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iPhone 7 May Sport Dual Lenses for DSLR Quality

Apple's iPhone has long been a worthy replacement for point-and-shoot cameras, and the handset could be gunning for your DSLR next. According to a new rumor, the follow-up to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus could sport dual camera lenses to allow for photos that could rival those of a premium DSLR camera.

As reported by Apple Insider, this rumor sprang out of the latest episode of The Talk Show podcast, during which host John Gruber claimed that "a birdie of a birdie" tipped him off about the future iPhone's purported dual-lens construction. Gruber didn't have much to offer in terms of technical specifications, but noted that his source claimed that "next year's camera might be the biggest camera jump ever."

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Next year would be a smart time for Apple to make a big leap in the camera space, as all iPhones have utilized some variation of Apple's 8-MP iSight camera since 2011's iPhone 4s. Subtle hardware and software improvements have enhanced the iSight's image quality over the years, including the True Tone flash that debuted with the iPhone 5s and the optical image stabilization that's exclusive to this year's iPhone 6 Plus.

If Apple is indeed planning to bolster its iPhone camera offerings for next year, it has all of the necessary patents to do so. The company patented a three-lens, three-sensor mobile imaging device last year, and has also secured the right for a mechanism that would let you swap out camera lenses at-will. 

We generally found Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to be two of the sharpest smartphone shooters on the market, and, while it's crazy to start thinking about an iPhone 6s or 7, we're eager to see if the handset's camera does make as drastic a jump as it's rumored to.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico. Follow us@TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+