iPhone 6 camera may use electronic image stabilization -- report

The next iPhone camera may rely on a software algorithm to reduce motion and could adopt a larger pixel size, claims a Chinese analyst.

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iPhone 6 mock-up. Ciccarese Design

Apple could tweak the image stabilization feature on its next iPhone. But it may do it electronically rather than with the lens itself, at least according to a new rumor.

Chiming in on Chinese Web site Weibo, ESM-China analyst Sun Chang Xu claims that the next iPhone will use electronic image stabilization instead of optical image stabilization, as some reports have suggested, according to blog site GforGames. As described by MacRumors, electronic image stabilization could result in a lighter and slimmer camera that doesn't stick out of the body of the phone. But there's also a downside.

Optical image stabilization (OIS) moves the lens itself to counteract any shakiness or motion. The HTC One and several Lumia phones use OIS to help ensure a sharper picture. Electronic image stabilization relies on a software algorithm to reduce the motion, a process that can degrade the resolution and quality of a picture.

In a research note picked up by MacRumors earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo predicted that Apple would outfit the next iPhone with electronic image stabilization. The current iPhone 5S uses auto image stabilization, a feature that analyzes multiple photos shot in quick succession and blends the best of each to create a final picture.

Apple will also bump up the camera's pixel size in the next iPhone, according to Xu. The size will increase to 1.75 um from the 1.5 um used in the iPhone 5S. A larger physical pixel size means more light is captured, ensuring better quality pictures.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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