Technology

Apple may bring up 3 camera iPhone

A rumor making the rounds today suggests Apple may be planning on introducing its first triple camera smartphone this year with the rumored 6.5-inch iPhone, following in the footsteps of Huawei.

The rumor comes courtesy The Korea Herald, although it’s oddly buried in a piece mostly about Samsung, which is also expected to introduce a triple-camera smartphone with next year’s S10.

To be clear, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard word of a triple camera iPhone, but the three previous reports have pointed to a
2019 release, according to MacRumors . One of these reports was from Ming Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst who has a solid track record.

The fact that’s it’s mentioned offhandedly in the Korea Herald report makes me think the date may have been a mistake. And yet, I say it’s about time.

Ever since LG first began to implement a secondary, wide-angle camera in its smartphones, I’ve been waiting for a triple camera smartphone. Then the Huawei P20 Pro arrived with amazing image quality – arguably the best on a mainstream smartphone – and convinced me this is the route everyone else needs to follow.

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No matter how good AI and processing get, there’s only so much you can do within the physical constraints of a small smartphone sensor. In theory, using multiple cameras and combining the information with some smart processing could help you somewhat replicate the image quality of a larger sensor.

And yet Huawei’s implementation still isn’t even my ideal configuration.

Before writing about tech, I was a professional photographer, and in those days I carried three lenses with me: a wide-angle lens, a standard or ‘normal’ lens, and a telephoto lens. It’s a pretty common trio for photographers, sometimes referred to as the ‘holy trinity’ of lenses.

So far I’ve seen phones that have a normal lens and telephoto lens, or a wide-angle and telephoto lens, but never all three. I suspect in the future, our phones will look more like the Light L16 tried to do. Reviews aren’t great for that due to problematic software, but it’s a fantastic conept.

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Is this what Apple is aiming for? I have no clue. As far as I know, Apple could simply be using the third camera for depth sensing and increasing image quality on the other two, a la Huawei. Or maybe it plans to implement Face ID-like tracking on the rear. It’s too early to tell.

Either way, here’s to more cameras on our smartphones. Maybe one day I won’t need my mirrorless camera anymore.

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