News & RumorsThe iPhone 15 Ultra makes use of LG's zoom camera

The iPhone 15 Ultra makes use of LG’s zoom camera

The iPhone 15 Ultra makes use of LG's zoom camera, which can compete with Samsung's.

On phones like the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra, we now have 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and even 10x optical zoom cameras. Furthermore, phone manufacturers have discovered other inventive ways to zoom without sacrificing image quality, such as through software on the Pixel 7. A phone zoom system, on the other hand, is always included. One trade-off is the lack of precise control over the use of a fixed zoom lens.

LG's zoom camera

However, 2023 could be the year of change for phone cameras. More specifically, the phone’s zoom system.

Indeed, Sony gave us a glimpse of the future last year with the Xperia 1 IV, which has the ability to continuously change the zoom (3.5 – 5.2x) but is easily replaceable. It’s clear that this is a first-generation endeavor. Aside from the soft images produced by the latest Xperia flagship, the optical zoom range of around 3-5x does not appear to offer much more flexibility than some companies can achieve through software. soft.

According to a Weibo rumor (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter/Facebook), Sony may be ready to capitulate and use LG-made camera technology for the new zoom solution on the Xperia 1 V, which is set to launch later this year!

According to multiple sources and LG Innotek’s own statement, LG’s continuous zoom solution is much more compact and has a greater range than Sony’s best solution today. LG is collaborating with Qualcomm to accelerate the adoption of new technology. The technology will be optimized to work with the brand-new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which will power the new Xperia 1 V. (and many other Android flagships).

LG Innotek (a subsidiary of LG Display) creates, manufactures, and sells electronic materials, components, and devices for a number of well-known consumer electronics companies, including… Apple. That’s right, Apple’s collaboration with the Korean firm is more than just a formality.

According to new leaks from multiple sources, Apple will collaborate with LG Innotek (among other camera hardware vendors) to bring a new zoom system to at least one new iPhone 15 series phone. (This is most likely the iPhone 15 Ultra).

The new zoom system on the iPhone 15 Ultra – there are numerous compelling reasons for Apple to employ LG’s brand new continuous optical zoom camera

According to the leak, LG Innotek’s new zoom solution will be used in at least one new iPhone 15 model.

Apple is unlikely to create a system with more than three cameras, so the zoom camera with fixed focal length will most likely be replaced by a zoom camera with variable focus.

Apple’s general “slow but best hardware upgrade” philosophy. This is why Apple waited until zoom technology suitable for the iPhone 15 Ultra became available.

Unlike Android, Apple prioritizes high-quality optical zoom videos. Cupertino would almost certainly have to use LG’s new periscope zoom hardware to accomplish this (at least for the moment).

What will the iPhone 15 Ultra look like with LG’s new periscope zoom technology?

LG's zoom camera

What we do know about LG Innotek is that it offers a camera with a continuously variable zoom (4-9x). LG’s revolutionary optical zoom system includes optical stabilization, which is essential for capturing blur-free zoomed photos. When it comes to moving parts, the module uses a very precise actuator to move the lens elements, creating what we call “optical zoom”.

The 4-9x optical zoom range sounds appealing because it eliminates the need for two separate zoom cameras (think Galaxy S22 Ultra, which has two separate zoom cameras with fixed zoom ranges of 3x and 10x).

As a result, Apple may be working on the world’s first 1-10x zoom camera system for a phone.

How Apple achieved 1-10x zoom without data loss:

  • Utilize the power of the iPhone 15’s new 3nm A17 Bionic chip.
  • For lossless zoom over a greater distance, use a crop sensor.
  • Use the remaining cameras to supplement the data for the zoom camera.

If Apple and LG do this, it will be a true “challenge” for Samsung and the rest of the Android world, proving that Cupertino is “slower but better” at providing certain features. Typically, the iPhone 14 Pro has the best 2x zoom solution available today, despite the fact that this feature has long been available on Android devices. However, the iPhone’s strongest point in Apple’s software and hardware appears to be its ability to crop videos, which Android devices have never been able to do. As a result, the 2x zoom videos on the iPhone 14 Pro are far superior to those on Android devices.

If all goes well, Apple could market the new zoom system on the iPhone 15 Ultra as “20x optical zoom”.

“iPhone Ultra” instead of iPhone 15 Pro Max – the next “One More Thing” from Apple?

Traditionally, the “One More Thing” announcement has been reserved for “surprise” hardware, such as the iPhone Ultra, which has a larger screen, battery, and (hopefully) a significantly more advanced camera system than its iPhone sibling. Its smaller 15 Pro appears to be deserving of this.

The fact that the iPhone 15 Pro is not expected to have the new optical zoom hardware could be another hint that the new “Ultra” iPhone could be Apple’s “One More Thing”. If Cupertino is successful, they may set a new standard for phone cameras.

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