Rumors Persist About Triple-Lens Rear Camera System With Advanced 3D Sensing on 2019 iPhones

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While we're still two months away from Apple's widely rumored trio of 2018 iPhones, the rumor mill is already looking ahead to next year.

iPhone with triple-lens rear camera mockup via iDrop News

Much of the early discussion has centered upon the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones, with multiple reports claiming it will be a triple-lens array with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality capabilities.

Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News says as much in a pair of reports today, claiming that the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones will feature "more advanced" sensing than the front-facing TrueDepth system on the current iPhone X, with a triple-lens setup capable of stereoscopic imaging.

With stereoscopic imaging, two of the sensors would be able to capture images of a single object from different angles. A triangulation method would then be used to obtain the distance between the iPhone and the object.

The third lens would also likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to three times without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom.

Bloomberg News last year reported that Apple aims to include rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities in its 2019 iPhones. At the time, Apple was said to be evaluating a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment.

While the exact implementation remains to be seen, it's clear that the rear camera could play a big role in the augmented reality capabilities of future iPhones. Last year, Apple released ARKit, a framework that enables developers to incorporate augmented reality into their apps on iOS 11 and later.

Apple previews ARKit 2 during WWDC 2018 at around 22:05 mark of video

At WWDC 2018 last month, Apple previewed ARKit 2, with shared experiences like multiplayer games, persistent augmented reality, extended support for image detection and tracking, and more.

Article Link: Rumors Persist About Triple-Lens Rear Camera System With Advanced 3D Sensing on 2019 iPhones
 

WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
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If they could find a way to do the P20 Pro sensor "merge" to provide the superior night shot capabilities but with better, more natural colouring, this could be absolutely epic.

3D stuffs though, yeah but no. There is a reason that chaff died out on TV's.
 

rp2011

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Oct 12, 2010
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I'm wondering if "stereophonic" pictures would require the camera be he held in landscape only or both landscape and portrait because of the spacing needed for the cameras?
 
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Greenmeenie

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Jan 14, 2013
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You would think APple would try to put the triple lens system in the 2018 iphone x plus. At least i heard a rumor that was a possibility.
 

nfl46

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Oct 5, 2008
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How is it that the Google phones have one lens but take better pictures? Supposedly, the XL3 will only have one len as well. Is it software that make Google phone pictures come out so good?
 

jclardy

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Oct 6, 2008
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Is the actual supply chain rumor for a 3x lens? It seems more likely to me that we'll get two wide lenses and one tele lens. The two wide would be the top/bottom and allow for much better depth sensing because of the same lens, but different positions. It would also allow for much improved lowlight photos by combining the sensors with two shorter exposures, meaning less motion blur from leaving the shutter open longer. Plus every photo could have depth data added to it.

Zoom is nice, but I find I rarely use the 2x lens on my camera on anything other than portrait mode, just because of the higher aperture. I doubt I would use a 3x at all.
 
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Scottsoapbox

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Oct 10, 2014
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How is it that the Google phones have one lens but take better pictures? Supposedly, the XL3 will only have one len as well. Is it software that make Google phone pictures come out so good?
Yes their software processing is currently the best available. (note I am an iPhone user)
 

Blackstick

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Aug 11, 2014
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They'd never do it, but I'd love to see Apple build an interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C or full-frame sensor, with their expertise it'd demolish the existing options... only problem is it'd be as expensive as a Leica.
 

DoctorTech

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Jan 6, 2014
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Is the actual supply chain rumor for a 3x lens? It seems more likely to me that we'll get two wide lenses and one tele lens. The two wide would be the top/bottom and allow for much better depth sensing because of the same lens, but different positions. It would also allow for much improved lowlight photos by combining the sensors with two shorter exposures, meaning less motion blur from leaving the shutter open longer. Plus every photo could have depth data added to it.

Zoom is nice, but I find I rarely use the 2x lens on my camera on anything other than portrait mode, just because of the higher aperture. I doubt I would use a 3x at all.
You are probably right about matching, wide lenses at the top and bottom and a 3X in the middle (and the advantages that would bring about for depth and low light shots).

