Apple Reveals Radical New iPhone Camera Tech
Apple has developed a new technology that could radically improve camera performance in future iPhones.
This year’s iPhone 14 range is tipped to feature some big camera upgrades, but Apple still has plenty more tricks up its sleeve. According to a newly-filed patent application, the company has developed a new kind of telephoto lens capable of delivering improved zoom capabilities.
The patent, as picked up by PatentlyApple, details a new ‘folded’ telephoto lens featuring a novel single-prism design. Folded lenses typically use complex systems of prisms and/or mirrors to reroute light sideways within a smartphone’s housing. However, having the light pass through multiple optical elements can cause potentially significant reductions in picture quality.
Apple’s prism can deploy various configurations of reflective surfaces, anti-reflective surfaces and aperture masks in order to produce the desired result without the need for as many optical components.
Telephoto lenses small enough for smartphone use are notoriously difficult to design, expensive to produce and typically deliver inferior quality to the phone’s main lens. This is why the most powerful optical zoom specifications are currently reserved for flagship products. Apple still has a bit of catching up to do in this area, but designs like this one point to exciting new zoom cameras in the iPhone’s future.
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