Back in January, a source inside the Apple supply chain had hinted that the next-generation iPhone will feature a dual camera lens capable of optical zoom and a 3D pressure sensor and today, a new Apple patent application titled “Small form factor telephoto camera” published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has revealed a future generation iPhone setup that features both wide angle and telephoto back cameras (via AppleInsider).
Apple’s invention details that a separate small format telephoto camera be used in conjunction with a normal-to-wide angle camera like those found in current iPhone models, which would most likely yield higher quality images than a comparable single-lens system. The filing shows a telephoto camera system with a total track length of 6mm or less, focal length of about 7mm and telephoto ratio within 0.74 and 1.0. To be considered a telephoto lens system, the overall TTL/f must be less than or equal to 1.0.
“In practice, Apple’s invention is a traditional digital camera arranged for telephoto photography. Light enters a lens assembly through an aperture and passes through infrared or other corrective filters to form an image on an image plane at or near a photosensor.
Like current iPhone cameras, the proposed telephoto system calls for multiple lens elements, in this case four or five separate refracting components made from plastic, glass or other suitable transparent materials. Also like modern iPhone shooters, the patent application makes note of a camera sensor with pixels sized at 1.2 microns or less.”
Apple’s compact telephoto camera patent application was first filed for in October 2013.