John Gruber: Rumours Swirling Next iPhone Might Have “Biggest Camera Jump Ever”

John Gruber from Daring Fireball is well-known for his concise and spot on analysis of Apple, including when it comes to rumours on future products.

On episode 100 of The Talk Show (via The Tech Block), Gruber shares details on what he’s been hearing on the status of next year’s iPhone camera upgrade. He explains the following to special guest John Moltz that a “rumour of a rumour” from “a birdie who knows a birdie” on what he’s heard, noting the next-gen camera upgrade will be a major one:

“the specific thing I heard…next year’s camera might be like…the biggest camera jump ever.”

[…]

“I don’t even know what sense this makes. I’ve heard that it’s some sort of weird two lens system, where the back camera uses two lenses…and somehow it takes it up into SLR quality imagery.”

[…]

“not at a technical level SLR quality, but at a practical level for consumers taking pictures, closer to SLRs”

Gruber reiterates the camera upgrade will be a “big enough jump” that it will convince many to upgrade to larger iPhones sporting the new camera.

Sony announced today a new stacked 21 megapixel CMOS image sensor with an image plane phase detection signal for high speed auto focus, with support for 4K videos at 30fps. Many suspect this new sensor—which is set to debut in April 2015—would be a likely candidate to make its way into the next iPhone, since Sony is an existing camera supplier.

You can see the improved image from the new IMX230 sensor on the right in the below image:

Img03

Back in January, Apple was granted two patents related to interchangeable iPhone camera lenses, which would be added onto the existing camera via a case attachment or a magnetic module, to simulate better images, like an SLR– possibly linked to what Gruber has been hearing.

Regardless, Apple’s iPhone cameras remain some of the best found on a smartphone, with the latest iPhone 6 Plus earning a positive review from photography site DP Review.

In terms of popularity, the iPhone 5S currently stands as the most popular camera and cameraphone on Flickr; we’ll most likely find the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hitting these charts soon:

Screenshot 2014 11 17 23 32 08

The iPhone 6 Plus camera has been pretty amazing so far, as we stated in our review of Apple’s new phablet.

How much does the iPhone’s camera play in your decision when it comes to upgrading?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Al

    With regard to intended purpose by users, a mobile phone camera is still just a “snap shot” camera (grab a quick shot of something that catches your eye… or for selfies). There is still some room for improvement in that regard for iPhones, but not much (mostly continuing to improve low-light shots). If your intent is to go out photographing things, you’re going to take a “real” camera, regardless of what else they attempt to do with a mobile phone’s camera.

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  • FragilityG4

    There was a time when people said you will never get any kind of a camera in a phone ….

  • xxxJDxxx

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an iPhone camera capable of being a full time camera for anyone in the future. Especially if you carry a few of the aftermarket lenses with you. I mean, we have already seen professional’s shoot entire commercials and shoot publication quality images with the existing iPhones, it should only get better from here.

  • Al

    The attachable lenses aren’t as good, and will never be as good as an SLR lens. At least not in any practical sense. And, to my knowledge, you will never get a 35mm sensor into a mobile phone. Those are the two biggest reasons that a phone will never, ever match the quality of a real camer. It is, and will always be, an impossibility.

  • Al

    It’s not about the technology… It’s about the physics.

  • FragilityG4

    Do explain …

  • Al

    See my comment to xxxJDxxx

  • FragilityG4

    That’s not physics.

  • Al

    “Photography” means to draw with light. This means that the most fundamental and most important factor of photography (and, consequently, a camera) is… “light”. The more light that can get into the camera, the better. The higher quality of light that gets into the camera, the better. These mean, you physically must have a bigger lens with high quality glass, and a bigger sensor to capture more light.

    Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it [wikipedia].

    Soooo….
    To my knowledge, there is no way a normal SLR-type lens can be used to project an image onto a 35mm sensor given the depth available on a phone. And that’s just SLR. Medium to large format cameras are WAY beyond that.

    Technology cannot do everything. You can make something smaller and smaller to crunch even more numbers. You can’t make something smaller to physically see better. Mobile phones can only do the best with what they can do given their very limited parameters. So, if you’re waiting for technology to some day create a phone that can produce a professional quality image comparable to an SLR… it ain’t gonna happen… EVER. It’s physically impossible.

  • FragilityG4

    Perhaps technology will find a new way to capture light … Never say never. The greatest inventors find ways around the impossible to make things possible …

  • Al

    Can you push a 2 inch diameter sausage through the eye of a needle?… No.

    Will technology ever find a way to push a 2 inch diameter sausage through the eye of a needle? … No.

    As I said before… it’s “physics”. It just can’t be done, nor will it ever.

  • FragilityG4

    Those who are determined will find a way around the problem … Remember the brightest minds in the world once said that the world was flat. Then another set of bright minds said nothing is smaller than an atom. Improbable? Perhaps. Impossible? Nope.

  • Al

    You’re not getting it.

  • FragilityG4

    You’re not getting it. Saying bright minds find ways around obstacles. If physics says you can’t get to point A straight, bright minds will find a way there by curving the path. Bright minds have constantly been told “you can’t do that” by people like you and they always seem to surprise with results.

  • Al

    You’re living in a fantasy world to believe EVERYTHING can be accomplished through technology and innovation. I’ve tried to demonstrate how certain things are “physically” impossible, but you chose to ignore that and blindly believe in fantasy and the fanatical religious, child-like belief that anything is possible. Great things can be done with technology, but you can’t change the laws of physics. Pretending that someone will find a way to do absolutely anything is… well… I have no kind words regarding your intellect to express after that point.

  • FragilityG4

    With all due respect, are you a physicist or just a guy reading Wikipedia?

  • Al

    Just a guy who made it through high school. You are clearly unaware of these basic principles so maybe it’s time you should stop pretending otherwise.

  • FragilityG4

    High School or not, you’re just a guy with no imagination. What if Steve Jobs gave up as easily as you? Everyone told him “you can’t” and he did. If there’s a will, there’s a way … So don’t be so pessimistic … Professor.

  • Al

    Steve Jobs didn’t do anything of the calibre that you are suggesting. What cheap drugs are you on right now?

    Referencing what I said earlier… Do you think it will ever be possible to push a 2″ sausage through the eye of a needle and have it emerge EXACTLY as it was? Based on what you have been saying, your answer would have to “yes”. I’d just like to hear you admit it.

  • FragilityG4

    And like what I said before, bright minds will find a way around the problem, for your sake let’s say they might reinvent the camera.