For the past few months, there have been consistent rumors and supply chain leaks that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 would sport a dual-camera system. Apple has just been granted a new patent that could shed light on how the dual-camera setup may work, if Apple chooses to incorporate the technology in the iPhone 7. The patent will also help iPhones get rid of the ugly protruding rear camera.
iPhone 7: The telephoto lens resembles a periscope
The patent titled “folded telephoto camera lens system” describes a telephoto lens that is shaped like a lowercase “r”, resembling the old-fashioned periscope. A telephoto lens offers a broader focus range from a physically shorter lens. It means you can capture images from further away and apply some background blur effects. The patent also makes mention of a dual-lens camera.
Light comes in through the primary lens, and bounces off of a mirror. From there, the light is redirected to a secondary lens that focuses it on the image sensor. Users can move the secondary lens up and down in tiny increments to achieve telephoto results. What’s more, Apple discusses allowing users to choose between the folding telephoto lens and a standard wide-lens when taking photos. The telephoto lens would be a secondary option.
Upcoming iPhone to get rid of protruding camera
It supports recent speculations that Apple is going to offer a dual-lens setup with the iPhone 7. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year that Apple would use LinX Imaging’s technology for the dual-lens camera. If Apple decides to incorporate only the telephoto lens, it could easily do away with the protruding rear camera. But Kuo firmly believes that Apple’s next iPhone will feature a dual-camera setup and get rid of the bulging main camera.
With these camera advances, the iPhone 7 could blur the gap between a smartphone camera and a professional DSLR. But it may face some stiff competition from Samsung. Recent reports suggest that the Korean company has moved the NX camera department staff to its smartphone department to develop and incorporate DSLR-quality cameras in its upcoming smartphones.