Apple Readies 3D Sensing Rear Camera Component Supplies for 2020 iPhones

LordVic

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The technology or the idea sounds very interesting.

I get the idea about phones having all this camera for a quick way to get pictures. But these pictures are not meant to be professional products just for personal use, for social media. Do you (I dont have social media account) really need those multiples cameras and sensors for social media pictures? With all this new cameras and sensors are phones trying to replace DSLR and video cam?

Well, if this new features allows us to scan an object and create a 3D model and load it into CAD, then that will be revolutionary but if its real world application is only for taking pictures, I dont know what to say :)
The best camera is the one you have on you... is of repeated idiom when this sort of comment comes up.

Like you're not wrong, in that a smartphone camera is pretty much the "bottom" rung for quality of camera. However, it's often the one that is always on a person and convenient to take photos. Upgrading that capability with more quality photos is not a bad thing.

Will it rival higher quality cameras? nah, of course not, it's just a limit of physics. But not everyone walks around with their DSLR, mirrorless, large format, or even point and shoot cameras in their pockets all the time.

However, continously adding "features" like this 3d sensing needs to weight the balance between cost and value. If throwing this tech into the phone for an almost imperceptible difference in photo causes the price to skyrocket, we could argue that it's not valuable enough for the price points. But just adding new tech itself in itself isn't a bad thing.
 

LordVic

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all this news for 2020 iphone i wonder whos would buy the 2019 iphone
I'm genuinely curious whats' coming down the pipes for the 2019 iPhone. The 2018 iPhone was very lackluster of an update over the X. it's purpose seemed only like an reason to introduce the Plus and the Xr. But overall, the X to the Xs was a minor step at most. the 11 going to just be another step, or is it going to canging things up. because if it's just another slightly faster version of the Xs, it'll be easily skippable.
 
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citysnaps

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The best camera is the one you have on you... is of repeated idiom when this sort of comment comes up.

Like you're not wrong, in that a smartphone camera is pretty much the "bottom" rung for quality of camera. However, it's often the one that is always on a person and convenient to take photos. Upgrading that capability with more quality photos is not a bad thing.

Will it rival higher quality cameras? nah, of course not, it's just a limit of physics. But not everyone walks around with their DSLR, mirrorless, large format, or even point and shoot cameras in their pockets all the time.

However, continously adding "features" like this 3d sensing needs to weight the balance between cost and value. If throwing this tech into the phone for an almost imperceptible difference in photo causes the price to skyrocket, we could argue that it's not valuable enough for the price points. But just adding new tech itself in itself isn't a bad thing.
Outside of edge cases, I've never found the type of camera I've used (LF/film/dSLR/mirrorless/smartphone) translating into making better photographs. To me better has very little to do with gear/sharpness/format/etc. For me, the power of a photograph comes from a photographer's life experiences, curiosity, ability to "see" and compose, being conscientious of light, understanding gesture, understating how narrative is released, and many more factors that come into play before the shutter is released. Some of my best photos have come from a phonecam, whose technical specs are inferior to most other cameras.

But, the above is tangential to the discussion as the weight of the this story's news has much more to do with Apple's push into AR.
 
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Lalatoon

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The best camera is the one you have on you... is of repeated idiom when this sort of comment comes up.

Like you're not wrong, in that a smartphone camera is pretty much the "bottom" rung for quality of camera. However, it's often the one that is always on a person and convenient to take photos. Upgrading that capability with more quality photos is not a bad thing.

Will it rival higher quality cameras? nah, of course not, it's just a limit of physics. But not everyone walks around with their DSLR, mirrorless, large format, or even point and shoot cameras in their pockets all the time.

However, continously adding "features" like this 3d sensing needs to weight the balance between cost and value. If throwing this tech into the phone for an almost imperceptible difference in photo causes the price to skyrocket, we could argue that it's not valuable enough for the price points. But just adding new tech itself in itself isn't a bad thing.
I guess your right, the best camera is the one we always have with us.

Well if this tech brings them closer to a Leica quality pictures it will be a great thing. But I dont think sensors will be able to do that, I think its the lens that matters the most when it comes to taking pictures and nowadays phones cheat by using AI to produce quality pictures. Aside from using it to compute distance, what are other uses for this tech?
 

satchmo

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If only the notch was that thin.
But the more we are hearing about the 2020 iPhones, the more it sounds like 2019 will be an off year.
 

LordVic

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I guess your right, the best camera is the one we always have with us.

Well if this tech brings them closer to a Leica quality pictures it will be a great thing. But I dont think sensors will be able to do that, I think its the lens that matters the most when it comes to taking pictures and nowadays phones cheat by using AI to produce quality pictures. Aside from using it to compute distance, what are other uses for this tech?
Iunno. But then again i'm not really all that creative :p

THe idea is, you build the tech so that there's the platform for people to discover. You can't have people inventing uses for something that hasn't been created. So, it's hard to argue against additional new tech.

And no, likely we'll never see cameras keep up with the raw camera power that a larger camera provides. It's just a matter of physics. The larger the sensor, the more light that can be gathered and the larger you can make each individual pixel in that sensor, which leads to more light absorption and better quality photos overall. Nevermind the glass which lends itself to more of the quality of the photo than just the sensor itself. There's no pheasible way of providing such advanced complicated and quality glass in a package 6mm thick and only a few mm in diameter.
 

Xirian

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Sep 17, 2007
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The technology or the idea sounds very interesting.

I get the idea about phones having all this camera for a quick way to get pictures. But these pictures are not meant to be professional products just for personal use, for social media. Do you (I dont have social media account) really need those multiples cameras and sensors for social media pictures? With all this new cameras and sensors are phones trying to replace DSLR and video cam?

