Apple’s iPhone devices have a camera as one of their biggest strengths, and the company apparently plans to enhance this component further with its upcoming devices, suggests a new patent application from the company. Patently Apple first spotted the application, which suggests the inclusion of a dual camera system on the back of the smartphone.

iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 Could Come With Two Rear Cameras [PATENT]

Will a dual iPhone camera improve image quality?

The patent hints that Apple intends to give photographers a way to zoom in without compromising image quality. Whether the image quality can be dramatically enhanced with a second camera is still questionable, but one definite way of improving quality in certain situations is giving a way to iPhone owners to avoid using digital zoom.

One camera is supposed to have a wide lens, while the other would have a much deeper focal length. This would function just like digital zoom, allowing users to switch between the two without losing resolution. Apple could have implemented a dual camera system in many other ways, including using a 3D camera. But this seems unlikely unless the company creates a 3D screen to view them as well.

Uses that Apple thought of

The zoom system offers many more possibilities, and switching from one to the other for taking photos is just one. Users can make use of one rear camera for taking stills while using the other to record video, suggests the patent application. Apple has even imagined that a camera app could stitch the two together with stills being used to highlight key moments. The cameras would also have the capability of shooting at different speeds or different resolutions, generating a combination of 4K video, 1080p video, slow-mo video and stills.

It is quite difficult to say if Apple is seriously considering this, but some rumors about the iPhone sporting a dual camera system have been there in the past as well. A year ago, Apple pundit John Gruber learned that the company is considering a “two lens system” for the future iPhone to give DSLR-quality imagery to the camera.

On Thursday, Apple stock closed down 4.22% at $96.45. Year to date, the stock is down by over 8%, while in the last month, it is down by over 18%.