Holy crap. The Apple patent is mostly about the mirror, prism and image stabilizer that allow one to rotate the lens elements 90°, but it’s that 90° — and the accompanying drawings which show an internal zoom lens – that mean point and shoot cameras sales are going to be in even bigger trouble. And maybe not just point and shoot. Looks like “the best camera is the one you have with you” is going to get much, much better – smartphone and tablet manufacturers, pay attention, too.
As if having famed film director Martin Scorsese narrating its latest iPad ad were not enough, now we have this: a patent by Apple which solves the single biggest lament of iOS photography and videography: a single, fixed focal length.
Not much more to write than this at the moment, other than I can’t help but think of Derek Zoolander’s nano-StarTac cell phone , or maybe Spock’s TriCorder or Kirk’s communicator: Apple and the eco-system it has created with the App store is taking us toward the 23rd century – at least when it comes to communications and creativity – faster than legendary optimist and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry imagined.
Maybe faster than traditional camera manufacturers can respond.
And while the one thing this patent does not appear capable of addressing in hardware is achieving shallow depth of field, I’ve got to believe it CAN be achieved through software. We have at least an intimation of how software could handle this already on the App store: Focalyze.
Very, very cool – and disruptive. [bctt tweet=”Internal zoom lens on iPhone? Holy disruption, Batman!”]
New Apple iPhone Camera Patent Details a Mirror and Prism
A new Apple patent is trying to solve lots of problems with cameraphones and in some ways may cement the death of point and shoot cameras. According to Forbes, it’s using a mirror, periscope, and prism. Sounds almost like the shooting mechanism in a DSLR, right? It’s not.
One of the biggest “problems” with smart phones is that in order for them to include a zoom lens, they need to make the cameraphone bigger and the camera itself elongates when shooting. Because of this, many cameras have simply just used prime lenses–and there isn’t a single thing wrong with that. But in order to appeal to more customers, As detailed in the n ew Apple iPhone Camera Patent, the company came up with an innovative ideal to allow a zoom lens to work without making the phone larger. It involves using an optically stabilized mirror, a periscope to move the lens elements vertically instead of horizontally, and splitting the image using a prism before it hits the imaging sensor. In fact, this is how weathersealed point and shoots work and don’t become larger when zooming in or out. To be fair, the image quality of those cameras comes secondary to the tougher features.
Read full article at Phoblographer “New Apple iPhone Camera Patent Details a Mirror and Prism”
(cover photo credit: snap from the Phoblographer)