I frequently use the 2X lens on my iPhone X and I am sure I would use the 3X lens as well but I take more outdoor, daylight photos where there is plenty of light and I don't have to worry about having to have a low f stop to avoid blurry photos. It all comes down to use case (like most smart phone issues).
 

nwcs

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Sep 21, 2009
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How is it that the Google phones have one lens but take better pictures? Supposedly, the XL3 will only have one len as well. Is it software that make Google phone pictures come out so good?
Better is a bit subjective. I would imagine in a blind test most people couldn’t pick out one from the other. They are both quite good considering the severe limitations of sensor size, lens size, and user skill.
[doublepost=1530806282][/doublepost]
They'd never do it, but I'd love to see Apple build an interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C or full-frame sensor, with their expertise it'd demolish the existing options... only problem is it'd be as expensive as a Leica.
That would have been good about 10 years ago but at the rate of contraction (plus entrenched players) in the camera market it won’t happen. What I would like is Apple to come up with a first class module to attach to the phone that has a larger sensor. Something that takes the idea of the DXO one and Sony QX stuff and does it properly. That would be a real kick in the teeth of the traditional camera makers.
 
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ronnyromero

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Feb 12, 2016
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If this is true, does it mean we could get more or less an effective 18mm-56mm f1.8 setup?
 

RichTF

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Nov 11, 2007
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I'm wondering if "stereophonic" pictures would require the camera be he held in landscape only or both landscape and portrait because of the spacing needed for the cameras?
In theory, it shouldn’t matter. In the same way that our human eyeballs can do stereoscopic vision, whether we’re standing up or lying down sideways.
 

oddiecz

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Jul 7, 2010
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If they could find a way to do the P20 Pro sensor "merge" to provide the superior night shot capabilities but with better, more natural colouring, this could be absolutely epic.

3D stuffs though, yeah but no. There is a reason that chaff died out on TV's.
3D for augmented reality ;)
[doublepost=1530807298][/doublepost]
Is the actual supply chain rumor for a 3x lens? It seems more likely to me that we'll get two wide lenses and one tele lens. The two wide would be the top/bottom and allow for much better depth sensing because of the same lens, but different positions. It would also allow for much improved lowlight photos by combining the sensors with two shorter exposures, meaning less motion blur from leaving the shutter open longer. Plus every photo could have depth data added to it.

Zoom is nice, but I find I rarely use the 2x lens on my camera on anything other than portrait mode, just because of the higher aperture. I doubt I would use a 3x at all.
Making a 3x zoom lens that would actually take good pictures would be tougher than with the 2x, we'll see.
[doublepost=1530807346][/doublepost]
If this is true, does it mean we could get more or less an effective 18mm-56mm f1.8 setup?
56mm at 1.8? That would be a massive phone or a really small sensor...
[doublepost=1530807545][/doublepost]
How is it that the Google phones have one lens but take better pictures? Supposedly, the XL3 will only have one len as well. Is it software that make Google phone pictures come out so good?
Software and a larger sensor. If Apple increased sensor size just a little, they could get results that would be quite a bit better. But also: Software. iPhone camera hardware has been getting better, but I think the software is holding it back quite a bit.
 
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_Refurbished_

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Mar 23, 2007
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Cue all the hump hate.

I am all for camera improvements. One of the design sacrifices I’m completely content with.
 
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SoundJudgment

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Jul 3, 2017
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I'm wondering if "stereophonic" pictures would require the camera be he held in landscape only or both landscape and portrait because of the spacing needed for the cameras?
It would need to be held in Landscape mode, and the left/right camera-lens elements would have to be spaced typically the same distance as found between two eyes...just like mine!
 
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scoony

macrumors newbie
Jul 2, 2018
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If they could find a way to do the P20 Pro sensor "merge" to provide the superior night shot capabilities but with better, more natural colouring, this could be absolutely epic.

3D stuffs though, yeah but no. There is a reason that chaff died out on TV's.
That's a feature that would shift boxes of iPhones! I really wonder what this years photography will bring. It's the third round of dual lens...
 

naturalstar

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
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Cue all the hump hate.

I am all for camera improvements. One of the design sacrifices I’m completely content with.
Same. If Apple can dramatically improve their low light and noise performance, I’d be a happy camper. It’s the one area where I find other phone brands do a lot better.
 
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