Mechanism Behind Enhancing Apple iPhone Camera Without Increasing MegaPixel Count

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | May 9, 2014 10:52 PM EST

Apple is the only company that has not entered the megapixel war when it comes to smartphone cameras.

Every new smartphone that gets released today comes with a improvement to the housed camera unit. The image quality of cameras can be improved not just with the number of megapixels a camera houses but also with the software enhancements.

Reuters
A woman tries the silver colored version of the new iPhone 5S after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California, September 10, 2013.

According to a recent report unearthed by Apple Insider, Apple might totally ignore the megapixels war in the future. The company filed a new patent application that describes a peculiar approach to provide iPhone users a super-resolution camera mode without having to increase the megapixel count.

Mechanism

The combination of optical image stabilization (OIS) and image processing engine in the future iPhone models could help achieve combining multiple images together and creating super high-resolution pictures, describing the patent titled, "super-resolution based on optical image stabilization."

According to the abstract from the patent, "In one embodiment, an electronic image sensor captures a reference optical sample through an optical path. Thereafter, an optical image stabilization (OIS) processor adjusts the optical path to the electronic image sensor by a known amount."

The abstract further said, "A second optical sample is then captured along the adjusted optical path, such that the second optical sample is offset from the first optical sample by no more than a sub-pixel offset. The OIS processor may reiterate this process to capture a plurality of optical samples at a plurality of offsets. The optical samples may be combined to create a super-resolution image."

Also, iPhone users will have the choice to switch between the standard camera mode and the super-resolution mode.

Will iPhone 6 Support this Mechanism?

According to early speculations via BGR, the most-awaited and upcoming Apple iPhone 6 will feature the same 8 MP camera unit like iPhone 5S, but it would support OIS. On the contrary, a recent report said iPhone scheduled for this year would not support OIS.

The super-resolution cited in the patent is possible only with OIS support for automatic movement of the lens in the camera. iPhone 6 many not be the flagship smartphone to flaunt this camera mechanism.

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(Photo: Reuters / Stephen Lam)
A woman tries the silver colored version of the new iPhone 5S after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California, September 10, 2013.
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