Well, if this new features allows us to scan an object and create a 3D model and load it into CAD, then that will be revolutionary but if its real world application is only for taking pictures, I dont know what to say :)
Multiple cameras enabled portrait mode which I use a lot. My photos aren't only for social media use, I have many photos I've taken with the XS that I've had printed on a canvas and look great.

Anything that improves picture quality is great IMO, the only problem is Apple adds all this stuff and none of it helps with the actual problem the iPhone has for photos. The iPhone absolutely sucks for low light photos.
 

Cosmosent

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Apr 20, 2016
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The main application is Female Photo Modeling !

AR will probably account for ONLY 5% OR so of its use.

BTW, the Resolution of the Depth Data Maps is key (needs to be 8 Mpx or better to be of any good use), as well as how much RAM the upcoming iPhones will include (here we may see the first 5-6 GB RAM iPhones).

The perf of the DDR interface "could" be the bottleneck.
 

Renho

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Sep 15, 2014
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Multiple cameras enabled portrait mode which I use a lot. My photos aren't only for social media use, I have many photos I've taken with the XS that I've had printed on a canvas and look great.

Anything that improves picture quality is great IMO, the only problem is Apple adds all this stuff and none of it helps with the actual problem the iPhone has for photos. The iPhone absolutely sucks for low light photos.
Except if this is a reason to raise the price then most of the masses won’t give a crap or care. They have to know their low light pics are garbage and will or should improve that area. I bet they improve it this year.
 

falainber

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This is very significant news. And expected. It speaks to Apple's huge push into AR.

It also aligns with Tim Cook introducing the iPhone X a couple years ago where he said (paraphrased) that the X is a demonstrator/testbed of sorts for the technologies needed to push Apple into AR. With the front facing camera used for FaceID (and software) being instrumental and key towards that push. As an aside, its why FaceID will not be going away.

The level of innovation to now bring backside 3D time-of-flight camera sensing technology in miniaturized form to a consumer device is nothing short of astounding.
Are you aware that Samsung phones (Galaxy 10 5G) already have this technology? It's innovation, yes. Just not from Apple.
 
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sub150

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Seems like Apple may be falling behind in software and relying on potentially expensive hardware to bridge the gap. Google and others are able to get a lot of depth data out of the tiny shaking of a camera (or cameras) induced by a hand. If this only gets to 15 feet why not just use the shake to calculate. I don't need professional grade depth (and cost) in my iPhone.
 

BlargKing

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Apr 17, 2014
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I get the idea about phones having all this camera for a quick way to get pictures. But these pictures are not meant to be professional products just for personal use, for social media. Do you (I dont have social media account) really need those multiples cameras and sensors for social media pictures? With all this new cameras and sensors are phones trying to replace DSLR and video cam?
Phones will never be able to replace professional DSLR and Video cameras. For the average consumer phone cameras a likely good enough to do what they wan't/need, but for the high end stuff phones can't and never will be able to replace dedicated cameras.
 

iBreatheApple

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Sep 3, 2011
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So tired of forking over so much cash every year. You have to give it to marketing. They had me for over 10 generations of iPhones, instilling a sense of need and want every year, but I'm done. Between subscription fatigue, paying $300 to replace my screen, AT&T's insane prices (as are they all), I just work too damn hard to be giving all my money away all the time.
 
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I7guy

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...However, continously adding "features" like this 3d sensing needs to weight the balance between cost and value. If throwing this tech into the phone for an almost imperceptible difference in photo causes the price to skyrocket, we could argue that it's not valuable enough for the price points. But just adding new tech itself in itself isn't a bad thing.
As far as making photos better, there is the law of diminishing returns but we will see what Apple wants to accomplish with their ToF technology.

The price is the 2020 phones will essentially be flat compared to 2019 at least in USD.
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Are you aware that Samsung phones (Galaxy 10 5G) already have this technology? It's innovation, yes. Just not from Apple.
Right, the ToF technology is innovative and it’s not innovative from Samsung either as the tech exists in other forms and phones(similar to Touch id). ToF while cool technology is going to be ubiquitous like a WiFi chip.
 
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ewartjohn11

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Jun 15, 2011
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If Apple is buying ToF from Sony or others, then I am assuming Apple doesn't have the patents? So how are they ahead?
I'd imagine on however they're going to implement that into software. With 2020 iPhones have a second gen triple camera setup, ARKit improvements, and neural engine improvements, they'll be able to give video a realistic live focus similar to portrait mode. You need the depth sensing and triple camera setup to pull it off, but it seems no one is capable of delivering that yet..... That will be the flagship feature of the camera this year or next year.....and then you'll see Samsung rush to deliver it on their Note 10, or S11 although not to the same quality that Apple will deliver
 

ewartjohn11

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Jun 15, 2011
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Are you aware that Samsung phones (Galaxy 10 5G) already have this technology? It's innovation, yes. Just not from Apple.
Here's the thing.....Samsung like to throw new hardware on their stuff to flex their muscle.....but they have no vision and lack creativity. They added the triple camera setup, but what does it DO besides just be an ultra wide lens? maybe helps with a 3x zoom a bit, but that's IT. Apple's apparently working on using the third lens to fix composure (crop people back into a photo). I'd imagine they're also going to use the third lens to improve low-light photos (take in light from all 3 cameras with Smart HDR to construct a single image rather than increasing sensor size), as well as give video a cinematic mode similar to portrait mode, although that might not debut till next year with with ToF sensor for more accurate depth mapping. Samsung may give the hardware, but they're not so good at implementing that with software
 
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