You might want to hold off buying a new phone from Apple at the moment. With the iPhone 12 still on track for a release in ‘the fall’, more details are coming out on what could be one of the most substantive iPhone updates by Apple in the last few years.
The latest information concerns the camera. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that the iPhone 12 will come with a new image stabilisation system. Imaginatively called ‘sensor-shift image stabilisation’, it allows the camera sensor to float, keeping it stable even though the smartphone may be picking up some movement from the stillest of hands. Joe Rossignol reports:
“While details are slim, sensor-shift technology could bring image stabilization to the Ultra Wide lens on future iPhones, starting with the 6.7-inch model. iPhone 11 Pro models feature optical image stabilization for both photo and video, but only when using the Wide or Telephoto lenses. Sensor-shift technology would provide a solution for this, as the stabilisation would apply to the camera sensor itself and not be dependant on any specific lens.”
Where optical image stabilisation works with the lens assembly to keep the path flight from the lens to the image sensor consistent, sensor-shift works directly with the image sensor.
Stabilisation ultimately allows for better pictures. The obvious benefit is the reduction go blurring on the image. It also allows for better imaging at low light and improved images when the subject is closer to the camera. Video recordings also benefits, reducing small amounts of wobble in any footage while recording, rather than in post production.
With Kuo reporting that a single model will carry the feature this year, before increasing availability to two or three models, I would expect the new camera technology to only be available on the presumptively named iPhone 12 Pro Max – which will give this most expensive iPhone something more than ‘it’s big’ as a selling point.
Naturally the technology will likely waterfall down to the other handsets over the iterative releases in 2021 and 2020, but I’m curious to see the impact on sales if this is the case as it creates a greater feature gap between the Pro Max and the Pro handsets when they are launched.