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iPhone 6 Camera Could Take ‘Super-Resolution’ Photos

Apple appears to be putting great thought into the iPhone's camera. A new patent published today (May 8) by the US Patent & Trademark Office shows the electronics giant is developing "super-resolution based on optical image stabilization."

Optical Image Stabilization (or OIS) typically steadies an image projected on a camera's sensor by changing the optical path to the sensor in response to detected movement of the device before the image is converted into digital information. This means that if your hands are shaking as you press the shutter, the processor will compensate for your movement by detecting the direction in which you moved and correcting for that.

MORE: iPhone 6 Rumors: Inside Apple's Next Big Thing

According to notes in the patent filing, the camera could repeat the OIS process and make use of the multiple optical paths to capture several images from a variety of reference paths and combine them to form one super-resolution image.

In one of the drawings submitted with the application, a Super Resolution Mode option is shown in a markup of the iOS camera app, above HDR and Panorama mode options. This evidence of integration adds weight to the possibility that this feature could come to the iPhone camera app soon.

Nokia and HTC already offer OIS in their Lumia and One smartphones, but Apple's new patent appears to use the technology to create sharper pictures than just steadying them.

The Cupertino-based company also appears to have more up its sleeve for the next iPhone's camera. We've already seen plenty of rumors suggesting the iPhone 6 may sport a split camera system that captures light and color data separately for higher-quality images while retaining a slim profile. It's also possible that the next-gen iPhone could support swappable lenses.

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  • RCguitarist
    Great, so it will still take pictures that my $40 digital camera puts to shame. Woohoo! Awesome jobs Apple!
    Reply
  • soldier44
    And on a rumored little 4.7 inch screen it still won't matter except to the Apple fanboys who will think its the best camera in the world... :I
    Reply
  • vinhn
    And on a rumored little 4.7 inch screen it still won't matter except to the Apple fanboys who will think its the best camera in the world... :I

    Yes, it doesn't matter on a 4.7" screen but it does matter when you want to print it out.
    Reply
  • dro2
    And on a rumored little 4.7 inch screen it still won't matter except to the Apple fanboys who will think its the best camera in the world... :I

    Yes, it doesn't matter on a 4.7" screen but it does matter when you want to print it out.

    Don't try an make sense to him... he doesn't comprehend logical thinking.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    So, still not as good as the camera on a Lumia 1020 or 1520, still playing catchup...
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    Apple making news with 10 year old tech <yawn>
    Reply
  • hitman40
    So, still not as good as the camera on a Lumia 1020 or 1520, still playing catchup...
    "Nokia and HTC already offer OIS in their Lumia and One smartphones, but Apple's new patent appears to use the technology to create sharper pictures than just steadying them. "
    Interesting, if you read the article, you would have caught this sentence.

    It's okay, keep hating on Apple/Apple Articles based on the titles.
    Reply
  • 5tormy
    Actually the iPhone 5s puts many many many dedicated/mobile cameras to shame. May not be the best but for such a tiny little thing it does its job very well.
    Look up 5s camera vs...(insert phone name here) and compare.
    Reply
  • Justin Houser
    OIS is a key factor in multi-sensor image knitting sans distortion. Most large format cam tech companies use this approach in their pro cameras so it isn't surprising that phone makers are doing to too. Squeezing into a smartphone without optical artifacts of significance will be a huge trick however. Virtually all on the market have undesirable distortions.
    Reply
  • Steveymoo
    Did you hear that? It was the sound of Apple taking a crap in your mouth with their stupid marketing phrases.
    Reply