constraints. I am thinking mostly minor tweaks and improvements, nothing major.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, uk

    You know I think a dual lens camera would open up a lot of interesting possibilities which could make it a new addition that would add a lot of avenues especially once app makers get a handle on it

    along those lines the 3D mapping hardware built into Google's project Tango are fascinating and the technology its based on is an Apple owned company so maybe we will see that (i suspect thats a bit further away though)

    Dual Lens HTC - http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/05/htc-dual-lens-camera/
    Tango - https://www.google.com/atap/projecttango/

    Sensors - they might add a few new ones in but i'm thinking they might create a 'sensor ball' as an optional extra a bit like the old Nike pebble. This would free up space in the iphone as well

    Health stuff looks like a cert. Some home automation would be fun too - i'd like tos ee them get in on this space and Apple-ise it.
  23. macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    So we lose a bigger battery and optical image stabilization because some people have an obsession with razor thin metal....ffs stop making the phone thinner and start adding QoL features.
  24. macrumors 603


    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Surely electronic stabilisation won't ever be as good as optical stabilisation? What do SLR cameras use?
    Are Apple willing to lower its camera quality and lag behind the competition in the name of thin? Utterly pointless if you ask me.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Protruding cameras look pants, if you need a certain thickness for the camera then make the whole phone that thick

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