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Apple today published a new support document warning iPhone users that the cameras on their devices can be damaged by exposure to certain vibrational frequencies such as those generated by high-power motorcycle engines.

iphone12cameras.jpg

iPhone camera lenses with optical image stabilization (OIS) or closed-loop autofocus (AF) are susceptible to this damage due to their use of gyroscopes and/or magnetic sensors to help compensate for movement and vibration when shooting photos or video.
The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone are designed for durability. However, as is the case with many consumer electronics that include systems like OIS, long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges may degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos. It is recommended to avoid exposing your iPhone to extended high-amplitude vibrations.
Due to this risk, Apple recommends that users not attach their iPhones directly to the chassis or handlebars of such motorcycles, as direct transmission of vibrations can be intense. Apple even recommends that users mounting their devices to lower-powered devices like mopeds and electric scooters at least use a vibration-dampening mount to minimize the chances of any damage.


It is unclear whether there is a specific reason Apple has posted the document at this time, but there have been a number of reports on discussion forums and other venues over the years about damage caused in such scenarios, including on mountain bikes.

Apple has previously warned that OIS and closed-loop AF systems can similarly suffer from magnetic interference that degrades camera performance when used with certain iPhone accessories, although magnet-related issues tend to be temporary and can be remedied by simply removing the accessories. Vibrations can more easily result in permanent damage to the systems.

All iPhone models from the iPhone 7 onward, as well as the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus, have OIS and/or closed-loop AF and are potentially affected.

Article Link: Apple Warns Vibrations Like Those From High-Power Motorcycle Engines Can Harm iPhone Cameras
 
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swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
I have a really vague recollection of one of the iPhone announcements in which Apple was showing off the cameras by taking video in a desert, and I think the cameras were attached to off road vehicles or motorcycles or something like that. Didn't even have one where they attached to a hockey stick? It all blurs together. Anyhow, they always show their products in ads taken to the extreme but then of course AppleCare won't cover it.

Edit:

I found one of them (I think there were more like this). They even show the word "SHOT" shaking back and forth and you can see these vehicles are obviously vibrating:

 
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SamRyouji

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2016
327
1,126
In other words: strap a gimbal to whatever your vibrating thing and then attach the tough yet delicate and tender iPhone to the gimbal.
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I wonder what other vibrating devices that will do such damage if even gentle vibrations from a scooter could potentially do harm, because I routinely massage my iPhone after its hard day's work. :p
 

mikethemartian

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2017
1,483
2,239
Melbourne, FL
I have a really vague recollection of one of the iPhone announcements in which Apple was showing off the cameras by taking video in a desert, and I think the cameras were attached to off road vehicles or motorcycles or something like that. Didn't even have one where they attached to a hockey stick? It all blurs together. Anyhow, they always show their products in ads taken to the extreme but then of course AppleCare won't cover it.
I find it funny that Apple will refuse to service one of their products if they detect tobacco use.
 

DogHouseDub

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2007
627
1,448
SF
I use this vibration damper for my iPhone 11. Works well but I suspect this is predominantly an iPhone 12 problem


2020June_Moto_VibrationDampener_1024x768_TF-0967_ca6062c8-3a90-462b-b619-e1a0b08447c4_710x.jpg
 

Ninjaman

Suspended
Jul 13, 2021
329
329
This is a very easy fix. I use quad lock to lock my iPhone down on the steering wheel. I use a dampener that reduces the vibration. 4 months of riding I’ve had zero issues with the camera or pictures. I have read many people that didn’t use a dampener have had to get the phones repaired. They were doing it for free but I doubt anymore after this article
 

Ninjaman

Suspended
Jul 13, 2021
329
329
I use this vibration damper for my iPhone 11. Works well but I suspect this is predominantly an iPhone 12 problem


View attachment 1829412

Ha ha you beat me to it
 

risenphoenixkai

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2008
290
597
This is a very easy fix. I use quad lock to lock my iPhone down on the steering wheel. I use a dampener that reduces the vibration. 4 months of riding I’ve had zero issues with the camera or pictures. I have read many people that didn’t use a dampener have had to get the phones repaired. They were doing it for free but I doubt anymore after this article
What kind of iPhone have you got? I’ve been thinking of mounting my 12 Pro to my FTR 1200 so I can use it for GPS directions, and I’m definitely leaning toward quadlock because of the vibration dampener.
 
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